CPT Codes for Behavioral Health Billing

CPT Codes for Behavioral Health: When it comes to the procedural aspect of billing for behavioral health services in the context of medical billing, healthcare professionals face a difficult and complex challenge. A tailored billing system that can manage pertinent Medical Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and related services must be set up by providers because of the increasing demand for mental health treatment.

Different from standard medical billing, Behavioral Health Billing has specific coding and reimbursement criteria. Hence, to effectively handle the special requirements of mental health services, providers must grasp the intricacies of behavioral health billing and implement a tailored billing system.

Why CPT codes Are Important for Clinicians?

CPT codes are critical components of managing a practice for doctors and healthcare workers because they influence remuneration and overall practice success. To get the proper compensation rates, physicians must confirm that the codes on insurance claim forms correctly represent the services they delivered before submitting the claims to the insurance firms.

Example: Dr. John, a psychologist, was underpaid or denied benefits due to inaccurate coding. He performed psychological testing by utilizing generic assessment codes rather than the necessary particular ones. The practice experienced financial pressure as a result of the decreased compensation. To remedy the problem, Dr. John reviewed the coding procedures, trained the billing staff, and instituted routine audits to guarantee appropriate coding. Better reimbursement and financial stability resulted from this.

Coding Rules for Billing Behavioral Healthcare Services

Here is a comprehensive summary of standard practices and rules in the United States.

Regulations Description
Compliance with HIPAA Compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requirements for the protection of patient data.
CPT and ICD Codes Correct application of codes for diagnosis.
Insurance Verification Verification of coverage and benefits before services.
Preauthorization Obtaining approval for specific services before delivery.
Documentation Detailed record-keeping of provided services and diagnoses.
Telehealth Requirements Compliance with telehealth-specific coding and documentation guidelines.
Medicare, Medicaid, and State Regulations Adherence to regulations for reimbursement eligibility and compliance.
Fraud Prevention Practices to prevent fraudulent billing and abuse of services.
Regulatory Updates Staying informed about changes in billing and coding regulations.
Expert Guidance Seeking advice from specialists to navigate complex billing regulations effectively.

Commonly used CPT Codes:

CPT Code Description
90791 Initial psychiatric diagnostic evaluation without medical services
90832 Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with patient and/or family member.
90834 Psychotherapy, 45 minutes with patient and/or family member.
90837 Psychotherapy, 60 minutes with patient and/or family member.
90847 Family psychotherapy (conjoint psychotherapy) without the patient present.
90853 Group psychotherapy (other than of a multiple-family group).
96150 Health and behavior assessment (e.g., for biofeedback or relaxation training).
96152 Health and behavior intervention, individual (e.g., coping skills training).
96153 Health and behavior intervention, group (2 or more patients).
96154 Health and behavior intervention, family (with the patient present).

Some of the most often used CPT codes for mental health care billing are represented by these codes. For appropriate billing procedures, it is imperative to refer to the most recent edition of the CPT codebook as well as any changes or modifications from reliable sources such as the American Medical Association (AMA) or other professional associations.

Specialty Services Covered Under Behavioral Health Billing

A wide range of treatments targeted at treating mental health issues are included in the field of behavioral health billing. Invoicing for psychiatric, psychological, and therapeutic therapies is mostly done for patients and insurance companies.

Psychiatric medical billing

It entails adherence to specific coding protocols tailored to the discipline’s nuances. These codes serve to meticulously document rendered services and ascertain appropriate reimbursement rates from insurers.  Psychiatric medical billing represents a specialized facet of the broader medical billing landscape, necessitating a profound comprehension of specialty-specific coding schemas, guidelines, and regulatory frameworks. Ensuring the precise submission of claims mandates adept navigation of these intricacies to maintain billing accuracy and compliance.

Therapy billing services

A vast range of mental and behavioral health interventions are covered by therapy billing services, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, individual and group therapy for psychiatry, psychological testing and evaluations, and private therapy.

Accurate billing and reimbursement for therapy services necessitate strict coding compliance for each kind of treatment. Proper documentation is imperative during claims submission to mitigate potential confusion and optimize reimbursement rates.

Final Words

For accurate and complete billing of all mental and behavioral health services, a skilled staff knowledgeable in the complex laws and coding quirks related to psychology, psychiatry, and therapy is essential. It takes knowledge of rules, codes, paperwork, and payment policies to navigate the complex world of mental health medical billing. Consult a skilled provider for correct compensation.

Get in touch with us at info@medicalbillersandcoders.com or call them at 888-357-3226, a top-performing mental health billing firm, if your Google search for “medical billing near me” yields disappointing results. We simplify procedures to maximize compensation, enabling you to concentrate on delivering high-quality patient treatment. We specialize in medical billing for mental health professionals.


  • What are CPT codes for Behavioral Health Billing?

CPT codes are a set of numbers used to identify specific medical procedures and services. In behavioral health billing, CPT codes are used to describe the services provided during a therapy session or psychiatric evaluation.

  • Why are CPT Codes important in Behavioral Health Billing?

CPT codes help healthcare providers and insurance companies understand the type of services provided during a behavioral health session. They also determine how much the insurance company will reimburse the provider for those services.

  • What are some Common CPT Codes used in Behavioral Health Billing?

Common CPT codes in Behavioral Health Billing include:

      • 90834: Individual psychotherapy session, typically lasting 45-50 minutes.
      • 90837: Individual psychotherapy session, typically lasting 60 minutes or longer.
      • 90791: Initial psychiatric evaluation, without medical services.
      • 90847: Family psychotherapy (with the patient present).
  • How do I know which CPT Code to use for a specific service?

The appropriate CPT code depends on the type and length of the service provided. Healthcare providers should carefully document the services rendered during each session to ensure accurate billing.

  • Are there specific guidelines for using CPT Codes in Behavioral Health Billing?

Yes, there are specific guidelines set by the American Medical Association (AMA) for using CPT codes. Healthcare providers need to follow these guidelines to ensure compliance with insurance regulations.

  • Can CPT Codes be used for Telehealth Services in Behavioral Health?

Yes, CPT codes can be used for telehealth services in behavioral health. However, there may be specific codes designated for telehealth sessions, so it’s essential to use the appropriate code for services provided remotely.