Corrected information about 2017 psychotherapy codes

The Practice Organization amends review of current procedural terminology changes.

APA and the Practice Organization are revising a previous statement on the appropriate use of codes 90832, 90834 and 90837 included in the American Medical Association’s current procedural terminology (CPT) manual.

In a PracticeUpdate article published on Nov. 17, 2016, we discussed minor changes to the CPT codes, effective Jan. 1, 2017. The article described the 90832, 90834, 90837 psychotherapy codes’ stated times (30 minutes, 45 minutes and 53 minutes or more, respectively) as relevant only for face-to-face time with the patient. It also stated, “…for psychotherapy services, the 2017 coding manual further explains that a code’s stated time for sessions only applies to face-to-face time with a patient who is present for all or most of their session….No additional time is reported for the time with the informant.”

We are correcting that statement.  It should have read, “The reported time for the codes applies to the patient and may include an informant(s).”

We understand that this information is especially important to our members who often see patients and their families and informants in therapy.

We regret the error.