Wiki Billing for alcohol/substance abuse INITIAL ASSESSMENTS

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Hi CodingKing,

I started working in behaviroal health about six months ago so I don't have much experience with the specialty. Currently working in the residential center providing RES/PHP/IOP services. My question is in regards to my outpatient clinic coding.

Typically for a patient that is coming in for an INITIAL ASSESSMENT FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE they use the 90791 code, and I was wondering if that is appropriate?

Also, they are experiencing lots of denials for billing 99214/99205 with the psychotherapy code 90833. Can anyone tell me the CORRECT WAY to code for the services above? (Is 99408/99409 involved?)

You can reply here or email me directly at, as I would love to connect with more experience BH/Substance abuse coders :)