Hi Jodie. As an auditor and someone who has worked in the billing end of a psych facility for number of years, I can answer some of your questions.
Partial hospitalization (aka intensive outpatient services) in the psych world means that the patient goes to a more structured outpatient therapy environment than an office session. Usually PH lasts about 6-8 hours and the patient goes home at the end of the day (much like work or school). Typical programs can run a week or more. Think of PH as psych services not requiring the overnight stays of a full inpatient psych hospitalization, but requiring much more than a 50-minute office session.
The code series 90816 - 90829 cover inpatient, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment settings for professional services. Some codes are for therapy services alone, while others include an E/M component along with the therapy. All the codes are time-based, so it's important for the provider to document face-to-face time.
Also important to consider are the types of providers you will bill for. Are they psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers? Your state billing laws may vary according to provider types.
Hospital discharge codes 99238 and 99239 bump up against NCCI edits, so it's not advisable to bill the discharge codes when reporting codes 90816 - 90829.
As far as coding resouces go, start with CPT and CPT Assistant. CMS also has some good info on their website. Interestingly enough, CPT published a Handbook for Psychiatrists in 2004, but it's now six years old, so use it with caution.
Best of Luck,
Jettman, CPC, CPC-H
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