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Clinical Social Worker Coding

  1. Default Clinical Social Worker Coding
    Medical Coding Books
    Our primary care clinic just brought on board a clinical social worker. Do I code these encounters the same way I would code a social worker in the psychology clinic? The clinical social worker said the only difference between being a clinical and a counseling social worker is that a clinical social worker can actually diagnose patients - so are they performing the same services, just with the addition of using a diagnosis?

  2. #2
    LCSW's don't bill E/M services. They have an entirely separate set of rules. There are also a minimal number of CPT codes that they use. Depending upon what type of service your counselor is performing, they normally have one session a week with a client (they like to refer to "patients" as clients, at least the ones I've dealt with) & that code is a 90806

    The most commonly used codes for LCSWs are 90801, 90802, 90806, 90808, 90812, 90814, 90846, & 90847.

    They also use a "DSM-IV" code as their ICD-9 diagnosis code. You always want to double check for specificity.

  3. #3
    DSM doesn't always "crosswalk" to the correct ICD-9 codes. We just had this problem with Asperger's and Pervasive Developmental Disorder diagnoses are being coded as Rhett's. We just changed our EHR and the new EHR uses ICD-9. This has sent our clinicans into a panic. lol

    There is also the possiblity that they will be providing Health and Behavior Assessments, which is different than treating the mental illness.

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