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HELP! CPT 90837 or 90847

  1. Question HELP! CPT 90837 or 90847
    Medical Coding Books
    What is the difference between these codes? Can they be used interchangably to bill family therapy?

  2. #2
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    90837
    Psychotherapy, 60 minutes with patient and/or family member
    Lay description-
    Psychotherapy is a variety of treatment techniques in which a physician or other qualified health care provider helps a patient with a mental illness or behavioral disturbance identify and alleviate any emotional disruptions, maladaptive behavioral patterns, and contributing/exacerbating factors. This treatment also involves encouraging personality growth and development through coping techniques and problem-solving skills. Report 90837 for 53 minutes or more of face-to-face time spent with the patient without an additional evaluation and management (E/M) service. Report 90838 if a separate E/M service is performed during the same encounter as the 53 minutes or more of psychotherapy.

    90847
    Family psychotherapy (conjoint psychotherapy) (with patient present)

    Lay Description

    The therapist provides family psychotherapy in a setting where the care provider meets with the patient's family jointly with the patient. The family is part of the patient evaluation and treatment process. Family dynamics as they relate to the patient's mental status and behavior are a main focus of the sessions. Attention is also given to the impact the patient's condition has on the family, with therapy aimed at improving the interaction between the patient and family members. Reviewing records, communicating with other providers, observing and interpreting patterns of behavior and communication between the patient and family members, and decision making regarding treatment, including medication management or any physical exam related to the medication, is included.
    Brittany Purcell, CPC

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