CPT Code 90839: Know Your Codes
CPT Code 90839 Description
CPT Code 90839 Description: Psychotherapy for crisis; first 60 minutes. *Billed for the first 60 mins of psychotherapy for a patient in crisis, and add-on code 90840 billed for each additional 30 mins.
CPT code 90839 is the principal code for a crisis psychotherapy session requiring urgent assessment and history of the crisis state, mental status exam and disposition. It is billed for the first 60 minutes of psychotherapy for a patient in crisis. If/when the crisis psychotherapy session lasts longer than 60 minutes, the add-on code, 90840, can be billed for each additional 30 minutes of psychotherapy for crisis. In order for the new crisis codes to apply, the presenting problem must typically be life -threatening or complex and require immediate attention to a patient in high distress.
CPT Code 90839 and 90840
The CPT codes 90839 and 90840 are used for emergency sessions with patients who are in high distress and under complex or life-threatening circumstances that demand immediate attention. Examples of this may include patients who display suicidal intent, disabling anxiety, or other overwhelming psychological symptoms. According to the CPT manual, 90839 and 90840 report an urgent assessment, which includes a history of a crisis state, a disposition, and a mental status exam.
It’s important to note that 90840 is an add-on code that must be used in conjunction with 90839. In a crisis scenario, 90839 is billed for the first 60 minutes (though it can be used for 30-74-minute sessions), and 90840 is billed for each additional 30 minutes. Using both of these codes together requires that the session lasts 75 minutes or longer. If you don’t meet the time required to bill one or both of these two crisis codes, you can bill the standard CPT code for the session, such as 90832 (Individual psychotherapy, 30 minutes).
Billing Recommendations for 90839
- For telehealth sessions use Place of Service code 02 and Telehealth CPT Code Modifiers 95 or GT, depending on the insurance company’s guidelines.
- If your services are performed out of normal business hours, use add-on CPT code 99050. If they’re during the scheduled holiday, weekend, or evening hours use CPT addon code 99051.
- Crisis sessions are not scheduled to perform an authorization phone call within 24 business hours after the session has been performed.
- Medicare Reimbursement for CPT Code 90839: $147.61
- Medicare Reimbursement for CPT Code 90840: $70.74
- Usually, CPT code 90839 does not require prior authorization.
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