Psychotherapy

Published 09/22/2022

Psychotherapy times are for face-to-face services with the patient and/or family member. In order to submit a code for time-based psychotherapy, the time that the therapist spends face-to-face with the beneficiary and/or family member doing psychotherapy must be at least the minimum number of minutes specified by the CPT code. If the face-to-face time spent was less than the minimum, submit the lower code.

ResourceCMS MLN Medicare Mental Health Booklet

Last Reviewed: 9/22/2022

No. Time spent on the E/M service is separate from the time spent on psychotherapy and cannot be included. Time spent on psychotherapy must be documented separately and used as the basis for selecting the appropriate time-based, add-on psychotherapy code.

ResourceCMS MLN Medicare Mental Health Booklet 

Last Reviewed: 9/22/2022

In general, you should use the code that matches closest to the actual time. For example, codes described as 30 minutes can be used for times of 16 to 37 minutes, codes described as 45 minutes can be used for times of 38–52 minutes, and codes described as 60 minutes can be used for times of 53 minutes or longer. Do not report psychotherapy of less than 16 minutes duration.

Resource: CMS MLN Medicare Mental Health Booklet.

Last Reviewed: 9/22/2022