Q:I am frequently called in to do a crisis intervention in a
clinic where the patient is in psychotherapy with a nonphysician. What
CPT code should I use for this crisis intervention?
A: There is no code for a crisis intervention per se. You must
choose the code that best describes the care provided. For example, if you do
a psychiatric evaluation of the patient, then 90801 is the appropriate code.
If you provide 45 to 50 minutes of psychotherapy with evaluation and
management to determine appropriate medications for the patient, use code
90807. If you provide psychotherapy to the patient with the family present,
use code 90847, or if you meet with the family in the patient's absence, use
code 90846. As with all coding, you must select the code that most closely
describes the service you provided, and the documentation in the patient's
record should support your selection.
If you have specific questions about how to code, submit them to
APA's coding network by e-mail at
or fax at (703) 907-1089. ▪