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Psychiatric Practice and Managed Care APA Office of Healthcare Systemsand Financing
CPT Q&A: Coding for Crisis Interventions
Psychiatric News
Volume 41 Number 21 page 19-19

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 hsf@psych.org or fax at (703) 907-1089.

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