CPT Code 90832: The Definitive Guide [+2020 Reimbursement Rates]

Billing CPT Code 90832 is becoming less and less common for mental health providers across the United States.  Today you’ll learn how and when to procedure code 90832 for coding and filing your mental health insurance claims.

CPT Code 90832 Description

CPT Code 90832 is a insurance billing procedure code describing individual psychotherapy services rendered for 30 minutes by a licensed mental health provider.

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Insurance companies require coders, billers, or therapists to use CPT Code 90832 for a 30 minute routine outpatient therapy appointments.  Appointments billed as 90832 may also include an additional family member or caregiver.

If you’re struggling to figure out the right CPT codes to use for your mental health insurance claims, consider hiring our billing service to help.  Otherwise, read on..

cpt code 90832

CPT Code 90832 Time Length

Procedure code 90832 is defined as a session of 30 minutes.  Medicare advises not to bill for sessions less than 16 minutes in length.  (Source).

90832 vs 90834 vs 90837

The only difference between 90832 (the other commonly used CPT code) and 90834 or 90837 is the time of the psychotherapy session. Not every therapist does sessions at these exact time intervals.

So what about sessions in between, say 35 minutes. Which CPT code would apply?

  • 90832 should be billed for sessions between 16-37 minutes.
  • 90834 should be billed for sessions between 38-52 minutes.
  • 90837 should be billed for sessions 53 minutes or longer.

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If you’re looking for the whole list of mental health CPT codes for therapists, you can review our Definitive Guide to CPT Codes here.

90832 License Level Requirements:

License Level Requirements for billing CPT Code 90832 for 30 minute individual psychotherapy sessions:

  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
  • Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Clinical Psychologists (PsyD or PhD)
  • Psychiatrists (MD)

Can I Bill CPT Code 90832 + 99354 for Longer Sessions?

We recommend you follow the above coding guidelines.  If the session is longer, bill 90834 or 90837.  Sessions longer than 60 minutes should be billed as 90837 with add-on code(s).

Read more about billing longer sessions in our Definitive Guide to CPT Code 90837.

Does 90832 Require Authorization?

Not typically.. 90832 is a routine procedure code (90834 and 90837 are too). As a result, it does not normally require authorization.

However, there are some exceptions. If you bill with us we can also call on your behalf to find out.

CPT Code 90832 Reimbursement Rates

90832 reimbursement rates

90832 always reimburses less than 90834 and 90837, but similar per unit of time. This is usually around 75% of the 90834 reimbursement rate and around 50% of 90837.

Most providers find it works better for them to do fewer, but longer sessions, although some do opt for a higher number of shorter sessions.

CPT Code 90832 Reimbursement Rates (2020, Medicare): $71.10

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Is 90832 Billed Frequently?

No. Most therapists typically have longer sessions than 30 minutes. In our experience as billers for mental health professionals, CPT codes 90834 and 90837 are billed far more frequently than 90832.

Does Medicare Approve 98032?

Yes, Medicare considers this routine. If you are an approved Medicare provider you can bill this code.

Does Medicaid Approve CPT Code 90832?

Generally, yes. Medicaid companies do often have a lot of requirements that vary by state and company. We strongly recommend calling beforehand. This is where a professional billing service, such as TheraThink can help.

Where Does The Procedure Code Go On A Claim

Just like other CPT codes, it should go in the 24(c) location of a CMS 1500.

cpt code 90832

90832 on CMS 1500.

Applicable Add-On Codes to 90832

For providers eligible to bill E/M (Evaluation & Management) services, they can bill 90833 with 90832. There are  informative webinars by the AACAP on E/M codes. Each of the routine psychotherapy codes has an add-on E/M code.

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