(732) 520-8877

90834 CPT Code: A Guide For Accurate Billing

90834 CPT Code

In the world of medical billing, the CPT code 90834 holds a significant role. It’s the key that unlocks the reimbursement process for psychotherapy sessions lasting 45 minutes. This specific code, known as CPT code 90834, plays a crucial part in ensuring that healthcare providers are compensated fairly for their services. 

Understanding the ins and outs of this code, including the 90834 reimbursement rate and procedure code 90834, is vital for both providers and medical billers.CPT code 90834 is not just a number; it represents a standardized way to communicate the nature and duration of psychotherapy sessions.

 In this article, we’ll explore what CPT code 90834 entails, Simplifying its description, reimbursement aspects, and billing procedures. This guide will help you navigate the world of CPT code 90834 with clarity and confidence.

Understanding CPT Code 90834

CPT code 90834 is a specific code used in medical billing to describe a 45-minute psychotherapy session. It’s a numeric representation that simplifies the complex process of documenting and billing for psychological and psychiatric services.

 To understand CPT code 90834 fully, we need to break down its description, reimbursement details, and billing implications. When we talk about CPT code 90834, we’re essentially discussing a standardized way to communicate the type and duration of a patient’s therapy session. 

This code streamlines the administrative side of healthcare, ensuring that patients receive the care they need while providers and medical billers can accurately document and bill for their services. So, let’s take a closer look at what this code entails, including its description, reimbursement specifics, and the steps involved in billing using CPT code 90834.

Components of CPT Care

When it comes to understanding the care components of the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes, it’s important to break down the complexity and focus on clarity. CPT codes play a crucial role in the medical billing process, ensuring that healthcare services are accurately documented and reimbursed by insurance providers.

Medical Code 90834:

CPT code 90834 corresponds to psychotherapy services, typically a 45-minute session with a qualified mental health professional. In this context, the care component of CPT revolves around the therapeutic interaction between the provider and the patient.

Insurance Code 90834:

The insurance code 90834 is used by medical billing companies to communicate with insurance providers regarding the psychotherapy services rendered. When dealing with insurance, the care component involves verifying the patient’s coverage, submitting claims, and ensuring that the necessary documentation, such as treatment notes and diagnostic codes, supports the medical necessity of the services provided.

3:Diagnosis Code 90834:

The diagnosis code 90834 is an integral part of the care component, representing the clinical justification for the psychotherapy session. This code signifies the patient’s mental health diagnosis, which guides the treatment approach. 

Choosing Between 90834 and 90837: Which CPT Code to Use?

CPT Code 90834 (Procedure Code 90834):

CPT code 90834, also known as procedure code 90834, is essential in medical billing. It is used to denote a specific type of psychotherapy session. In simple terms, when a therapy session with a patient lasts for 45 minutes, you should use CPT code 90834. This code is particularly valuable for healthcare providers and medical billers.

CPT Code 90837 (Procedure Code 90837):

On the other hand, we have CPT code 90837, also referred to as procedure code 90837. This code is used when a psychotherapy session extends for 60 minutes. Providers and billers need to distinguish between 90834 and 90837. When the therapy session exceeds the 45-minute mark and reaches an hour, you should use CPT code 90837 for accurate billing.

Stressed by medical billing? Call us now, and let our specialists create a customized billing strategy for your practice.

Additional Codes for Billing Alongside CPT Code 90834

Here are the three most common add-on CPT codes to use when billing 90834:

CPT Code



Interactive complexity. Example: play therapy using dolls or other toys. This interactive complexity add-on code is not necessarily a payable expense. This code only indicates that the treatment is complex.


Services provided in the office at times other than regularly scheduled office hours, or days when the office is normally closed.


Services are provided in the office during regularly scheduled evening, weekend, or holiday office hours.

CPT Code 90834 Reimbursement Rate

The reimbursement rate can vary based on several factors, including your location, insurance provider, and the specific contract you have in place.

On average, Medicare reimburses approximately 70-80% of the approved amount for CPT code 90834, and private insurance companies typically follow a similar range. However, it’s crucial to check with your specific insurance providers or Medicare to get the most accurate reimbursement rate for your region.

It’s worth noting that if a session extends beyond 45 minutes and reaches 60 minutes, there’s another code, CPT 90837, that applies. This code represents a 60-minute psychotherapy session. 

The Significance of Precise Coding

Accurate coding in medical billing is paramount. It ensures that healthcare providers and medical billers navigate the complex landscape effectively, benefitting both patients and practices.

Precision with CPT Code 90834: Using the correct CPT code, such as 90834, ensures that mental health services, like psychotherapy, are accurately documented. This not only avoids billing errors but also allows providers to receive appropriate reimbursement for their services.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes with CPT 90834: Mistakes related to code 90834 can lead to claim denials and delays in payment. Accurate coding reduces these setbacks, enabling a smoother revenue cycle for medical practices.

Enhancing Compliance with Code 90834: Correct coding aligns with regulatory requirements, ensuring that providers maintain compliance with industry standards. This not only mitigates risks but also fosters trust among patients and insurance entities.

90834 CPT Code Description

If you’re looking for clarity on the 90834 CPT code, you’re in the right place. In essence, CPT code 90834 is your go-to for individual psychotherapy sessions that run for approximately 45 minutes. It’s a critical code for providers and medical billers, as it accurately represents these pivotal therapeutic encounters. Remember, it’s all about facilitating effective communication and ensuring proper billing, so you can focus on providing quality care without the hassle of decoding complicated jargon.

The time Range for 90834 CPT Code

Here’s a table for the time range for psychotherapy CPT codes 90834 and 90837:

CPT Code

Time Range


38-52 minutes


53 minutes or more

For CPT 90834, the time range falls between 38 and 52 minutes, while CPT 90837 mandates a session of 53 minutes or more. Understanding these distinctions is paramount for providers and medical billers alike, as they play a pivotal role in accurate billing and reimbursement processes.

Maximize your practice's revenue today. Call now to speak with our expert medical billing team.

Factors Influencing the Reimbursement Rate for CPT Code 90834

1:Complexity of the 90834 CPT Code

The complexity of the services rendered under CPT code 90834 significantly influences its reimbursement rate. This code represents a 60-minute psychotherapy session, typically involving individual or family therapy. The more complex the therapy session, the higher the potential reimbursement rate.

2:Geographic Location

Another factor to consider is the geographic location where the services are provided. Different regions may have varying reimbursement rates for the same CPT code 90834. Factors like cost of living and local healthcare demand can impact these regional differences.

3:Payer Policies

The policies and guidelines of the insurance payer involved also play a role in determining the reimbursement rate for 90834. Different insurance companies may have varying fee schedules and reimbursement methodologies for this code. Staying informed about each payer’s policies is essential for accurate billing.

How can I be reimbursed for 90837?

If you’re a medical provider or biller seeking reimbursement for CPT code 90837, it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs of this procedure code. Code 90837 corresponds to psychotherapy services provided for approximately 53 minutes. To ensure a successful reimbursement process, you must accurately document and code your services.

Start by maintaining detailed records of the therapy session, including the start and end times, as precise timekeeping is essential. Additionally, ensure that your documentation clearly outlines the medical necessity and appropriateness of the 53-minute session, aligning with the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan.

When submitting your claim, use CPT code 90837 to indicate the specific service provided. Be sure to follow any coding guidelines and modifiers required by your insurance provider or payer. It’s also advisable to include a clear and concise description of the therapy session’s purpose and goals in your documentation.

 By adhering to these practices and staying up-to-date with any coding changes or updates related to 90837, you can maximize your chances of a successful reimbursement for your psychotherapy services.

Effective Approaches for Error Prevention

When dealing with the 90834 CPT code, it’s crucial to prevent errors to ensure accurate medical billing. These strategies will help you maintain accuracy and efficiency in your billing processes.

Strategies to Prevent Mistakes with 90834 CPT Code:

Documentation Review: Review patient records and clinical notes meticulously to ensure they align with the 90834 CPT code requirements. Look for any discrepancies or missing information that could lead to billing errors.

Stay Updated on Code Changes: Keep yourself updated with the latest changes and updates related to the 90834 CPT code. Medical billing codes can evolve, and staying informed helps you avoid using outdated codes that can lead to claim rejections.

Frequent Training and Audit Checks: Conduct regular training sessions for your billing team to reinforce proper coding practices. Implement routine audits to identify and rectify any billing errors promptly. This proactive approach helps maintain accuracy in your medical billing processes.

Qualifications Needed to Bill for CPT Code 90834

One of these mental health provider licenses are required for rendering 45-minute individual outpatient therapy sessions:

1.Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

2.Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)

3.Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT)

4.Clinical Psychologists (PsyD or Ph.D.)

5.Psychiatrists (MD)

6.Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC)

Final thoughts

In the complex world of medical billing, the 90834 CPT code shines as a beacon of clarity. It’s the key to fair reimbursement for 45-minute psychotherapy sessions. Whether you’re a seasoned provider or a skilled biller, this guide has unraveled the mysteries surrounding the 90834 CPT code. 

You can confidently navigate the realm of psychotherapy billing, armed with knowledge about descriptions, reimbursement rates, and best practices. Remember, accurate coding is crucial for seamless billing and ensuring you receive fair compensation for your valuable services. So, embrace the simplicity of the 90834 CPT code and optimize your healthcare practice today!”

Search Here

Recent Post

Need more help?

Get A Free Practice Audit!

Get Free Medical Billing Audit