Effects of the 2013 psychiatric Current Procedural Terminology codes revision on psychotherapy in psychiatric billing
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the changes to the psychiatric Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes implemented in 2013 were associated with changes in types of services for which psychiatrists billed.
METHODS: Analyses were conducted using paid private insurance claims from a large commercial database. The participant cohort comprised psychiatrists with at least one psychiatry visit reported in the database in each calendar year studied: 2012 (N of visits=778,445), 2013 (N=748,317), and 2014 (N=754,760).
RESULTS: The percentage of visits in which psychiatrists billed for psychotherapy declined from 51.4% in 2012 to 42.1% in 2014. The decline held after the analyses adjusted for patient characteristics, plan type, and region.
CONCLUSIONS: The update to CPT codes resulted in a decrease in visits for which psychiatrists billed for psychotherapy. Further research should explore whether the change in billing corresponds to changes in service delivery.