CPT codes occupational therapy

CPT codes occupational therapy, 8 minute rule

Occupational therapy CPT codes are used for the purposes of documentation and billing. The 20 most common occupational therapy CPT codes and resources will be covered in this blog.

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What are the CPT codes for OT therapy?

A CPT® (Current Procedural Terminology) code is a numerical code that is used to describe a variety of medical services. These five-digit numbers create a standardized format for healthcare providers and are helpful for documentation and billing. Because occupational therapists focus on helping clients meet goals that are meaningful to them, there are limitless interventions that can be used in occupational therapy. When selecting occupational therapy CPT codes for services, it is important to consider what the therapeutic goal is. Occupational therapy CPT codes are general so they can cover a variety of different interventions.

What are the most common occupational therapy CPT codes?

With the exception of group therapy (CPT Code 97150), occupational therapy CPT codes are based on time, most commonly in 15-minute units. Below are examples of codes that are commonly used for occupational therapy services.


97110Therapeutic procedure, one or more areas, each 15 minutes; therapeutic exercises to develop strength and endurance, range of motion, and flexibility
97112Neuromuscular reeducation of movement, balance, coordination, kinesthetic sense, posture, and/or proprioception for sitting and/or standing activities
97113Aquatic therapy with therapeutic exercises
97116Gait training (includes stair climbing)
97124Massage, including effleurage, petrissage, and/or tapotement (stroking, compression, percussion)
97129 Therapeutic interventions that focus on cognitive function (e.g., attention, memory, reasoning, executive function, problem solving, and/or pragmatic functioning) and compensatory strategies to manage the performance of an activity (e.g., managing time or schedules, initiating, organizing, and sequencing tasks), direct (one-on-one) patient contact; initial 15 minutes
97139Unlisted therapeutic procedure (specify)
97140Manual therapy techniques (e.g., mobilization/manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction) 1 or more regions, each 15 minutes
97150Therapeutic procedure(s), group (2 or more). It is important to note that group therapy is not based on time and is reported for each member of the group)
97530Therapeutic activities, direct (one-on-one) patient contact (use of dynamic activities to improve functional performance), each 15 minutes
97633Sensory integrative techniques to enhance sensory processing and promote adaptive responses to environmental demands, direct (one-on-one) patient contact, each 15 minutes
97535Self-care/home management training (e.g., activities of daily living [ADLs] and compensatory training, meal preparation, safety procedures, and instructions in use of assistive technology devices/adaptive equipment), direct one-on-one contact, each 15 minutes
97537Community/work reintegration training (e.g., shopping, transportation, money management, avocational activities and/or work environment/modification analysis, work task analysis, use of assistive technology device/adaptive equipment), direct one-on-one contact, each 15 minutes
97542Wheelchair management (e.g., assessment, fitting, training), each 15 minutes
97545Work hardening/conditioning; initial 2 hours
97546Each additional hour (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure.) This code is designed to be used with 97545

Evaluation codes for occupational therapy

Occupational therapy evaluation codes are based on the level of client need. A therapist should use the low complexity code if the client has 1-3 performance deficits, a brief medical history, and an occupational profile if the assessment is problem-focused and the outcome has a limited number of treatment options.

As the complexity of the evaluation increases, the criteria to use each CPT® code changes. For a moderate complexity evaluation, a client may have 3-5 performance deficits and require a detailed assessment, medical history, and occupational profile. There may be several treatment options for this client and modifications may need to be given to administer the assessment.

A high complexity occupational therapy evaluation requires a comprehensive assessment, medical history, and occupational profile. This client has five or more performance deficits. Significant modification of an occupation-based assessment may be needed. When using the re-evaluation code, an assessment of changes in performance, medical status, and occupational profile must be documented.

The re-evaluation should include an updated plan of care.
  • CPT CODE 97165 Occupational therapy evaluation, low complexity

  • CPT CODE 97166 Occupational therapy evaluation, moderate complexity

  • CPT CODE 97167 Occupational therapy evaluation, high complexity


  • CPT CODE 97168 Occupational therapy re-evaluation

Billable minutes: 8-minute rule

Many CPT® codes are given in units of 15 minutes. In order to determine correct usage of units when a session is not exactly 15 minutes, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) created an 8-minute rule. This 8-minute rule allows therapists to bill for a unit that lasts at least eight minutes. Some private payers also follow this guideline.

Check with your individual payers for more information.
  • 8-22 minutes = 1 unit

  • 23-37 minutes = 2 units

  • 38-52 minutes = 3 units

  • 53-57 minutes = 4 units

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Use of CPT codes in your private practice

Occupational therapy CPT codes are a helpful way for clinicians to summarize the many services provided in a way that is reimbursable. It is important to verify with the payer that they will pay for the services rendered. Occupational therapy CPT codes are updated on a yearly basis and it is important to review any changes through the American Medical Association or your professional association.

Occupational therapy CPT codes can be managed through TheraPlatform, an all-in-one EHR, practice management and teletherapy tool built specifically for therapists. Try TheraPlatform for free for 30 days. No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

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