6 min read

CPT Codes for PT & OT

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are essential to the healthcare ecosystem. They are standardized descriptors for the medical procedures and services healthcare professionals provide, including physical and occupational therapists.

CPT codes facilitate communication between healthcare providers, insurers, and regulatory bodies. Using these codes, therapists can accurately describe the specific interventions and treatments to improve their patient's physical abilities. These codes are essential for accurate billing and comprehensive documentation, ensuring reimbursement and patient care integrity.

Moreover, precision in coding ensures compliance with regulatory requirements, safeguarding reimbursement integrity and quality patient care. CPT codes are more than just numbers; they are the indispensable markers that encapsulate the essence of therapeutic interventions. They help therapists provide patients with the best possible care while ensuring accurate billing and regulatory compliance.

Physical Therapy CPT Codes

97110 Therapeutic exercises

97530 Therapeutic activities

97140 Manual therapy

97112 Neuromuscular reeducation

97116 Gait training therapy 

97535 Self-care management training 

97014 Electric stimulation therapy 

97010 Hot or cold packs therapy

97161 PT evaluation low complex

97012 Mechanical traction therapy

97162 PT evaluation mod complex

97150 Group therapeutic procedures

97035 Therapeutic ultrasound

97016 Vasopneumatic device therapy

97032 Manual electrical stimulation 

Occupational Therapy CPT Codes

97530 Therapeutic activity (one-on-one patient contact) 

97535 Self-care or home management training

97112 Neuromuscular re-education

97633 Sensory integrative techniques to promote adaptive responses

97110 Therapeutic procedures

97140 Manual therapy techniques

97113 Aquatic therapy

97150 Group therapy

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Considerations and Best Practices
Accuracy in Coding

Precision in coding is foundational. It demands a thorough understanding of CPT guidelines and a keen eye for selecting the most appropriate code for each therapeutic intervention. Accurate coding ensures that the services provided are accurately represented, leading to proper reimbursement and adherence to regulatory standards.

Detailed Documentation

Comprehensive and detailed documentation is the cornerstone of substantiating the use of specific CPT codes. It goes beyond mere billing—it tells the story of the patient's journey through therapy, providing a comprehensive narrative of the treatments provided, the progress achieved, and the therapeutic goals pursued. Detailed documentation supports accurate coding and facilitates continuity of care and collaboration among healthcare providers.

Compliance with Regulatory Updates

The healthcare landscape is in a constant state of evolution. CPT codes undergo periodic revisions and updates. Staying informed about these changes is crucial for compliance with current standards and regulations. Therapists and billing specialists must remain vigilant, continually updating their knowledge base to ensure adherence to the latest coding guidelines and regulatory requirements.

Verification of Insurance Coverage

Not all services covered by therapists may align with insurance reimbursement policies. It's imperative to verify which CPT codes are reimbursable by different insurance providers. This verification process helps manage patient expectations, avoids billing discrepancies, and ensures transparency in communicating potential out-of-pocket costs to patients.

Adherence to Ethical Coding Practices

Adhering to ethical coding practices is non-negotiable. This involves abstaining from upcoding (billing for a more complex or higher-cost service than what was performed) or unbundling (separately billing for bundled services). Ethical coding practices maintain the integrity of healthcare billing and contribute to a transparent and trustworthy healthcare system.

Continuous Education and Training

The landscape of healthcare is dynamic. Continuous education and training are essential for therapists and billing specialists to stay abreast of changes in CPT codes, coding guidelines, and industry best practices. Professional development and ongoing education ensure that healthcare professionals maintain competency and proficiency in accurately utilizing CPT codes.

Collaboration and Communication

Effective communication and collaboration among therapists, billing specialists, and other healthcare professionals are fundamental. Clear communication ensures accurate coding and documentation, prevents misunderstandings, and fosters a cohesive approach to delivering high-quality patient care.


CPT codes are a vital link between therapists' expertise and the complex healthcare billing and documentation systems. They summarize the essence of each therapy session, encapsulating therapists' dedication, expertise, and commitment to helping patients on their path to recovery and improved well-being.

The precision of coding is of utmost importance. Accurate coding ensures fair reimbursement for services and contributes significantly to transparent documentation. This documentation is not just about financial transactions; it represents the quality of care delivered, forming the foundation of effective communication among healthcare providers, payers, and regulatory bodies.

Furthermore, as the healthcare landscape evolves, so do CPT codes. These changes reflect advancements in therapy techniques, emerging research, and evolving patient needs. Therapists must stay informed, embrace these changes, and update their knowledge to ensure compliance and the highest level of patient care.

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