Speech therapy is a healthcare service provided by speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists, to individuals with communication and swallowing disorders. In order for speech therapists to bill for their services, they must use Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, which are a set of codes established by the American Medical Association (AMA) to standardize the reporting of medical procedures.
When a speech therapist first sees a patient, they will conduct an evaluation to determine the patient’s communication abilities. This evaluation may include a variety of tests and measurements such as language assessments, voice assessments, and fluency assessments. The CPT code used for this initial evaluation is 92507, which is the code for the evaluation of speech, language, voice, or fluency.
After the initial evaluation, the therapist will create a treatment plan for the patient. The treatment plan will include the specific techniques that the therapist will use to help the patient improve their communication abilities. These techniques may include articulation therapy, language therapy, and voice therapy. The CPT code used for the treatment of speech, language, voice, or fluency disorder is 92526.
As the patient progresses, the therapist will reassess their abilities to determine if their treatment plan needs to be adjusted. This reassessment is known as a re-evaluation and the CPT code used for this service is 92508, which is the code for a re-evaluation of speech, language, voice, or fluency.
If a patient is experiencing difficulty swallowing or has a condition that affects their ability to swallow, the therapist may also conduct a swallowing evaluation. The CPT code used for the assessment of swallowing function is 92597.
It’s also important to note that these codes should be used in conjunction with the appropriate diagnostic codes, such as those from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes, to fully describe the patient’s condition and treatment.
When billing for speech therapy services, therapists must also consider the duration of the service. CPT codes are based on the length of the service, with different codes being used for different duration of service. For example, a 15-minute session would be billed differently than a 45-minute session.
Additionally, different codes may be used for different setting of service such as in-person therapy, teletherapy, or group therapy.
It’s essential for therapist to understand the different reimbursement policies for speech therapy services of different insurance companies. They should check with the insurance company to ensure that the correct codes are used and that the services will be covered.
In conclusion, speech therapists use CPT codes to bill for their services. The codes are used to report the type of service provided, the duration of the service, and the setting of service. Additionally, diagnostic codes should also be used to fully describe the patient’s condition and treatment. It’s important for speech therapists to understand the different CPT codes and how to use them correctly in order to ensure that their billing is accurate and that their services will be covered by the patient’s insurance.