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Coding Behavioral Health Services: CPT, DSM, and ICD

2013 and 2014 have proven to be “shake up” years for diagnostic and procedure coding for behavioral health services. Effective January 1, 2013, there were significant changes to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for psychiatry and psychotherapy services. A few months later in May, the American Psychiatric Association released the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Effective October 1, 2015 (an unexpected one year delay), the entire U.S. healthcare system will transition to using the new ICD-10-CM code set.

Collectively, these transitions impact clinical diagnoses, billing, contracts, work flow, HIT, compliance protocols, and more. Explore the resources included below to help you navigate these changes.

Procedure Codes: CPT Changes to Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Services
Diagnostic Codes: DSM-5 and ICD-10-CM

The DSM-5 is the primary source used by clinicians for behavioral health diagnoses, but the ICD-10-CM code set is required for reporting and claim submissions. Behavioral health organizations need to have the work flow and technology supports in place to support accurate diagnostic reporting.

Looking for training and support? Check out the National Council’s consulting services.

The National Council is providing these resources to help behavioral health organizations transitions to the new CPT, DSM, and ICD code sets. The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional or legal advice on compliance matters.

CPT® five-digit codes, descriptions, and other data only are copyright 2012 by the American Medical Association (AMA). All Rights Reserved. No fee schedules, basic units, relative values or related listings are included in the CPT®. CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association (AMA).


DSM-5 is a registered trademark and protected by copyright held by the American Psychiatric Association.

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  • SuperCoder

    Get a hold of the descriptors, lay terms and modifiers of CPT codes here

  • JustAThought55

    There are only two resources on this page for transitioning to DSM 5 and both of them are bad. First, It is not possible to obtain a free account to watch the APA Webinar on transitioning to ICD-10 and DSM 5. You have to pay $250 for this 6 hour course.Second, there are 3 links on the APA’s DSM 5 “Implementation and Support” page. The first one is to purchase the DSM V and the next 2 don’t open anything.

    Realize this is not your responsibility – just to let you know that these resources you are promoting are not actually available.

©2015 National Council for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.