Medical Billing and Coding Basics for Physical Therapy

As with all other medical-related fields, the professionals and experts primarily chose the industry because they have a thirst for helping people in need. But once they open their own practice, they also have to become knowledgeable in medical billing and the basic coding types. In physical therapy, medical billing and coding are essential. Even though it is a practice, that office is the professional’s bread and butter. A solid and thorough understanding of medical billing becomes vital for survival.

Already feeling like a burden? Don’t think any more about it. We have already compiled some vital information that may provide some headway on this.

Types of Billing Codes

We know how professionals are insistent on adhering to the rules and regulations provided by regulatory bodies and associations. The codes which are described below have been derived from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Medical Association (AMA).


This code is derived from the most recent version of the International Classification of Diseases. The APTA opines that the first code that the first diagnosis codes professional use should be as a result of the medic’s diagnosis. What this means is that your main diagnosis code should reflect the reason for the patient’s visit to your office.

Other codes that follow after the first primary code may be to describe other secondary conditions you may have diagnosed.


The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) was designed by the American Medical Association (AMA). You must have heard of the CPT. It is widely used and accepted by both public and private health programs. Similar to the ICD, it is critical for the physical therapist to utilize ICD codes properly. The code must match the service offered to the patient.

Service or Software

We are in an age of new and changing technology. When it comes to medical billing and coding, there are a number of technological options available.


There are several billing software options available to physical therapists. The sophisticated software has electronic record-keeping systems that allow for accurate billing among other key features. Software of such a nature reduces the probability of double-entry and other errors associated with data entry. Other benefits of using the software include: claim tracking, invoicing, and billing of patients, and preparation of customized reports.

It goes without saying that you must check that your software solution is HIPAA compliant.

Use of a third-party service

Outsourced physical therapy billing services are also available for those who wish to have an off-hand option. You will have to perform thorough research and due diligence on the service company that you engage. The service company must be able to provide a billing option that merges seamlessly with your current operations and also quick in producing quick and accurate claims and reports.