Top 20 physical therapy procedure codes

Physical therapy activities are important for patients to develop strength, improve functional performance and work on neuromuscular reeducation. These services are needed after surgery, accidents and other clinical events. 

What are the most common physical therapy procedures? 

Reviewing physical therapy Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes from the Definitive Healthcare ClaimsMx product, the table below lists the physical therapy procedure codes with the highest number of claims in 2021. 

Physical therapy procedure codes with the most claims in 2021

Rank CPT Code CPT Code Description Number of Procedures
1 97110 Therapeutic procedure, 1 or more areas, each 15 minutes; Therapeutic exercises to develop strength and endurance, range of motion and flexibility 89,429,991
2 97140 Manual therapy techniques (mobilization/manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction), 1 or more regions, each 15 minutes 53,111,460
3 97530 Therapeutic activities, direct (one-on-one) patient contact (use of dynamic activities to improve functional performance), each 15 minutes 50,499,116
4 97112 Therapeutic procedure 1 or more areas, each 15 minutes; neuromuscular reeducation of movement, balance, coordination, kinesthetic sense, posture and/or proprioception for sitting and/or standing activities 38,788,635
5 97014 Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; electrical stimulation (unattended) 8,081,365
6 97010 Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; hot or cold packs 7,768,096
7 97116 Therapeutic procedure 1 or more areas, each 15 minutes; gait training (includes stair climbing) 7,251,045
8 97535 Self-care/Home management training (Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and compensatory training, meal preparation, safety procedures and instructions in use of assistive technology devices/adaptive equipment), direct (one-on-one) patient contact, each 15 minutes 7,006,118
9 97161 Physical therapy evaluation: low complexity, 20 minutes face-to-face 5,266,578
10 97012 Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; traction, mechanical 4,062,395
11 97162 Physical therapy evaluation: moderate complexity, 30 minutes face-to-face 3,863,888
12 97035 Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; ultrasound, each 15 minutes 3,312,418
13 97150 Therapeutic procedure(s), group (2 or more individuals) 2,445,876
14 97016 Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; vasopneumatic devices 2,179,115
15 97032 Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; electrical stimulation (manual), each 15 minutes 1,487,512
16 97164 Re-evaluation of physical therapy established plan of care 1,441,843
17 97113 Therapeutic procedure 1 or more areas, each 15 minutes; aquatic therapy with therapeutic exercises 1,051,570
18 97163 Physical therapy evaluation: high complexity, 45 minutes face-to-face 925,685
19 97165 Occupational therapy evaluation: low complexity, 30 minutes face-to-face 912,420
20 97597 Debridement (high pressure waterjet w/wo suction, sharp selective debridement w/ scissors, scalpel and forceps), open wound (fibrin, devitalized epidermis and/or dermis, exudate, debris, biofilm) including topical application(s), wound assessment, for ongoing care 856,050

Fig. 1 - Data is from the Definitive Healthcare ClaimsMx product for calendar year 2021. Claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and is updated monthly. Data is accurate as of March 2022. 

The top physical therapy CPT codes cover therapeutic exercises, techniques, applications and evaluations. With over 89 million claims, CPT code 97110 therapeutic exercises to develop strength and endurance, range of motion and flexibility had the most physical therapy procedures in 2021. Manual therapy techniques for mobilization/manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction (97140) had more than 53 million procedures, and therapeutic activities to improve functional performance (97530) saw over 50 million claims. 

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