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Adolescent mental health screening codes changed on January 1

Procedure code 99420, which is used during a THSteps checkup to administer and interpret a mental health screening tool in adolescents, is being discontinued by the 2017 HCPCS code updates.  Effective January 1, 2017, THSteps providers should use procedure code 96160 or 96161 for mental health screenings in adolescents 12 through 18 years of age.

A mental health screening must be submitted with procedure code 96160 for a screening tool completed by the adolescent, or procedure code 96161 for a screening tool completed by the parent or caregiver on behalf of the adolescent. When claims with procedure code 96160 or 96161 are submitted for mental health screenings, one of the validated, standardized mental health screening tools recognized by THSteps must be used.

Only one procedure code (96160 or 96161) may be reimbursed for the mental health screening per client per lifetime based on the description of the procedure code and the service rendered. Procedure codes 96160 and 96161 will not be reimbursed for the same client for any date of service. Procedure code 96160 or 96161 must be submitted with the same date of service by the same provider as procedure code 99384, 99385, 99394, or 99395.

More information on THSteps checkups and preventive medical checkup diagnosis codes is available on the THSteps website.