Therapeutic Exercise CPT Code 97110: Definition & Use Cases (2023)

Therapeutic exercises are movements, physical activities, and stretches designed to restore normal movement in a joint, increase strength where weakness is present, or decrease pain that is impairing the patient’s range of motion. Usually, patients receiving physical therapy for an injury or a chronic condition, have therapeutic exercise incorporated into their treatment plan by their therapists.

The physical therapist talks with the patient, performs functional tests to assess their condition, and works with them to develop a regimen of therapeutic exercises to promote healing and improve general strength or flexibility. CPT codes are standardized medical codes used by physical therapists to bill for their services. In this blog post, the CPT code 97110 for therapeutic exercise and its usage is covered, along with a brief look into the recently introduced remote monitoring CPT codes.

Therapeutic Exercise CPT Code 97110: Definition & Use Cases (1)

What is CPT code 97110?

CPT code 97110 is officially defined as “therapeutic exercises to develop strength, endurance, range of motion, and flexibility.” It can be applied to single or multiple body parts and requires direct contact with a qualified medical professional.

Therapeutic exercises include:

  • Range-of-motion exercises (passive, assisted, and active)
  • Progressive resistive exercises
  • Balance or Strength training
  • Aerobic conditioning

Similar to other CPTs, 97110 is billed in increments of 15 minutes, beyond the 8-minute rule of direct contact work with the patient. The eight-minute rule is a way to calculate how many units of time-based services a patient has availed in one visit. The therapist must perform the service for a minimum of eight minutes in order to count toward one full unit.

The reimbursement rate for CPT code 97110 is $31.40.The following information must be included in the Physical Therapy Notes to justify reimbursement of this CPT:

(Video) CPT Code 97110 vs CPT Code 97530 | Medicare Billing & Documentation

  1. A diagnosis to support Physical Therapy such as muscle weakness and impaired mobility.
  2. Target therapy exercise is aimed at developing strength and endurance, increasing or maintaining range of motion and flexibility.
  3. The therapist spends time directly with the patient administering the therapy services.

Modifiers GP(Outpatient Physical Therapy), GO (Outpatient Occupational Therapy), GN (Outpatient Speech-Language Pathology), CO (Outpatient Occupational Therapy by an Occupational Therapy Assistant (completely or partially)), CQ (Outpatient Physical Therapy by a Physical Therapist Assistant (completely or partially)), can be used for CPT code 97110.

The 97110 CPT code can be used for physical and occupational therapy, as well as chiropractic services. The 52 modifier should never be used with the 97110 CPT code if the therapy service time is less than 8 minutes.

The CPT code 97110 therapeutic procedure

CPT 97110 is a set of exercises and therapeutic procedures that will allow an injured person’s strength and ability to move around to be restored. The procedure could cover one or more parts of the body and involves direct contact with a qualified healthcare professional.

The following types of exercises are included:

  1. Strengthening Exercises— Biceps Curls, Shoulder Press, Bent over row, squats, bridging
  2. Endurance Exercises— Treadmill, Cycle Ergometer
  3. ROM—- Passive, Active Assistive, Active
  4. Flexibility Exercises—- Forward lunges, Side lunges, Knees to chest

Therapists use this code when they create a set of exercises that restores flexibility, strength, endurance, or range of motion in one or more areas of the body. Examples of exercises that may be billed under this code include using free weights to increase arm strength and walking on a treadmill to build endurance.

What documentation is required for the 97110 CPT Code?

For documenting CPT 97110, there are a few requirements that need to be kept in mind. The body part/s treated must be included, specifying the muscles and/or joints. The specific exercises that were performed must also be listed. For example, CPT 97110 activities could include:

  • active, assisted, or passive range of motion for improved joint mobility.
  • resistance exercises that build muscle strength and endurance
    (to be specified whether isometric, isokinetic, or isotonic)
  • stretching exercises that improve flexibility
    (type of stretch needs to be specified – active, ballistic, pre-contraction, or other)
  • exercise to improve heart and lung health, such as walking on a treadmill or using an arm ergometer.

The purpose of each exercise in relation to achieving a specific functional goal needs to be mentioned. Therapeutic exercises aim at improving a single parameter such as ROM or increasing strength as opposed to an overall improvement in the capability to perform a specific task (therapeutic activity). Progressive therapy exercises will result in being able to perform real-life movements like ADLs. But tasks like ADLs, work activities, and other pursuits are included in CPT 97530 Therapeutic Activities.

(Video) Confusing Codes for Chiropractors 🤷‍♀️ 97110 versus 97112 versus 97530

For CPT 97110 documentation, it is necessary to provide information about the volume and validation of the exercise. This means recording the number of sets and repetitions, the amount of resistance (weight, force, or torque) used during each set, and the duration of the hold. The technique for determining resistance in this instance should also be mentioned. One common approach is to use a percentage of the patient’s one-rep max or their maximum voluntary isometric contraction.

Lastly, a description and subsequent changes in how the patient felt at the end of the exercise including muscle tightness should also be documented.

Introduction of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring

With the evolution of remote therapy practices and the adoption of advanced technologies like motion tracking and AI to aid with physical therapy, the CMS has added new CPT codes to cater to this new field. Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) services deal with musculoskeletal conditions and respiratory systems. It is not intended to act upon the body’s physiological processes. Rather, its focus is on therapy, adherence, and response rates.

Like the existing Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), RTM will involve patients wearing sensor-equipped devices at home to monitor their health. RTM’s billing structure is also similar to RPM’s. One notable aspect is that unless clinical staff are directly supervised by a physician or other qualified professional, they cannot provide RTM services. Currently, only physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, clinical psychologists, and other QHCPs can bill for services under RTM.

Following are the 5 most common RTM CPT codes.

98975: Initial Set-up and Patient Education

Includes instruction in the use of equipment, as well as its installation and setup.

98976: Supply of Device for Monitoring Respiratory System

Includes supply of device(s) along with scheduled (e.g., daily) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor the respiratory system, every 30 days.

(Video) Overview of PT CPT Codes and BIlling

98977: Supply of Device for Monitoring Musculoskeletal System

Supply of device(s) along with scheduled (e.g., daily) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor the musculoskeletal system, every 30 days.

98980 – 81: Monitoring / Treatment Management Services

Includes treatment management services provided by a physician or qualified healthcare professional in a calendar month with at least one interactive communication with the patient or caregiver during the calendar month. The initial 20 minutes are billed under 98980 and each additional 20 minutes after that are billed under 98981.

Different reimbursement rates are applied to different CPT codes based on the level of skill and time needed to complete a given therapy session. Some activities require more knowledge than others and must be performed by a professional. Some exercises could be guided by evolved Physical Therapy technology platforms such as Kemtai, which use motion tracking technology coupled with AI to deliver exceptional virtual exercise services that markedly improve patient adherence and free up the therapist’s bandwidth, boosting productivity.


Is CPT 97110 physical therapy?

The 97110 CPT code can be used for physical and occupational therapy, as well as chiropractic services.

(Video) When to Bill CPT Code 97750 Part 1

What is the difference between 97110 and 97530?

Choosing 97530(Therapeutic Activities) or 97110 (Therapeutic Exercises) depends on the intent of the task. For instance, squatting could be used for strengthening purposes and billed under therapeutic exercise(97110). However, if the patient is squatting in order to pick up something from the floor then it can be coded as a therapeutic activity (97530).

What modifier is used with CPT 97110?

(Video) How to Document Therapeutic Activity (CPT code 97530)

Modifiers GP(Outpatient Physical Therapy), GO (Outpatient Occupational Therapy), GN (Outpatient Speech-Language Pathology), CO (Outpatient Occupational Therapy by an Occupational Therapy Assistant (completely or partially)), CQ (Outpatient Physical Therapy by a Physical Therapist Assistant (completely or partially)), can be used for CPT code 97110.


What is CPT code 97110 used for? ›

CPT® code 97110: Therapy procedure using exercise to develop strength, endurance, range of motion and flexibility, each 15 minutes.

What is therapeutic exercises 97110? ›

CPT code 97110 is defined as “therapeutic exercises to develop strength, endurance, range of motion and flexibility.” It applies to a single or multiple body parts, and requires direct contact with a qualified healthcare professional.

What can be billed as therapeutic exercise? ›

CPT Code 97110- Therapeutic Exercise

Therapeutic exercises are movements that are typically performed to prevent loss of range of motion, maintain or improve muscular strength or increase flexibility, following either an injury or surgery.

What qualifies as therapeutic activities? ›

Specific examples include hand assembly activities, transfers (chair to bed, lying to sitting, etc.), swinging, catching, lunging and throwing. (In contrast to therapeutic exercise which uses one parameter-strength, ROM, flexibility).

What is an example of a therapeutic activity CPT code? ›

The CPT code 97530 is a therapeutic activity that covers a broad range of rehabilitative techniques involving movement of the entire body which may include such activities as bending, lifting, carrying, reaching, catching, transfers and overhead activities to improve functional performance in a progressive manner.

What is the difference between therapeutic exercise and activity? ›

When a patient is expected to reach multiple outcomes by performing their therapeutic movements, they are engaging in an therapeutic activity. When only one outcome is expected, they are performing a therapeutic exercise.

Which of the following are activities that should be coded as CPT code 97110 therapeutic exercise? ›

CPT code 97110 describes foundational occupational therapy exercises that help improve a patient's strength and range of motion. Therapeutic exercises include treadmill for endurance, gymnastic ball for stretching, isokinetic exercise for range of motion, lumbar stabilization exercise for flexibility and more.

What is the main goal of a therapeutic exercise program? ›

The goals of therapeutic exercises include the restoration of movement, improvement of function and strength, improvement in gait and balance, and the prevention and the promotion of health, wellness, and fitness. Specific exercises are aimed at restoring strength, power and work, or endurance, or a combination.

What is the difference between manual therapy and therapeutic exercise? ›

Manual therapy achieves a faster reduction in pain perception than therapeutic exercise. Therapeutic exercise reduces disability faster than manual therapy. Clinical improvement could potentially be influenced by central processes.

How many types of therapeutic exercise are there? ›

This modality increases overall strength and comes in three forms: isotonic, isometric, and isokinetic. Isotonic consists of dynamic movements with a constant load. Isokinetic involves a constant velocity with variable load. Isometric involves muscle contraction that is static with no change in muscle length.

What are the classification of therapeutic exercise? ›

On the basis of the methods of execution of therapeutic exercises can be categorized in two broad groups - active exercise and passive exercise. In active exercise the movement is produced by the contraction of muscle whereas passive exercise uses some external force to produce the movement.

Is therapeutic exercise physical therapy? ›

Therapeutic exercise is one of the tools physical therapists commonly use during patient rehabilitation. This type of exercise helps restore muscular and skeletal function and corrects impairments to reduce your pain and increase flexibility.

How many units can you bill for 97110? ›

23 minutes of therapeutic exercise, 97110. 47 minutes total treatment time. The 47 total treatment time falls within the range for 3 units (see chart). Each service was performed for more than 15 minutes and should be billed for at least 1 unit, but the total allows 3 units.

What CPT codes are used for physical therapy? ›

Common Physical Therapy CPT Codes
  • 29240, 29530, 29540: Strapping.
  • 97110: Therapeutic Exercise.
  • 97112: Neuromuscular Re-education.
  • 97116: Gait Training.
  • 97140: Manual Therapy.
  • 97150: Group Therapy.
  • 97530: Therapeutic Activities.
  • 97535: Self-Care/Home Management Training.
Feb 10, 2022

How do you code Physical therapy? ›

Physical Therapy CPT Codes
  1. 97161 - Eval Low Complex.
  2. 97162 - Eval Mod Complex.
  3. 97163 - Eval High Complex.
  4. 97001 - Evaluation Work Comp.
  5. 97164 - Re-Eval.
  6. 97002 - Re-Eval Work Comp.
  7. 97750 - Test and Measure.
  8. 97535 - ADL/Self Care.

What is the difference between 97110 and 97140? ›

33 minutes of therapeutic exercise, 97110. 7 minutes of manual therapy, 97140. 40 minutes total treatment time. The 40 total treatment time falls within the range for 3 units (see chart).

Can you bill 97110 for 10 minutes? ›

You can bill 2 units of 97110 and 1 unit of 97140. You count the first 30 minutes of 97110 as 2 full units then add the additional 3 minutes of 97110 (33 minutes - 30 minutes) to code 97140 so you have 10 minutes of treatment time and can bill for 1 unit of 97140.

Can a physician Bill CPT 97110? ›

Physicians/NPPs, independent physical therapists, and independent occupational therapists may bill for physical therapy services using the CPT physical medicine and rehabilitation codes.


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