Stress management

Some changes in life can present patients and providers with significant stress. Long-term stress can produce toxic physical effects, such as high blood pressure and high cortisol levels which are associated with insomnia, weight gain/loss, chronic illness, increased pain and more. Encouraging patients to find methods of destressing to produce a ‘relaxation response’ is a good way to help patients calm the mind and body. Research shows regular practice can change the way a brain perceives pain and stress. Encouraging regular practice of the suggested techniques is optimal for long-term results. Some examples – which may be used as ‘Health Behavior Intervention’ (HBI) and can be billed with CPT® code 96152 under some insurance benefits – include smoking cessation, proper breathing techniques, dietary advice, Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) as it relates to the patient’s specific injuries and more.

Some insurance benefits will allow patient engagement in the form of exercise therapy to be billed. Some examples include:

  • The time spent in educating a patient in a home exercise program for strengthening and stretching activities should be designated as ‘therapeutic exercise’ (CPT® 97110).
  • Training patient for home activities of daily living (ADLs) should be billed as CPT® code 97530.
  • Yoga is eligible for reimbursement with a ‘Letter of Medical Necessity’ (LMN) when patients use flexible spending accounts (FSA) or for health savings accounts (HSA) and for health reimbursement accounts (HRA) as well as some auto insurance plans.

For more information about helping patients relieve stress, visit https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stress?nav=govd.