Aquatic therapy (also referred to as aquatic physical therapy or hydrotherapy) is a specialized form of physical therapy practiced in an aquatic environment such as a pool.
Aquatic therapy uses water-based exercises and techniques to assist individuals recovering from various physical conditions or injuries while also relieving pain and fostering healing.
The goal of aquatic therapy is to improve mobility, strength, flexibility and overall function while decreasing pain levels and speeding healing timeframes.
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are widely used within healthcare to identify and bill for various medical procedures, such as aquatic therapy.
The aquatic therapy CPT code is 97113; this code identifies and bills for therapeutic exercises conducted within aquatic environments – it falls under “Therapeutic Procedure” codes.
CPT code 97113 was developed specifically to facilitate aquatic therapy services provided to patients and ensure accurate documentation, billing and reimbursement for those services provided.
When healthcare providers perform aquatic therapy sessions for their patients in aquatic settings such as pools or aquatic settings, this code indicates the session involved therapeutic exercises conducted underwater.
CPT code 97113 encompasses various activities that make up an aquatic therapy session, such as:
- Warm-Up Exercise: These gentle movements and stretches in the water aim to prepare the body for more intensive workouts.
- Strengthening Exercises: These targeted exercises are intended to build muscle strength and endurance while simultaneously protecting joints while providing resistance. Water’s buoyancy minimizes impact to joints while simultaneously offering resistance.
- Range of Motion Exercise: These controlled movements aim to improve joint flexibility and increase or maintain range of motion.
- Balance and Coordination Training: Aquatic therapy can assist individuals in improving their balance and coordination by creating a low-impact environment in which to train.
- Cardiovascular Conditioning: Water-based activities offer an effective cardiovascular workout while simultaneously relieving joint stress.
- Pain Reduction: Water’s buoyancy can help relieve pressure on painful joints and injuries, allowing patients to perform their exercises with less discomfort.
- Functional Activities: Aquatic therapy can focus on strengthening specific functional activities related to daily life, such as walking, climbing stairs or reaching.
Billing aquatic therapy services with CPT code 97113 ensures that treatment provided is accurately recorded and invoiced for insurance reimbursement purposes.
Healthcare providers also can use it to convey to insurers the nature of services rendered so as to ensure they cover and reimburse it appropriately.
Aquatic therapy is an invaluable and cost-effective form of healthcare, particularly for individuals recovering from injuries or suffering from conditions that limit mobility and function. CPT code 97113 can be used to identify and bill for aquatic therapy sessions that utilize various exercises and activities designed to strengthen strength, flexibility, balance and well-being – healthcare providers can utilize this code to document, bill and reimburse themselves properly for these specialized services provided to their patients.