One of the most commonly asked questions we hear as a billing company is, “When do we bill for 97110 code (therapeutic exercise) versus 97530 (therapeutic activity)”. Although very similar in terms of long term goal achievement for the patient, there are differences.
Therapeutic exercises are often executed along with therapeutic activities. For example, after a contracture of the glenohumeral capsule (left frozen shoulder – M75.02), a person typically has difficulty abducting and externally rotating the humerus.
97110 –Therapeutic exercises are performed to strengthen the arm to enable the person to lift it up against gravity. As strength improves, weight is added to the arm to make the exercises more difficult.
97530– Therapeutic activities are also performed to improve function. Overhead activities mimicking the act of opening a cupboard, taking out objects, placing them on a counter and then reaching over head again to close the cabinet will continue to improve arm strength while practicing a daily task. Therapeutic exercises are sometimes a gateway to therapeutic activities.