What are psychological assessments?
Psychological assessments, also called psychological evaluations, are an intensive service provided by psychologists to determine whether a specific diagnosis or concern is present. Psychological assessments use formal testing followed by a report and recommendations for treatment.
What psychological assessments do you provide? We provide psychological assessments for:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, formerly called ADD or Adult ADD)
- Learning Disorders including Dyslexia/Disorder of Written Expression, Math Disorder, and Reading Disorder
- Giftedness/IQ (Intelligence and Academic Performance testing)
- General Mental Health including Mood Disorders such as Bipolar Disorder
When are psychological assessments necessary?
Some diagnoses such as Learning Disorders require formal testing and a report to have an accurate diagnosis. We cannot tell from a therapy session alone whether someone has a learning disorder. Some diagnoses that are most appropriate for psychological assessment include:
- Learning Disorders (Reading Disorder, Math Disorder, Disorder of Written Expression/Dyslexia)
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, formerly called ADD)
- Other concerns such as mood disorders like Bipolar and general mental health concerns
What happens during a psychological assessment? Psychological assessments are composed of several parts.
- Diagnostic Interview: First, you will meet for a complete diagnostic interview. This is a structured interview that allows me to take a complete history and informs what tests we need to administer. During this interview, you get to discuss the things that are bothering you (symptoms). For example, if you are being assessed for ADHD, you will have the opportunity to talk about difficulties with concentration.
- Testing sessions. During testing sessions, you will complete a test, much like you did when you were a student in school. The types of tests that we administer depend highly on each individual’s concerns. For example, you might take an IQ test as part of a learning disorder assessment.
- Feedback session and written report: The last time we meet, you will receive a formal, written report, usually 10-20 pages in length. The report summarizes what we discussed in the diagnostic interview and the test results from the tests you took during the testing sessions. The report will also provide you with formal diagnoses, if they are appropriate. Most importantly, the report includes complete treatment recommendations so you will have a plan to address your concerns. For example, if you are diagnosed with ADHD, you will have a complete list of things you can do to help yourself. Treatment recommendations are written for each individual and are highly tailored to you needs.
How do I explain a psychological assessment to my child? Preparing your child for testing will minimize anxiety and encourage cooperation. Your child may wonder why s/he are having these “tests” and is there something “wrong” with him or her. We want your child to be as comfortable, motivated and relaxed as possible on the day of testing.
Here are some helpful ways to prepare your child:
- Try to avoid using the word “test” as this tends to provoke anxiety in school-aged children.
- Listen to your child’s concerns, and be as open and honest about the assessment process as possible.
- Explain to your child that s/he will be meeting with a psychologist alone.
- Reassure your child that the testing will help you to understand what they are experiencing and that testing is not unusual—other children participate in testing too.
- Explain that children learn in different ways and that testing will help parents and teachers understand how s/he learns best.
How much will a psychological assessment cost?
Psychological testing involves administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests; it also requires the psychologist to prepare a written report and meet with parents to review the results. The cost for a full assessment is determined by the total number of hours required by the psychologist(s) to complete the full evaluation process from testing time with your child to results review session with you, at the rate of $160/hour. The cost of testing varies depending on the battery of tests required and will be determined during your intake evaluation.
Most insurance companies do not offer pre-authorizations for psychological assessments and many do not cover testing or subject it to the policy holder’s deductible amount. Partial payment or full payment may be required on the day of testing depending on your provider, with the balance due at your results review appointment. If you are using in-network insurance, the rates are determined by the carrier network contract.
The best method to determine your mental health benefits is to call the customer service number on the back of your insurance member card.
WHEN YOU CALL THEM, ASK THE FOLLOWING:
Is the cost of psychological testing covered?
Is there a deductible?
What portion will be reimbursed?
Is a referral needed from a primary care physician?
Is pre-authorization required?
If being seen out of network, and your insurance company requests a list of the tests being administered, we can provide that for you. You will receive a coded billing statement at your follow-up appointment which you may file with your insurance company for reimbursement.
IS THE COST COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Combined with insurance information that our staff collects during the intake process, our team can prepare the necessary testing preparations for each unique testing situation. Many insurance companies do cover psychological testing. Although we will verify benefits during your intake evaluation, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company to determine benefits before getting started.