What is a psychological assessment?
A psychological assessment is a formal process through which psychologists observe and measure behavior so as to arrive at diagnosis and treatment. Usually, psychologists know what a person is struggling with because of their symptoms. However, when this is unclear, a psychological assessment can help to clarify the situation. The assessment consists of a clinical interview, review of records, observational data, psychological tests, and feedback.
What tests are used?
The tests used are “standardized” tests. This means they have been developed and evaluated by researchers and have been proven to be effective at measuring a trait or disorder. They are based on norms so that the results can be compared to ‘the average person’ or to the behavior of people who have a certain problem, such as ADHD, depression, or bipolar disorder. They are not like academic tests where there is a right or wrong answer, and there is no studying to be done. The tests merely help us to figure out how best to help you.
How long does it take?
This depends on the referral question. There is no ‘one size fits all,’ and tests are chosen for each individual client. The assessment is usually carried out over two to three sessions, with each session lasting about two to three hours.
How much does it cost?
Costs vary depending on the length of the assessment. Unlike most medical tests, psychological assessment is usually less expensive, but it is often not covered by insurance. After an initial phone conversation, I should be able to give you an estimate of costs. Half of the total fee is due at the first session and the remainder is due at the feedback session.
CAN I USE MY HEALTH INSURANCE for a psychological assessment?
Partial reimbursement for my services as an out-of-network provider for PPO insurance plans may be available depending on your health insurance plan and mental health coverage. I am happy to provide necessary documentation for you to submit for any available partial reimbursement.
Please contact your health insurer to ask the following questions:
- Does my insurance cover neuropsychological and psychological testing?
- Is pre-authorization required?
- Is this testing considered a non-routine outpatient benefit?
- Does testing apply to my deductible or is my deductible waived?
Also, a psychological assessment may be covered by pre-tax Health Spending Acounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and I am happy to provide a statement for reimbursement.