+ What is a neuropsychologist?
- Neuropsychologists are doctoral-level clinical psychologists with specialized post-doctoral training and expertise in brain and behavior relationships.
- According to the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, clinical neuropsychologists apply this knowledge to the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan who have developmental, neurological, medical, or psychiatric conditions.
- These conditions include: stroke, traumatic brain injury, memory disorders, psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), substance abuse disorders, ADHD, learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, lewy body disease, frontotemporal dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer, and brain tumors.
- A clinical neuropsychologist employs a variety of assessment methods to evaluate patients’ cognitive and emotional strengths and weaknesses. This information, in conjunction with information provided by family members and other medical/healthcare providers, is used to identify and diagnose neurobehavioral disorders, counsel patients and their families, and plan and implement intervention strategies.
- According to the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, and to widely-accepted guidelines in the field, a neuropsychologist should have specialized coursework and practice in neuropsychology throughout his or her training, which should include:
- Doctoral training at an accredited institution
- An APA or CPA approved pre-doctoral psychology internship
- A 2-year full-time post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology
+ What is board-certification?
- Board-certification is a process that is intended to demonstrate competency in the field. However, with the exception of the required doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in Clinical Psychology, there is no other specific degree or license required to practice neuropsychology. As such, historically the level of training, experience, and expertise can vary widely amongst providers who practice neuropsychology. Because of this, the American Board of Psychology has put in place a rigorous additional board certification process for those who claim to be specialists in certain areas of Clinical Psychology.
- According to the American Board of Professional Psychology, “Board certification (awarding a certificate in a specialty) assures the public that specialists designated by the ABPP have successfully completed the educational, training, and experience requirements of the specialty, including an examination designed to assess the competencies required to provide quality services in that specialty."
- Because of this additional training and certification process, “Attainment of the ABCN/ABPP Diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology (i.e., board certification) is the clearest evidence of competence as a clinical neuropsychologist."
- Board-certification is a rigorous process that includes a review of training and credentials, a written examination, a review of work samples, and an oral examination. According to the ABPP directory, there are only 16 ABPP board-certified neuropsychologists within a 50-mile radius of the Bay Area.
+ What happens during a neuropsychological evaluation?
- The neuropsychological evaluation typically starts with a clinical interview to gather relevant information pertaining to demographic, medical, academic, and developmental history and a detailed list of current cognitive complaints. History is also obtained through a review of pertinent medical and other records. With your permission, family members or other knowledgeable persons may also be interviewed.
- Standardized tests will be administered using oral and written questions, paper and pencil tests, computers, the manipulation of materials such as blocks and puzzles, and other standardized procedures.
- Depending on the scope and intent of the evaluation, testing may focus on a wide range of cognitive functions including intellectual functioning, attention, memory, language, academic skills, reasoning and problem solving, visuospatial ability, and sensory-motor skills. The neuropsychologist may also administer tests and questionnaires concerning psychological aspects of mood, emotional style, behavior, and personality.
- After the evaluation, the neuropsychologist scores the tests and interprets these scores using population-based normative data while taking into consideration a wide range of factors, such as age, culture, prior levels of performance, and demographic expectations. These scores will be analyzed and integrated with other data and summarized in a comprehensive, written report.
- Feedback will be given to you and/or the referral source, depending on the nature of the evaluation.
+ What and who should I bring with me to my appointment?
- Please bring your completed intake questionnaire
- At the time of scheduling, we may also request that you bring additional materials, which may include:
- Copies of relevant medical or academic records
- Any previous neuropsychological, psychological, or psychoeducational testing
- Contact information for additional informants who know you well (e.g., family members, teachers, current or past providers)
- We may ask you to bring a family member or friend with you to the appointment to provide additional information. If so, we will discuss this with you prior to your appointment.
- Be sure to bring reading glasses or hearing aids if needed.
- Be sure to take all prescribed medications as prescribed, unless specifically discussed prior to your appointment. Let us know ahead of time if you are taking any of the following medicaionts: stimulants (e.g., Ritalin or Adderall), prescription sleep aids, benzodiazepines (e.g., Xanax, Klonopin), sedatives, or pain medications (e.g., Vicodin, Norco).
- Testing may take several hours. Please feel free to bring snacks and drinks as vending options are not available within our office complex.
- Water will be provided to you during your appointment
+ How do I prepare for my evaluation?
- Please make sure you have prepared all requested materials, including your intake form and relevant records
- It is important that you get adequate sleep the night prior to the evaluation as fatigue can impact your test results
- Eat a proper breakfast prior to the evaluation
- Refrain from drinking alcohol or using any illicit substances at least 24 hours prior to the start of your evaluation
- We understand that the testing process can be anxiety-provoking. However, there is no way to “practice” for the evaluation. There is no “right or wrong” outcome for the evaluation - all we ask is that you try your best.
+ How long does the evaluation last?
- The number of hours for each evaluation will differ based on the primary reason for the referral and the type of the assessment being performed. While most evaluations can be completed in one sitting, it is not uncommon to schedule multiple testing sessions.
- Please refer to the list of our Services to read more about the specific number of hours needed for each service.
- Please feel free to email us or call us with your questions and we will provide you with the best estimate of the time required for in-person testing based on your needs.
+ How much does an evaluation cost?
- Fees vary depending on the type of evaluation requested. Silicon Valley Assessment fees are very competitive with those of other neuropsychologists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact us for more information on our fees.
- Per our standard policy, half of the evaluation fee will be due via check (made out to Silicon Valley Assessment) at the start of the evaluation. The remaining fee will be due at time of feedback when you receive a completed comprehensive report.
+ Do you take insurance?
- The Silicon Valley Assessment Center does not contract with insurance companies.
- If you have PPO insurance, some of our services may be eligible for full or partial reimbursement as part of your "out of network" benefits. To help facilitate out-of-network claims, Silicon Valley Assessment Center will provide you with a statement (sometimes called a "superbill") which includes all of the necessary information to submit to an insurance company. To learn more about your out-of-network coverage for neuropsychological assessment, we recommend that you contact your insurance company and inquire about:
- What coverage is available for out-of-network providers for the specific diagnosis or diagnostic question (e.g., ADHD, stroke, dementia).
- Whether there are limits on the number of hours for the assessment
- The reasons for an assessment referral.
- How much will you be reimbursed per hour of assessment. A typical 60-minute assessment hour is billed with the procedure code 96118. Other common codes include 96116, 90801, 96101, and 90887.
+ Will I receive accommodations?
- Often, a neuropsychological evaluation is required to request accommodations for schools or for standardized testing (e.g., the College Board).
- Each school and testing agency has its own specific requirements and we are happy to work with you to ensure that the evaluation meets these requirements.
- Certain accommodations, such as extended time on tests, separate exam room, preferential seating and class selection, and/or use of notetaker, may be recommended depending on the results of the evaluation.
+ Who should I share my results with?
- We will only share your results with you (our client) or if you are between ages 13-18, your parents or legal guardian.
- The results may also be shared with your referring provider (when applicable). We will not share your results with anyone else without your formal written consent.
- Silicon Valley Assessment believes in a team-based, comprehensive approach to care. Depending on the reasons for the evaluation, you might choose to share your report with other treatment providers (e.g., your primary care physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, and/or other medical professionals) so that your results and recommendations can help guide your care.
- Please download the Release of Information Forms-Sending if you would like us to send your report to another provider
+ What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
- Please contact us at email@example.com or (408) 827-5699 as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
- Cancellations within 24 hours of the appointment time will be subject to a charge of 1 hour at our hourly rate. This charge can be applied to a future rescheduled evaluation.
+ Do you perform psychotherapy?
- While we do not currently offer psychotherapy services, we are developing a series of workshops focused on cognitive training and rehabilitation for memory, attention, and problem-solving tasks. Please continue to check our website for the updates on dates and schedule for the workshops.
- We are also happy to provide you with referrals to colleagues with specialized training in psychotherapy focused on your needs.
+ How do I schedule an appointment or refer a patient (for providers)?
- Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at (408) 827-5699, or complete the form on our Contact page (please note that this is not a secure form). One of our neuropsychologists will follow-up with you within 1 business day. .
+ Are emails secure?
- Please keep in mind that communications via email over the internet are not secure.
- Although it is unlikely, there is a possibility that information you include in an email can be intercepted and read by other parties besides the person to whom it is addressed.
- Please do not include personal identifying information such as your birth date, or personal medical information in any emails you send to us.
- We will do our best to secure our communication with you by encrypting the files that we send to you and we will provide you with a unique password to access the file.
- We will use encrypted email to communicate with you if we need to send sensitive information.
+ Where can I find out more about improving my brain health?