Q: What kind of testing services do you offer?
We are able to provide a variety of psychological evaluation services, ranging from developmental, intellectual, emotional/behavioral, and academic assessments to vocational, premarital, personality, and other types of psychological assessments. After you have completed an initial consultation with one of our staff, an evaluation plan will be tailored to meet your individual needs.
Q: I see that you have a number of locations in the Greater Houston area. Where are testing services provided?
At this time, testing services are only offered at our main office location in Clear Lake.
Q: Who is involved in the testing process?
Licensed psychologists are an active part of the entire assessment process. Depending on your needs and the availability of our clinicians, you may be evaluated by one of our staff psychologists, licensed psychological associates, educational diagnosticians, graduate level interns, or postdoctoral residents. If seen by someone other than a licensed psychologist, all parts of the evaluation process will be overseen by a licensed member of our psychology staff.
Q: What should I expect?
Psychological testing is a three part process. First, you will meet with your clinician for an initial consultation where you will be able to share your questions and concerns. This appointment typically includes gathering history, assessing presenting problems, and mutually creating an evaluation plan. Following this first step, the testing can begin. Testing may involve interviews, school observations, brief appointments where paper-pencil questionnaires are completed, or more lengthy appointments involving interactive assessment measures. Once testing is complete and all test data is analyzed, you will again meet with your clinician to review the results and recommendations. This typically occurs within 2 weeks of the last testing appointment depending on the complexity of the case. If desired, a written report detailing the results and recommendations may be written. This report can be shared with others at your discretion, such as your doctor or child’s school.
Q: What should I do to prepare?
Make sure you or your child has a good night's sleep before the testing appointment. If you wear glasses, a hearing aid, or any other device, make sure to bring it. If you have special language needs, please alert the clinician to these. Bring with you a list of prescribed and over-the-counter medications that you regularly take. If you are on stimulants or other medications, check with the clinician beforehand about coordinating dosage time with testing. Sometimes, snacks are given to children so please alert your clinician if your child has any food allergies. If you or your child has had previous testing, an individual educational plan, or related school or medical records, please bring these with you to the initial consultation. Also, when applicable, a copy of custody documents (e.g., divorce decree) will be needed to determine if our services can be accessed by the consenting adult.
Q: What do I tell my child?
What you tell your child about this evaluation will depend on how much he or she can understand. Be simple and brief. Explain that this experience will help with a problem that your child knows about such as trouble with reading, being forgetful, or feeling upset. You can reassure a worried child that testing involves no shots, dark rooms, or bright lights. In fact, it may involve puzzles, blocks, computer games, drawings, story telling, and play! Most children and adults find the testing experience to be challenging as well as fun.
Q: Can I be in the room with my child?
Parents are usually not in the room during testing, although they may be present with very young children. We ask that parents remain in our waiting area during testing rather than dropping off their child. This typically eases a child’s nervousness with the tests and allows the clinician to communicate with the parent throughout the process.
Q: Who sees my results?
Q: Do you accept insurance?
Currently, we do work with most insurance plans; however, this varies among clinicians so you will need to inquire about your clinician’s ability to utilize your specific insurance plan. Please note that coverage for psychological testing services varies by individual plans. Many plans require authorization for psychological testing and allow a certain number of hours of testing and specific testing instruments. Sometimes, this is sufficient, but, other times, your clinician may recommend an evaluation that is more comprehensive in order to meet your needs. For example, many insurance plans do not cover academic or developmental testing as they may not be defined as “medically necessary.” Once the initial consultation has occurred, the clinician is able to request for testing services. An insurance company may authorize testing within a few days or may respond later, possibly upwards of 3 weeks. Testing may be authorized in full, in part, or not at all. What is not authorized may therefore be an out-of-pocket expense.
Should you not wish to go through the authorization process, we do offer self-pay options. In such cases, a waiver must be signed that disallows the Center and the client to bill the insurance company. However, if your clinician is an out-of-network provider, then authorization for testing may not apply. If this is the case, you will be given the necessary documentation so that you can seek reimbursement from your insurance carrier.
Even though this process is complicated, we do our best to individually tailor your evaluation based on your needs and work hard with your insurance company to ensure the best quality care.
Q: Should I choose to self-pay, how much does testing cost?
The cost varies depending on the complexity of the evaluation plan mutually agreed upon between you and your clinician. Generally speaking, the initial consultation is $140 (90 minute appointment), and testing thereafter is $200 on an hourly basis unless a very extensive battery is needed; in that case, your clinician may discount the hourly rate to allow for a more affordable evaluation. This fee includes face-to-face testing, scoring of the assessment measures, data analysis, report writing, and the feedback appointment in which the results and recommendations are reviewed. Evaluations can range between $200 and $2000, depending upon the evaluation plan. Payment for services is expected in full and at the time of your appointment.
Q: Do you offer other services?
Yes. Sometimes, school observations are needed to help gather more information about your child’s global social or behavioral functioning. Follow-up services such as letters for accommodations or ARD meetings may be needed. These services are not covered by insurance carriers. Fees for these services are as follows:
Q: What if I need to cancel my appointment?
Given that most of our clinicians have growing waitlists and evaluation appointments are typically quite lengthy, we ask that you give us a 1-week notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your initial appointment. After we have met for the initial consultation and an evaluation plan has been created, we will require a $300 retainer fee to hold your evaluation appointment(s). Should you cancel or not show for your testing appointment, you will be charged this fee. We do this in order to protect our clinicians’ time as well as the many families who are waiting for our services.