Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers. If you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to contact us.
Q: What payment options are available? Do you take insurance?
A: Most of our patients are able to use their health insurance to cover the majority of evaluation fees. We are contracted with several major carriers, including Medicare, Aetna, Cigna, United Health Care, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Please note that each insurance company has specific requirements that must be met in order to authorize payment for neuropsychological services. Please speak with our office manager if you have any questions.
Direct payment is also a popular method for covering the cost of neuropsychological services, especially to alleviate concerns many people have about privacy. We are happy to work with individuals who wish to pay for our services directly; in such cases, a waiver form must be signed that disallows billing one’s insurance company. We will offer an initial estimate of the total cost after meeting with you to learn about the extent and duration of the evaluation that will be required. We accept payment by cash, check, and credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express).
Q: How long will the appointment last?
A: The answer to this question depends on the reason for evaluation, the patient’s medical history, and complexity of the individual case. Appointments generally range in duration from two to five hours. However, some insurance companies require an initial interview before authorizing a neuropsychological evaluation. These appointments (initial interview only) typically last about 30-45 minutes.
Before an appointment for either a clinical interview or a full evaluation, we will ask you to complete online history and registration forms. These forms may be completed directly on our secure web site. Completing these forms in advance will help your doctor prioritize the time you spend in our office.
Q: I don’t like taking tests. I am nervous about this appointment. What exactly will I be doing during the appointment?
Our doctors and technicians are experienced in working with people of various ages and from all types of backgrounds. We understand that some people may feel nervous about getting tested. We strive to treat our patients with the highest respect and to make each person feel as comfortable as possible. Testing is conducted in a private room with one of our staff. Patients will be asked to complete various tasks that involve thinking and information processing. For example, one might be asked to name objects, write words on a page, determine if two lines are pointing in the same direction, or learn a list of words. Nearly all of the tasks are presented in oral or written format. There are no needles, machinery, or other unpleasant stimuli. Most people find the tasks to be interesting and feel that they have gotten a good “mental workout.” We also encourage our patients to take breaks when needed.
The purpose of the evaluation is to measure the behavior of the human brain as it thinks, learns, and processes information. The resulting data are useful for helping to determine if an individual’s test scores are suggestive of a central nervous system disorder. For example, people are sometimes concerned about their memory. They might be forgetting people’s names or details that used to come to mind easily. Such experiences might be due to several factors, including normal aging, various medical illnesses, psychological factors, and/or a central nervous system disorder. Testing will help to understand the scope of the problem (if one exists), its possible causes, and provide guidance for appropriate treatment.
Q: When will I receive the results?
A: Evaluation results are typically communicated to your referring health care provider within five business days. Your provider will be able to review the results with you, in addition to findings from other diagnostic tests or procedures you might have undergone. Should you have any questions about your results after meeting with your provider, then we will be happy to assist you.
Q: Which doctor will I be seeing?
A: The six doctors at Houston Neuropsychology Associates operate as a group practice. Five of them are board certified in clinical neuropsychology and have the appropriate education and training to offer neuropsychological services. Our newest neuropsychologist, is actively pursuing board certification and is 75% of the way through the process. Patient appointments are scheduled based upon mutual availability. Exceptions include Spanish-speaking and bilingual (Spanish-English) individuals, who are preferentially scheduled with Dr. Resendiz, as well as children and adolescents, who are scheduled with Dr. Davis.
Q: What will be done to protect my privacy?
A: Information that we receive in the course of patient care is kept strictly confidential. No information is released to a third party without a patient’s explicit authorization, except in the following circumstances. The law requires psychologists to:
1. Report any disclosure or evidence of physical or sexual abuse of a child to authorities.
2. Report any abuse of an elderly or disabled person to authorities.
3. Report the probability of imminent physical injury to the patient or others.
4. Respond to subpoenas, court orders, or other legal proceedings or statues requiring disclosures.
In addition, some insurance companies may request a copy of your report or office notes to be utilized in evaluating your insurance claim. Please ask the doctor if you have any questions regarding the limits of confidentiality.