Psychological Testing, Assessments, & Diagnostics
Psychological assessment/testing uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and their behavior, emotionality, personality, and capabilities. These services are provided in the Lancaster and Dauphin County offices. There are two types of psychological evaluations that are conducted. The first type is called a Best Practice Evaluation and that is essentially a diagnostic interview in which information is obtained from the client and parent to assign a diagnosis and make treatment recommendations. Best Practice Evaluations are scheduled by front office staff with the psychologist in either the Lancaster or Dauphin office. A Best Practice Evaluation is a diagnostic/clinical interview with the parent and client that is scheduled for an hour with the psychologist. At the conclusion of that interview, a determination will be made for treatment recommendations and this discussion will occur the same day of the evaluation. A copy of the psychological evaluation can be requested by the family at the time of the evaluation or later after reaching out to the agency at the discretion of the psychologist who conducted the evaluation.
Treatment recommendations from the Best Practice Evaluation can include outpatient therapy (OP), school-based outpatient therapy (SBO), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS), Family Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS), Multisystemic Therapy (MST), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Juvenile Fire Setter Assessment Consultation Treatment (JFACTS), After School Program (ASP), Stepping Stones Program, or psychiatric evaluation. PerformCare, private insurance, and CCBH for York and Adams Counties will reimburse for Best Practice Evaluations. A client with CCBH insurance outside of York and Adams Counties can be scheduled for a psychiatric evaluation, but a psychological evaluation will require the psychological assessment/testing referral procedure. It is important to note that to obtain the majority of these services, other than an outpatient therapy service that the client will need to have Medical Assistance, as that is the funding source that pays for all other treatment services. The family will need to apply for Medical Assistance through COMPASS online. Treatment recommendations are valid for one year from the date of the evaluation. Once a Best Practice Evaluation is conducted and agreement has occurred with the family regarding treatment recommendations, the family chooses a provider of choice for the recommended services (unless outpatient therapy and then the family seeks out this level of care independently) and the evaluation is sent by office staff to the provider of choice. Typically, it takes two weeks for an evaluation to be sent by office staff to the provider of choice.
Secondly, TEAMCare offers Comprehensive Evaluations, which involves psychological testing. TEAMCare offers comprehensive evaluations that include intelligence, adaptive functioning, and personality, based on the needs of the individual. The primary focus of the current comprehensive evaluations is to provide diagnostic clarification regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition (ADOS-2) or Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R).
To access comprehensive psychological assessment/testing, the referral source completes a referral form, indicating concerns for evaluation. The length of time for comprehensive testing is variable and dependent on the number of individuals on the wait list, but it could be six months or longer of a wait for the initial diagnostic interview to be scheduled with the psychologist. Interns also conduct psychological testing and referrals are given out by the psychologist, but generally the same procedure occurs other than the intern might do the diagnostic interview and testing in the same day. The psychologist will contact the family to schedule a diagnostic interview, which is scheduled for an hour with the client and parent, and discuss the testing recommendations if warranted. Insurance authorizations are requested for comprehensive testing and once a pre-authorization is obtained, then the client will be scheduled for psychological testing. Psychological testing is typically scheduled for three hours with the client. Following the evaluation, the psychologist will contact the client/parent/guardian to discuss results and recommendations, providing a copy of the comprehensive evaluation at that feedback session. The comprehensive psychological evaluation is not provided to the client until following a scheduled feedback session with the psychologist.
TEAMCare offers the following psychological evaluations:
- Best Practice Evaluations are conducted to determine the appropriate level of care for children (until age 18 if still in high school and age 21 if there are developmental delays – such as IDD or ASD)
- Comprehensive Testing to include the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition (ADOS-2) for children (under the age of 22).
- Comprehensive Testing to include the Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R) for children (under the age of 22)
- Comprehensive Testing for intellectual functioning/testing (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V, WAIS-IV) (any age, but typically prior to age 22)
- Comprehensive Testing for adaptive Functioning Testing (Vineland-3)
- MMPI-3 or MCMI-III if the referral question warrants administering a personality measure