For Physicians, Agencies, and Professionals

Why Neuropsychological Assessment?

Neuropsychological test data are used in the following ways:

  • To aid in differential diagnosis
  • To identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses
  • To aid in treatment planning
  • To establish rehabilitation goals
  • To measure amount of change attributed to brain dysfunction
  • To help patients maximize their potential
  • To contribute to medical decision making
  • To assess competence to make decisions
  • To examine suitability for occupational roles
  • To provide information about the presence, type and severity of cognitive impairments
  • To provide information about the the patient’s recovery and prognosis
  • To assess the patient’s emotional adjustment to residual cognitive and behavioral impairments
  • To determine how their cognitive functioning affects the patient’s ability to perform at work, learn in school, or handle new problems that come up in daily living
  • To determine mental age

Neuropsychological evaluations are considered medically necessary when:

  • There are only mild or questionable deficits on standard mental status testing, and more precise evaluation is needed to establish the presence of abnormalities or distinguish them from changes that may occur with normal aging or the expected progression of other disease processes
  • There is a need to quantify the patient’s deficits, particularly when the information will be useful in determining a prognosis
  • There is a need to characterize the strengths and weaknesses of a patient, as a guide to treatment or rehabilitation planning.
  • Neuropsychological data can provide a more comprehensive profile of function that, when combined with clinical, laboratory, and imaging data, may assist in determining a diagnosis
  • Psychological testing is needed to aid in the differential diagnosis of behavioral or psychiatric conditions when the member’s history and symptomatology are not readily attributable to a particular psychiatric diagnosis and the questions to be answered by psychological testing could not be resolved by a psychiatric/diagnostic interview, observation in therapy, or an assessment for level of care at a mental health or substance abuse facility
  • Psychological testing is needed to develop treatment recommendations after the patient has been tried on various medications and/or psychotherapy and there have been treatment failures
  • The test results are needed to enhance psychiatric or psychotherapeutic treatment outcomes after a detailed diagnostic evaluation