Treatment Programs

Psychology Assessment Center (PAC)

The Psychology Assessment Center provides neuropsychological and psychological assessment for individuals across the life span, from infancy through geriatrics.

Training Programs

Training Opportunities

Our Approach

Our evaluations provide in-depth information regarding cognitive, behavioral and social-emotional functioning in order to establish diagnosis and inform treatment planning.

The Psychology Assessment Center receives referrals from a wide range of medical specialties, including neurology, psychiatry, primary care, pediatrics, and oncology.

The Center also provides educational liaison services for children, including school based referrals for evaluations and school consultations.

 

What Should I Expect?

An individual may be referred by their doctor for neuropsychological testing if they are experiencing problems in thinking, such as memory difficulties or trouble concentrating. Results of the evaluation can help clarify what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to thinking and processing information. This may help your doctor understand your diagnosis more clearly or may help with treatment.

A neuropsychological evaluation consists of two main parts, a 20- to 30-minute interview with a neuropsychologist or clinical fellow, the patient and, with the patient's permission, their family members or significant others. The testing will consist of paper and pencil, one-on-one verbal tests and may include some tasks on the computer. The evaluation involves listening, writing, drawing or using a computer. There are no invasive procedures, no pain, no needles or electrodes. Appointments are scheduled in the morning and depending upon the patient’s age and referral questions you should expect the evaluation to be from 3 to 5 hours in length.

Prior to the appointment, please eat as normal. If applicable, bring or wear your eyeglasses, hearing aids and take your medications per normal. During the testing, you will be allowed to take short breaks as needed. In addition, because the testing will require mental effort, you may feel fatigued when it is over and should take this into consideration when scheduling any other appointments or activities before or after your evaluation.

Questions may be addressed to your referring doctor or to our Center, tel. 617-726-3647.

 

Our Specialties

A sample of the types of disorders for which the Psychology Assessment Center receives referrals is provided below..

Neurological/Medical disorders:

  • Dementia
  • -- Alzheimer’s disease
    -- Frontotemporal dementia
    -- Primary Progressive Aphasia
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment vs. Normal aging
  • * Stroke
  • -- Cognitive and language sequelae (e.g., aphasia)
  • *Epilepsy
  • -- Pediatric and adults
  • *Hematologic/Oncologic diagnoses
  • -- Brain tumor
    -- Leukemia
  • Movement disorders
  • -- Parkinson’s disease
    -- *Dystonia
    -- *Multiple Sclerosis
  • *Traumatic brain injury
  • *Tourette’s syndrome
  • * Leukodystrophies
  • Psychiatric disorders:

  • *Mood disorders
  • *Anxiety disorders
  • *Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Oppositional Defiant disorder/Conduct disorder

  • Developmental disorders:

  • *Autism Spectrum disorder
  • *Attention Deficit Disorder
  • *Learning disabilities
  • *Language disorders
  • *Intellectual impairment
  • Prenatal substance exposure

  • Genetic disorders:

  • *Tuberous Sclerosis
  • *Down Syndrome
  • Angelman’s syndrome

  • * Pediatric and adult patients

     

    REFERRALS

    Medical specialists or primary care physicians make referrals for neuropsychological and/or psychological testing (evaluation). We do NOT accept ‘self referrals’. All patients are referred back to their specialists for treatment.

    Patients who want to utilize their health insurance to cover the cost of the evaluation, should call their insurance company to ask if neuropsychological testing (Current Procedural Terminology code 96118 and CPT 96119) and/or psychological testing (CPT code 96101) is a covered benefit under their specific health plan. Some insurance plans will require the testing psychologist, together with the referring specialist, to submit clinical information for review before authorizing the evaluation(s). Other insurance plans may not require authorization, but could deny coverage if the completed evaluation does not support the medical necessity requirement per your health insurance’s guidelines.

    Patients referred for the purpose of diagnosing learning disabilities should be aware most insurance companies will not cover intellectual, academic, cognitive or neuropsychological testing. For school age children, local Special Education Departments may cover the cost of an independent educational evaluation if your family qualifies. A letter must be submitted by the parent or guardian indicating the school system’s approval to cover the cost before the appointment process can proceed.

    Questions concerning the above may be directed to our In-Take Coordinator, 617-724-0313.

     

    Medical specialists or primary care physicians typically make testing referrals. To make a referral please Fax PAC at (617) 724-3726 or e-mail dlhalliday@partners.org.

    If you are requesting that the cost of a neuropsychological and/or psychological evaluation(s) be covered by either your health insurance or local school system (independent educational evaluation) you must obtain authorization of payment by the agency covering the cost of the evaluation before an appointment date will be scheduled.

    For HMOs and managed care health insurance, contact your Primary Care Physician's office. In some instances, health insurance firms will require receipt of pre-authorization paperwork completed by the patient’s specialist for review before authorizing or denying a request.

    For the purposes of diagnosing learning disabilities many insurances will not cover intellectual, academic, cognitive or neuropsychological testing so be sure and check with your insurance carrier for specific authorization procedures.

    For independent educational evaluations, your local SPED office must submit a letter approving the cost of the neuropsychological and/or psychological evaluation(s).

    For questions concerning authorizations or cost of a neuropsychological or psychological evaluation, please contact Donna Halliday, (617) 724-0313

    Psychology Assessment Center marks 15 years

    The MGH Psychology Assessment Center (PAC), part of the Department of Psychiatry, celebrates 15 years this month.

    Psychology Assessment Center

    One Bowdoin Square, 7th Floor
    Boston, MA 02114

    Phone: 617-726-3647

    Public Transportation Access: yes
    Disabled Access: yes

    One Bowdoin

    Directions to our offices

    Our Center is located three blocks from the main entrance of MGH. If driving a patient directly to our building, you may set your GPS device to 15 New Chardon St.

    Due to the length of the evaluations and cost of the nearby commercial garages, parking at the hospital garages ($9.00/day) is recommended.

    A free campus shuttle van may be requested at the Yawkey Lobby Information Desk which will be bring you to 25 New Chardon Street. Shuttles run from 8 am to 4 pm.

    See map and directions below

     

     

     

     

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