A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specialises in understanding how the brain works and specifically how changes to the brain can impact on thinking skills (also called cognition), behaviour and mood.
People present for a variety of conditions such as:
- Acquired brain injury, closed head injury or concussion from an accident
- Alcohol or drug related brain injury
- Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or Schizophrenia
- Various neurological conditions, such as stroke, brain tumours, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, hydrocephalus, hypoxia, meningitis to name only a few.
- Changes to thinking associated with ageing, such as confusion, delirium, mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
- Intellectual disability
The assessment usually begins with an interview, in order to get to know the person and their relevant background. Following this they are given a variety of paper and pencil tasks, puzzles and memory questions which give insight into various aspects of their thinking, such as attention, memory and problem solving.
This depends on the type of assessment requested. Assessments with very simple referral questions can take 2 hours. More complex, medicolegal assessments can take up to 5 hours. On average most assessment take approx. 3 hours. Assessments may be completed in one sitting (with breaks) or spread over a few sessions.
The neuropsychologist may need to interview other people involved, such as family, friends or other support providers. They also take time to score your assessment and write a comprehensive report with the findings and a set of recommendations. The client is then offered a follow up session to discuss these findings. Ongoing intervention or counselling is then negotiated.
This will depend on the complexity of the case and the number of hours needed.
Fees are $180 per hour but the total assessment fee will depend on the number of hours required for the assessment.
Please contact Dr Michelle Morandin to discuss the fee structure further.
Referrals are accepted from individuals making a ‘self-referral’. GPs, other health practitioners, support people or funding bodies can make referrals for neuropsychological input. It is imperative that the individual is aware that they have been referred.
Unfortunately Medicare does NOT cover neuropsychological assessments.
Some private health funds may cover part of the fee for a neuropsychological assessment; however it is the responsibility of the patient to enquire with their respective health fund regarding available rebate.
DVA, TAC, WorkSafe and the NDIS may cover the cost of a neuropsychological assessment.
Assessments may be privately funded by the client.