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High quality patient care is of the greatest importance to Dr. Hill. Patients are provided with comprehensive evaluations that are individualized to address patients presenting concerns and answer the referral question. It is important for patients to have the information they require to make informed healthcare decisions and your questions about available services, your evaluation results, and recommendations that were provided are welcome. With our patient centered focus, evaluations are conducted as efficiently as possible and both results and recommendations are generally discussed with patients immediately following the evaluation.

Provided below, please find a list of frequently asked questions and answers.
If you have any further questions please contact us at 208.746.2223.

How can this evaluation improve my treatment?
Can a brain scan, such as a CT or MRI, give the same results?
What is involved in the evaluation?
What thinking skills (cognitive functions) are tested?
What are standardized tests and why are they used?
How long is the evaluation?
How long do I have to wait for my results?
What should I bring to the evaluation?
What is the cancellation policy?
How should I prepare for the evaluation?


How can this evaluation improve my treatment?
A neuropsychological evaluation can assist referring healthcare providers in a number of ways that may increase a patient’s medical care and functioning such as:

  • Assist with differential diagnosis (e.g., type of dementia, pseudodementia, etc.)
  • Monitor response to treatment or recovery from injury or illness (e.g., concussion, traumatic brain injury, stroke)
  • Make recommendations for further diagnostic tests
  • Provide a baseline of functioning to make future comparisons (e.g., identify improvement, decline, stability, or variability across time)
  • Assess candidates for various neurosurgical intervention (e.g., deep brain stimulator placement, surgery for normal pressure hydrocephalous, epilepsy surgery)
  • Make recommendations for rehabilitation services or psychological treatment
  • Make school/work based recommendations such as need for accommodations or readiness to return to work or school
  • Increase understanding of the patients current cognitive and emotional status
  • Identify potential influence of psychological functioning on cognitive and physical symptoms
  • Assist with disability, workers compensation, and medical-legal issues

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Can a brain scan, such as a CT or MRI, give the same results?
Neuroimaging (brain scan), such as CT or MRI, can provide useful information regarding the structure of the brain; however, neuroimaging provides limited direct information regarding how well the brain is functioning. In some cases, there may be significant cognitive impairment despite minimal structural brain changes on neuroimaging. Neuropsychological evaluations can be very helpful in the event a patient is experiencing cognitive decline in the presence of a normal brain scan.

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What is involved in the evaluation?
A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation involves review of medical records, clinical interview, administration of standardized tests, and in most cases discussion of results.

If possible, patients are asked to bring a person they know well that can provide information regarding the patient’s symptoms during the clinical interview. The friend or family member only needs to be present during the first 30-minutes (approximately) of the interview, after which they may leave. The interview typically involves questions regarding the patient’s current symptoms, medical and mental health history, social history, educational background, and occupational history. This information is important to provide a clear understanding about factors that may contribute to a persons current functioning.

Cognitive, motor, and psychological/emotional functioning are assessed primarily by standardized tests which include paper and pencil based tests, question and answer tests, and possibly a few tests of motor and sensory functioning. Use of standardized tests permits characterization of a persons cognitive strengths and weakness as well as their psychological/emotional status. No invasive procedures are involved and there are minimal physical requirements. Results from standardized testing, clinical interview, and medical records are used to formulate diagnostic impression and treatment recommendations.

Results and recommendations from the evaluation are typically discussed with the patient following completion of testing at which time they are encouraged to ask questions.
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What thinking skills (cognitive functions) are tested?
Standardized tests are used to evaluate specific cognitive, motor, and emotional functions which may include the following:

  • Intellectual
  • Academic
  • Processing speed
  • Attention and concentration
  • Language
  • Visuo-spatial and perceptual
  • Learning and memory
  • Executive (problem solving, reasoning, and planning)
  • Motor and sensory
  • Psychological, mood, and personality

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What are standardized tests and why are they used?
Standardized tests are those tests administered to all test takers in the same manner using the same instructions, and the same scoring criteria, which allows for direct comparison between the test takers scores and other people their same age and in some cases same age, education, gender, and race. This comparison permits neuropsychologists to identify how well a patient is doing at the present time, make direct comparisons of their performance across time, and make comparisons with other cognitive functions. Making such comparisons assists with monitoring recovery from an injury or illness, response to treatment, potential regions of brain dysfunction, and factors that may contribute to the patient’s current cognitive difficulties.

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How long is the evaluation?
Evaluations range from 4-8 hours depending on the referral question and the patient’s endurance. For all day evaluations, a 1 hour lunch break is included and other breaks are provided as needed. Both snacks and drinks are permitted.

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How long do I have to wait for my results?
In most cases, patients are provided at least preliminary results and recommendations at the end of the evaluation. A formal report is typically sent to the referral source within 1 week (approximately) of the evaluation. What should I bring to the evaluation?

What should I bring to the evaluation?

  • Glasses or hearing aids if applicable
  • Any prior neuropsychological, psychological, neuroimaging (brain MRI, CT, PET, or SPECT), or EEG reports if possible. You do not have to bring a copy of the actual brain scan.
  • A list of current medications
  • Any paperwork you were sent by our office
  • Your insurance card and driver’s license
  • If scheduled for an all day evaluation, you are welcome to bring a lunch which can be placed in our refrigerator or you are free to leave the office and get lunch elsewhere.
  • Bring snacks or beverages if you will need them
  • A light jacket in the event you get cold
  • If possible, bring a person that knows you well to provide information regarding your symptoms during the first 30 minutes (approximately) of the evaluation.

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What is the cancellation policy?
If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment please let us know (208-746-2223) a minimum of 24 hours in advance so we can allow a patient on our waiting list to have the opportunity to be seen during that appointment time. There is no charge for rescheduled or canceled appointments made with at least 24 hour notice; however, patients may be personally billed a portion of an appointment if they do not show-up for a scheduled appointment or if they do not cancel the appointment at least 24 hours before their scheduled evaluation.

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How should I prepare for the evaluation?
In preparation for your evaluation, please obtain enough sleep the night before your evaluation. Eat a meal before your evaluation. Take your medication(s) as directed by your healthcare provider(s). If applicable, please arrange for childcare in advance, we do not have childcare services and other people (including children) cannot to be present during testing.
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