Effective June 5, 2020
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. In order to continue to serve our clients and patients, Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting, LLC has put in place the following preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our office. In order to participate in in-person appointments in our office, we ask that you read through this document carefully. By participating in an in-person appointment at our office, you acknowledge that you understand the risks of an in-person appointment and agree to the procedures below. Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting, LLC reserves the right to change or modify these procedures at any time in order to protect the health and safety of our patients, clients, and employees and/or to comply with local, state, or federal mandates or public health directives.
Continued Telehealth Appointments As Appropriate
Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting, LLC will continue to hold telehealth appointments for all services that can be completed via telehealth. These services include, but are not limited to, all therapy/counseling appointments, executive functioning/academic coaching appointments, psychological or neuropsychological testing interviews and feedback sessions, clinical and professional consultations, attendance at meetings, ASD diagnostic evaluations (for ages 3-7), ADHD screening evaluations, career assessments.
We will not be conducting any school/home observations or visits or attending any off-site meetings in-person (though we are happy to participate virtually).
Virtual appointments will be conducted using GoToMeeting (with SpruceHealth as a back-up, if necessary); both of these platforms are HIPAA-compliant in order to protect privacy and provide a high-level of security.
Due to state licensing laws, virtual appointments can only be conducted with clients/patients who are located within the states of PA, DE, or NJ (temporary NJ license is valid only through 11/30/2020) at the time of service.
Limited In-Office Appointments
Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting, LLC will begin offering limited, in-office appointments. We expect to begin to offer these appointments beginning in mid-July 2020, provided we are able to obtain the required technology, personal protective equipment (PPE), and disinfecting materials. The following procedures will be put into place:
- In-office appointments will only be offered for psychological or neuropsychological testing that cannot be completed remotely. All components of the evaluation that can be completed remotely (such as interviews, rating scales, and feedback sessions) will continue to be conducted via telehealth.
- In-office appointments will be limited to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am-12 pm only to allow for adequate time between appointments for cleaning and to reduce airborne transmission of COVID-19. Because appointments will be limited in both frequency and duration, clients and patients may require between 2 and 4 visits to complete testing.
- Prior to the appointment, all clients and patients will be contacted via phone and/or email to screen for potential COVID-19 symptoms or exposures and provide informed consent for in-person appointments. It is very important that clients and patients (or their parents/guardians) respond to these screening questions and sign these documents. If we do not receive the answers to these screening questions prior to the appointment, the appointment will be canceled and rescheduling options will be offered. If anyone in the household has displayed any symptoms of COVID-19, traveled outside of the area, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the appointment, the appointment will be rescheduled. Cancellation fees will be waived for appointments canceled for these reasons.
- Upon arriving for an appointment, clients or patients should send a text to (215) 515-2388 to notify the evaluator. Please do not proceed to the office suite until the evaluator has responded and indicated that you may enter.
- Parents, guardians, and others who accompany a patient or client to an appointment will not be permitted to enter the office suite or wait in the waiting room. We request that these individuals wait in their cars in the parking lot or leave and return at the conclusion of the appointment.
- Upon entering the office suite, all patients and clients will be asked to use hand sanitizer and to proceed directly to the testing room, following the signs. All clients and patients will be required to wear a mask at all times when in the office suite and throughout the entirety of the appointment. The evaluator will also be wearing a mask for the entirety of the appointment.
- The evaluator will remain in his or her office with the door closed when the client or patient enters the office suite. There will be no in-person contact (e.g., handshakes). Live video monitors will be used to monitor those entering the office (no recordings will be made).
- Testing will be completed using a “remote, in-office” procedure. This means that the client/patient will complete the evaluation in the testing room, while the evaluator is located in another office in the office suite. Laptops, document cameras, live video monitors, and iPads will be used to administer tests, observe client and patient performance, and monitor the testing process. There will be no face-to-face contact between the evaluator and the client or patient.
- All test materials will be disinfected after each use. Furniture will also be wiped down with disinfectant after each appointment. Air purifiers will be kept in each room and run regularly. Additionally, the building cleaning services will be cleaning the office nightly.
Limitations to remote, in-person testing:
- Because the evaluator will be in a separate room, this type of testing process will be most appropriate for individuals who are able to sit at the computer and participate in the assessment for approximately 2 hours at a time. While breaks will be provided during that time as needed, individuals who require frequent prompting back to the task or who cannot remain at the workstation may need to discontinue the evaluation, as results may be invalid. Therefore, this evaluation process is likely most appropriate for individuals who are roughly age 10 and up. For younger individuals, or those who are unable to comply with these requirements, our office is happy to discuss assessment options via telehealth, though these may be more limited.
- Evaluations may also be discontinued if the client or patient is unable to maintain appropriate social distancing or use PPE. In these cases, we will discuss potential options via telehealth.
- Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting, LLC cannot guarantee, nor do we promise, that evaluation results conducted remotely will be accepted by school districts, court systems, Social Security/Disability, Veterans Administration, etc. In fact, it is likely that these organizations will also be grappling with a new reality and their policies may change. We will attempt to keep up-to-date on changing policies of our referral sources and will do our best to meet their requirements. Indeed, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued guidance on April 22, 2020 that evaluations for educational purposes that include IQ and academic achievement testing should be conducted in-person and postponed until it is safe to do so. If you need an evaluation for a specific purpose, such as a disability claim or special education eligibility, please discuss your options with our office. In some cases, we may recommend waiting until evaluations can be conducted in-person, as we do not want to put our clients in the position of completing an evaluation that cannot be used for the intended purpose.
We are living in an unprecedented time and our staff is doing our best to continue to serve our clients and patients while also adopting to new processes and procedures. We are attempting to balance the integrity and quality of our services, the needs of our clients and patients, and the health and safety of those we encounter in our work. We appreciate your patients with us through this transition period. Additionally, we reserve the right to change or modify these procedures at any time as circumstances change or to comply with local, state, or federal mandates or public health guidance.