We do not require a doctor’s referral to see your child and/or family. However, some extended health plans may ask you for a referral before reimbursing you.
Wait times vary and are currently approximately 4 months for CLBC eligibility assessments, 12-14 months for psychoeducational assessments, & 14-18 months for autism assessments. You can ask to be added to the cancellation list when you book, as appointments do open sooner from time to time.
In BC, there are two ways in which to obtain an autism assessment. One option is a publicly funded assessment, which is paid for by the government and organized through the Northern Health Assessment Network/BC Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN). The advantage of this option is that the assessment is free. The disadvantage is that there is a much longer waiting time. Parents must first see a physician and be referred to BCAAN. In Northern BC, the current wait time is about 3 years. The other option is to pursue a private autism assessment like those available at Bridge Psychology. Dr. Rocha was trained through BCAAN and provides the same assessments as those available through the public system. If diagnosed, your child/adolescent will be eligible for the same funding as if they were seen through Northern Health/BCAAN.
A deposit (50% of total fee) is due on the day of your child's assessment and is payable via e-transfer., cheque or cash. The remaining 50% is due once the assessment report is ready (usually 3-4 weeks). Once payment is complete, you will be given a receipt for services that you can submit for reimbursement if you have extended medical benefits. Providers vary in the amount of coverage they offer per year for Registered Psychologists, so it is best to review your policy or contact your provider for this information ahead of time. The Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not cover psychological services. If a third party is paying for your child's assessment, then confirmation of funding approval is required before your child's appointment is scheduled.
Psychological services provided in a private practice setting are not covered under BC Medical. Psychological service fees may be partially or fully covered by extended health insurance/benefit plans through work (e.g., Manulife Financial, Sunlife Financial, BlueCross). We recommend contacting your insurance provider for further information about reimbursement. Grants are available through the BC government for post-secondary students with learning disabilities who require updated testing. Psychological services may also be claimed as a medical expense on your personal income tax return.
In some situations, you may not be certain as to whether an assessment would be useful or what type of assessment would be most appropriate. You might wish to have a brief conversation with Dr. Rocha, in which you describe the child of concern and discuss your goals for the future. She can then provide specific recommendations regarding assessment needs.
For phone calls requiring less than 15 minutes there is no charge; longer phone calls are booked as a consultation, and a fee will be charged (billed at $185/hour, pro-rated).
If parents/guardians are separated consent from both parents is required by the College of Psychologists before a psychologist sees your child. If a parent has sole custody and the right to make medical decisions for their child, only consent from this parent is required. You will be asked to provide a legal document stating that you have sole custody before the first session.