What is a Forensic Evaluation?
In psychiatry there are typically two different types of evaluations. There are "Patient Care" or "Treatment" Evaluations, and "Forensic" Evaluations. Treatment evaluations are what most think of when they imagine seeing a psychiatrist: they identify a problem with which they would like help, find a knowledgable provider, and obtain a diagnosis and treatment plan. Although forensic evaluations may be provided by the exact same doctor, the origin and purpose of these are quite different. It is simplest (though an oversimplification) to think about them as evaluations performed strictly for a legal purpose.
- These evaluations are usually performed at the request of an outside party (typically a court or attorney).
- It is important to remember that you are not seeing the doctor for treatment. After the evaluation, our providers will not be considered your treating psychiatrists and will be unable to provide you with treatment or medication advice/management.
- The information you discuss with your doctor will not be treated with the same degree of confidentiality. Any and all aspects of this discussion is considered admissible to the court or third party requestor.
- The final report created from this meeting will be submitted directly to the outside party. We will not be able to provide it to you as it will be thereafter considered their property – if you wish to see a copy, you will have to correspond directly with them
Steps of a Forensic Evaluation
- A third party will contact our office to request a forensic evaluation on your behalf.
- Should you agree to see us for this evaluation, you will be sent a link to sign up for my online system. Once you are signed up, there will be a number of forms to complete. These must be finished in time for me to review them before our first meeting.
- Simultaneously, this third party will provide us with a number of other records for review
- At our meeting, we will review the Consent for Forensic Evaluation, which describes the differences from a treatment evaluation described above.
- Our doctor will spend anywhere from 2-3 hours together with you discussing your history and symptoms.
- If necessary, another appointment will be set up for approximately 7 days later. In the meantime, your doctor will be contacting outside providers and may give you further forms to complete.
- At the end of the first or second session, your doctor will complete an extensive report of your history and current state. This report will go directly to the third party requestor.
- After this, any other questions you would have about the report or any aspects thereof would have to be directed to this third party.
Fee for Complete Forensic Evaluation:
Unlike treatment evaluations, these protocols are almost never billable to insurance. However, the good news is that the third party requestor pays for the evaluation, not you (the evaluated).