About Baseline Testing
ImPACT baseline testing takes approximately one-half hour to complete. The test measures an athletes memory, attention and concentration, problem solving abilities, and processing speed down to the millisecond. From this testing we are able to determine the level of functioning prior to any brain injury. If an athlete then sustains a head injury, he would be re-evaluated within a few days after the injury and will receive subsequent follow-up testing as necessary.
Baseline Testing Is A Critical Part Of Concussion Care
Several elite sporting organizations have now mandated their athletes take baseline cognitive tests so that medical staff can best manage their concussion injuries. Most noteable was the decision by the NFL in 2006 to require all players to baseline test before each pre-season. Other organizations utilizing baseline cognitive testing are the NHL, MLS, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, US National Soccer Team, most elite college sports programs including Cal Berkeley and Stanford, and over 3500 high school sport teams across the country.
By taking this step, these organizations are making a critical decision and stance that they will not allow their athletes to return to play before they are confident that they have fully healed from their concussion injury.
How To Receive A Baseline Test?
You may contact our clinic to schedule a baseline test. The cost of the test is $40. Post injury care is generally covered by most insurance companies. For an explanation of how we bill for our services, please see the billing and insurance portion of our FAQ page.
In addition, we periodically offer "Baseline Clinics", where, for a discounted fee, several athletes can sign up and test at one time on several different computer work stations. We will announce these test dates on our website. Also, organizations can arrange to have their athletes tested on a scheduled Baseline day for just the members of that organization. Organization that sign up for large group (20+) can arrange to have the baseline clinic serve as an additional fundraising opportunity. Please contact Dr. Freitag for further details.
Baseline Testing FAQ
How often should an athlete obtain a baseline test? A baseline test for athletes should be repeated annually. However, for high school age athletes and older, a baseline test every other year is acceptable but an annual baseline test provides more up-to-date information. There is no need to complete a baseline test less than 1 year apart.
How old do you have to be to take a baseline test? You have to be 10 years or older to take a baseline test. Unfortunately, the test does not even record the results for someone who is under 10.
Will I receive a report or copy of my child's baseline test? There is no report or copy provided of a baseline test. Baseline testing is a type of a neuropsychological test. It would be unethical to release information on testing performance without an opportunity to provide feedback and context as to what each test score means. For practical purposes, this is just not possible to do for the hundreds of athletes that we test each year.
Are the baseline tests actually reviewed? Yes, Dr. Freitag reviews each baseline test to ensure that each test is valid. If there is a suspected invalid baseline test, then Dr. Freitag will personally contact the parents via email about instructions to re-take the test free of charge.
How are the tests stored? Baseline tests are stored electronically on a secured server.
What if there is an injury, how do I get a copy of the baseline test? In the event of an injury, you may see Dr. Freitag for treatment and he will be able to access the copy of the baseline test. In the event that you are unable to see Dr. Freitag, he will arrange to have the baseline test sent to a qualified provider in your area to utlize for their evaluation.
Why don't you just send the results to our family doctor? If your doctor is not trained and familiar with the ImPACT test, then they will not have the expertise necessary to utilize the information for treatment.
So what do I do if my child gets injured? Follow the link on the right side navigation bar "I've Had A Concussion - Now what?" for information on post injury management and care protocol.