December 2007 Newsletter




Consultants in Dysphagia Evaluation and Management
817-514-MBS1 or 1-888-514-MBS1
Clinical Café Newsletter
By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP

May this season bless you with peace, love and joy.
We wish everyone a glorious holiday season
and a  very Merry Christmas!

DiagnosTEX Christmas treats to our SLP’s
This is just a token of our appreciation for your support and friendship.  We are also celebrating our 4th year in business, and everyone at DiagnosTEX thanks you for the honor of being part of your dysphagia management team and trusting us with your patients! 

DiagnosTEX 2007 December Holiday Schedule
DiagnosTEX will also be closed Tuesday Christmas Day and Tuesday New Years Day. We will operate all 3 vans the day after Christmas and the day after New Years, as the pending schedule dictates.  We want to meet all of your MBS needs as we know PO feeding becomes important on many levels to many of patients around the holidays, as well as being fair and accommodating to all of our DiagnosTEX employees and their families as well as our own families.  Please keep these holiday schedules in mind when scheduling your MBSS in December!  ***Also please keep in  mind that during this busy time of year for us, specific requests for specific times and days become more difficult to accommodate and we may be unable to meet the 24-48 hour period with these specific requests.******

DiagnosTEX 2008 Dysphagia Calendar
Be sure to get your new DiagnosTEX 2008 Dysphagia Calendar this month! Also our new handout on Puree Pizzaz!

Medicare Reimbursement Rate Cuts
Under the current law, Medicare payment rates are scheduled for a 10% cut on January 1, 2008. The scheduled cut could seriously impair the integrity of Medicare and limit access to quality healthcare to the elderly, based on the results of a survey of nearly 9,000 physicians.  Congress needs to enact legislation to delay implementation of a scheduled 10% reduction in Medicare Reimbursement Rates.  Spend 5 minutes to contact your US senator and Representative to urge them to enact Medicare legislation.  The ASHA “Take Action” website does the work for you.  Go to  Find you legislators by typing in your ZIP CODE, under action alert, click on “MEDICARE FEE SCHEDULE”, choose email or printed letter option and provide your address and contact information.  You will see your draft of a letter, the website will email or print out letters (depending on your choice).  After completion of the process, you will receive a confirmation of your submission.  PLEASE TAKE ACTION!!! For our patients and our profession!

New CPT Codes Available in 2008  On January 1, 2008, two new CPT codes will go into effect for medical team conference participation by a non-physician qualified health care professional. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists who participate in medical team conferences for a patient’s care will now have a way to code for 30 minute or longer meetings that meet certain criteria. A minimum of three qualified health care professionals from different specialties or disciplines who provide direct care to the patient must participate in the reported team conference. Other requirements include performing face-to-face evaluations or treatment independent of the team conference within the previous 60 days of the team conference. For documentation purposes, reporting participants should record their role in the conference, contributed information, and subsequent treatment recommendations. The time for the team conference starts at the beginning of the case review and ends at the conclusion of the review. Record keeping or report generation time is not included. However, the time is not limited to the time that the audiologist or speech-language pathologist is addressing the team or patient/family. The speech-language pathologist or audiologist must be present for the entire team conference and no more than one individual from each profession may report the encounter. CPT 99366 will be reported for a medical team conference with interdisciplinary team of health care professionals, face-to-face with patient and/or family, 30 minutes or more, participation by non-physician qualified health care professional. CPT 99368 will be the reported code for a medical team conference with interdisciplinary team of health care professionals, patient and/or family not present, 30 minutes or more; participation by non-physician qualified health care professional. Also Beginning January 1, 2008, there will be a code that can be reported by speech-language pathologists who perform cognitive testing. The code is included in the “Central Nervous System Assessments/Tests (e.g., Neuro-Cognitive, Mental Status, Speech Testing)” section. The new procedure was proposed by ASHA and the American Occupational Therapy Association following a revision of an older code for cognitive testing, 96115. That code became revalued and limited for use by physicians and psychologists.. The following code is copywrited by the American Medical Association:
96125 Standardized cognitive performance testing (e.g., Ross Information Processing Assessment) per hour of a qualified health care professional’s time, both face-to-face time administering gests to the patient and time interpreting these test results and preparing the report.

This study is designed to accomplish 3 goals (J. Logeman, 2007):

  1. define exact disorder in the patients swallowing to effectively direct therapy;
  2. determine what volumes and viscosities of foods the patient can eat safely in order to maintain a maximum oral intake; and
  3. access the effectiveness of selected treatment procedures