December 2011 Newsletter


Clinical Café Newsletter

By: Ronda Polansky, M.S. CCC-SLP

December 2011

During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our success here in D/FW possible. December marks our 8 year anniversary. In this spirit we say simply but sincerely, may the gift of overflowing peace, overwhelming joy and happiness be yours at

Christmas and throughout the New Year! 

Everyone at DiagnosTEX wishes all of you a very Merry Christmas!


The 2012 DiagnosTEX Dysphagia Calendar is arriving this month!


DiagnosTEX Christmas treats to our SLPs – This is just a token of our appreciation for your support and friendship.  DiagnosTEX thanks you for the honor of being part of your dysphagia management team and trusting us with your patients! 


DiagnosTEX 2011 December Holiday Schedule –    DiagnosTEX will operate Friday, December 23rd.  We will be closed the Monday after Christmas.  We want to meet all of your MBSS needs; we know PO feeding becomes very important on several levels to many patients around the holidays. We must also be considerate to all of our DiagnosTEX employees and their families.  Please keep these holiday schedules in mind when scheduling your MBSS in December! 


******Please take note and keep in mind that during this busy time of year,

specific requests for specific times and days become exponentially difficult to accommodate.

Therefore, we may be unable to quickly schedule your patient with any specific time and day requests.

Please notify your staff, patients, and families as such.******


Being mobile allows the convenience of the service coming to you – not for the flexibility of schedules and times.

If you need a specific time and/or day, please consider a free-standing outpatient facility (e.g., a hospital).


********NEW HISTORY INTAKE FORM******** – Please note the new history form (included).  Start using this form immediately.  New Medicare regulations change every year (as you know), and we have to change with them.  Medicare now requires new and different information to prove medical necessity for evaluating the patient for dysphagia, which requires more documentation!  It is frustrating, but necessary.  We thank you for doing your part to help us meet these requirements.


Licensure law changes that impact you – EFFECTIVE 3/1/2012 – Rules and forms currently being developed by TSBOE are projected to be posted for comment later this year and adopted prior to the March initiation date. Criminal History Record Information Requires for License Issuance and Renewal –  Sec 401.3041 The Board shall require that an applicant for license submit a complete and legible set of finger prints on a form prescribed by the Board. This form shall be submitted to the Board or the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Board may not issue a license to a person who does not comply with this requirement.


New rehab location in mid-cities! Reliant has contacted me expressing interest in providing CEUs locally with plans to host some dysphagia CEU conferences with us after the first of the year. I am looking forward to this! Reliant in mid-cities is a new state of the art, free-standing inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Bedford. It’s a prime central location for D/FW and opened Oct 15, 2011. Since that time Reliant has gained much praise from the local community for their dedication to patient focused, team based, outcome driven rehabilitation.  Reliant has 60 private suites, 3 gymnasiums with the most current technologies, and an indoor salt water heated pool.  Outpatient therapy is available as well.  They are currently seeking PRN SLPs; taking all applications, but e-stim and/or vital stim experience is preferred.  If interested, please contact HR at 817-684-2018. 


CEU credits and your certificates, license renewal, audits, etc. I have had several calls lately (since the end of year is closing in and licenses are due, ASHA and TSHA are due) requesting assistance from SLPs to help them gather their information they need to renew.

 * I have had calls about the Ethics course last year.  Some thought that taking the course counted as taking the Jurisprudence Exam.  It does not.  We discussed and educated everyone on the requirements of the Jurisprudence Exam, where to go to take it…but it was not taken in our course.  If you refer to your course manual, it will direct you to the State Board website to take it.  It is required to renew your license. You receive 1 ethics CEU credit for taking this exam.

* I am also getting calls from SLPs who can not find their certificates on courses they have taken from us and have called to ask me to “look back to see what courses they attended.”  I have many files, countless attendance rosters, some of which are filed away, and I honestly do not have time to pull all of them out to review each roster to see who attended what for everyone who misplaced their CEU certificates.  If you need to verify which courses you took, please call TSHA and ask for a copy of your registry.  Their phone number and other information can be found on their website. This would become a part time job for me if I was responsible for keeping up with everyone’s CEUs… keeping up with my own is enough responsibility for me!


Dysphagia Tidbit – Statistics

US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported:

  • number of patients needing home health care after D/C from hospitals surged by 70% (2.3 million to 4 million) from 1997-2008
  • approximately 5 million hospital patients were discharged to nursing homes and other long term care facilities, at an increase of 35% ( 3.7 million to 5 million)
  • hospitals transferred an additional 4% to other hospitals
  • number of patients that left the hospital AMA increased 40% from 264,000 to 370,000
  • fewer patients died in the hospital, a decrease of 5% from 852,000 to 811,000
  • People with dementia who have a stroke are more likely to become disabled and not returned home when compared to people who did not have dementia at the time of the stroke.