December 2012 Newsletter


Clinical Café Newsletter

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

December 2012

During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our success here in D/FW possible. December marks our 9 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 2013 DiagnosTEX Dysphagia Calendar is arriving this month! J


Educational handout for treating SLPs– Dysphagia Diets for the Holidays for Family Education


DiagnosTEX Christmas treats to the 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 for trusting us with your patients! 


DiagnosTEX 2012 December Holiday Schedule –    DiagnosTEX will operate Monday – Friday the week before Christmas.  We will be closed Monday, Christmas Eve and Tuesday, Christmas Day. We will run Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after Christmas. We will also run Monday, December 31st. 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 during this busy time of year******

ASAP requests often cannot be accommodated to the satisfaction of those requesting it.

Specific requests for specific times and/or days become exponentially difficult to accommodate and 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 customized flexibility of schedules and times. We must schedule our clinics for schedule efficiency and cost effectiveness.

If the you or the patient and family require a specific time and/or day,

please consider a free-standing outpatient facility (e.g., a hospital).

NEED CEUs BEFORE 2013?  December E-Stim course (limited seating) in Fort Worth – Saturday December 8, 2012   Presented by AMPCARE     Earn 0.8 ASHA-approved CEUs by the end of the year!  For more information call 682-561-2444 or email


Medicare preapproval changes are here! Why the new regulations?

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 passed by Congress mandates CMS to conduct a “manual medical review” of claims that exceed $3700 on or after October 1, of 2012. In addition to the name and number of treatment days requested, you must show medical justification for continued treatment, including evaluation and or re-evaluation for the POC; objective and measureable goals and any other documentation requirement of the LCD, progress, and treatment notes, and any orders for the additional treatment.  See a checklist to comply with new regs in the ASHA Leader October 9, 2012


New Certification Requirements for SLPs

SLPs will need to demonstrate knowledge in statistics to earn clinical certification beginning September 1, 2012. The final version of the new 2014 certification standards is available at or contact for more information.


No SimplyThick for Babies

According to the FDA, SimplyThick, the beverage thickener used for those with dysphagia, should NOT be mixed with breast milk or formula. SimplyThick may raise the risk of a life-threatening condition marked by inflammation and death of intestinal tissue. Of 22 identified infants (all but 1 was born prematurely) who developed the condition after being fed SimplyThick, seven died. For more information: www.fda.giv/ForConsumers/ConsumersUpdates/ucm.256250.htm.


Dysphagia Tidbit – Options and Ideas for Dysphagia Diets

If a patient is malnourished there is a 100% increase in skin breakdown.  If they are eating less food, try to increase the calories and/or make it calorie dense.

Dysphagia Diet Solution Book  By: Becky Dorner

Blossomfoods – puree and ground consistencies available for delivery at

Hormel – puree TV dinners

Alimed – puree in cans, comes in packages

Thick-It canned puree – Walgreens can order this product

Nestle – Thicken Up Clear keeps well in the freezer in beverages and can be used in beer

Aqua Care – make special ice cubes with pre-thickened water

See the DiagnosTEX Holiday handout for more ideas!


New dysphagia products that assist with taking meds

OralFlo Cup ( – Trouble swallowing pills?  This Oralflo Pill Swallowing Cup may be helpful with certain patients, not all. The Oralflo Pill Swallowing Cup allows the user to simply drink any pill size safely and naturally, eliminating the need to place a dry pill in your mouth.  30-Day Money Back Guarantee

Spray’n Swallow ( – Spray’n Swallow® is made from all natural ingredients including MCT (an extremely fine extract of coconut or palm oil that has no taste, odor or color) and works as a fine lubricant and anti-stick agent, shown to also increase energy levels. Other ingredients include either wintergreen or cherry flavor (which can help eliminate bitter pill aftertaste) and vitamin E. Spray’n Swallow is safe to use with all your vitamins, supplements and any over-the-counter pills. In regard to prescription medication, although Spray’n Swallow should be perfectly safe to use, please consult with your health care provider first (as is true with any product taken in conjunction with prescription medication).