DiagnosTEX February 2017 Newsletter


Happy Valentine’s Day!

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

National “Wear Red” Day (first Friday in February)


Here are some interesting facts about Valentine’s Day.

    1. In AD 496, Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 Valentine’s Day. He was a romantic!
    • In the 1800s, doctors commonly advised their heartbroken patients to eat chocolate, claiming it would sooth their pain. I don’t know about you, but Chocolate eases my pain! J
    • Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s. LOVE THIS MAN!
    • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts, and pets.


    1. About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
    2. An estimated 198 million roses were produced last year just for Valentine’s Day.

    Upcoming CEU opportunities in the first quarter of 2017

    Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare ESP – February 13, 2017 – Greenville, North Carolina

    Texas Speech and Hearing Association Annual Convention in Austin Texas, February 23-25, 2017

    Please stop by and see Ampcare at booth 303 in the exhibit hall.

    Dysphagia Research Society in Portland, Oregon March 2-4, 2017.

    Membership for DRS has increased to a total of 459 paid members! This is an increase in over 100 members from the same time last year. Moreover, there are 84 new members (15 Full, 62 Associate, and 7 Training)!

    Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare ESP -March 4, 2017 – Houston, Texas

    Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare ESP – March 25, 2017 – Arlington, Texas

    Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare ESP – March 31, 2017 – Austin, Texas

    Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare ESP – April 7, 2017 –  Phoenix, Arizona


    Texas Speech and Hearing Association Annual Convention in Austin February 23-25 2017 – The entire DTEX SLP team will be at TSHA getting CEU’s, we hope to see many of you there. All of us will also be attending the TSHA Medical Committee Happy Hour at the Hilton Austin next to the convention center at Cannon + Belle, 2/24 from 5:30-7:30pm. Be sure to plan on stopping by and supporting this great TSHA group. Had some calls asking if Pam and I will be presenting this year again at TSHA, we will not, but be looking for the upcoming Spring DiagnosTEX CEU course that will include your required Ethics hours! J


    Quality Assurance – As most of you know, we do QA 1x a year on 1 month worth of patients to follow up on their status. This is time consuming and takes dedicated commitment by all SLP’s involved. I believe very strongly in this, as it is quality patient care documentation and the data is priceless.  I also believe very strongly in all healthcare professionals communicating openly about patient care and respecting each other’s dedication to this.  This information we gather has been shared in the past years with ASHA as well as the Medicare Reform committee supporting the importance of an MBSS in the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia as well as reviewing the reimbursement levels for ST codes. THANK YOU to all who have been consistent in talking to us about your patients, being respectful enough to return our calls in a prompt manner and respecting the importance of this data, not just for DTEX but for our profession. It does not go unnoticed by any of us and we know the quality healthcare professionals in how you care for your patients. We appreciate you for your support and all you do in the field for your patients.


    Influenza/Flu Positive results. – Any patient in isolation with an influenza positive test or with flu/risk/symptoms of the flu should not be seen in the mobile unit. Our small contained mobile environment can be easily exposed and effect the fragile, elderly patients that we see during the day, despite our decontamination procedures we use.  If the patient has the flu and requires this procedure immediately,

    please refer to local hospital where this type of illness can be more properly handled. Thank you for your understanding and help with this issue during this flu season. There are many respiratory infections going around this winter season.


    New 2017 DiagnosTEX service contracts – Every year, Medicare adjusts the Part B rates for 92611 and we must update our Fee schedules, so new updated contracts have been sent out to all facilities we service. If you have any questions about your service contract, please contact Lisa at 817-514-6271.

    Our service agreements can also be found on our website at www.dysphagiadiagnostex.com


    Home Health Patients – It is the responsibility of the treating SLP to inform their patients of the following information before the scheduled MBSS:

    1. What exactly a Modified Barium Swallow Study is for and what the evaluation involves.
    2. There is travel fee for the mobile MBSS Company to come to the home ($25.00 due upon arrival).
    3. They will have to go outside to the van, we will not be doing the study in their home and they must have easy access to exit their home safely.
    4. Restrain and put away all pets before the DiagnosTEX staff arrives.
    5. We will fax the report to the SLP/HH agency, but we will leave a copy of the DVD at the home.
    6. Any observers from the home at the time of the study will still be required to sign the observation form.
    7. We will call when we are on our way to the home, if no one answers the phone to confirm that they are at home we will not continue to proceed to the home. If we get there and no one answers the door, there will be a cancellation fee of $150.00.


    Dysphagia Tidbit – Role of the Esophagus: Looking Beyond the Pharynx A friend of ours and another mobile MBS SLP that is in the Boston area, Amy Litwack et al, presented a very informative poster to discuss at DRS last year about the prevalence of esophageal disorders in adult patients who are referred for oropharyngeal dysphagia. They concluded that esophageal dysphagia was found more frequently than aspiration (46% vs 36%) in a large cohort of the patients they studied (10,357 patients) over the age of 60 years. Structural/anatomical abnormalities (CP bar, diverticuli, obstruction) occurred in 11% of patients while functional dysmotility occurred with three times the frequency (35%). These findings emphasize the critical need for esophageal evaluation in this population. This is about the same percentage that we see in our yearly QA at DTEX. The PG course sessions by Radiologist Dr. Cheri Canon and Gastroenterologist Dr. Arash Babei also discussed the impact of esophageal disorders on oropharyngeal function and the consequences of missed esophageal diagnoses. Takeaway: Deglutition is a multidisciplinary team effort. SLPs must start thinking and looking beyond the pharynx.  See more on DRS highlights last year at www.Dysphagiacafe.com