DiagnosTEX May 2015 Newsletter



Clinical Café Newsletter

Consultants in Dysphagia Evaluation and Management

                             817-514-MBS1 or 1-888-514-MBS1        

By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP



Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

Happy Memorial Day!

Remember our men and women (including moms) that have sacrificed ALL

to fight and maintain our freedom!

Hug a Mom and a Veteran this month, whether it is yours or not!


DiagnosTEX Holiday – Memorial Day – DiagnosTEX will not be operating vans on Monday May 25th, but will run all vans Tuesday through Friday that week.  Please keep this in mind when scheduling your MBSS around that time.  We have veterans working for DiagnosTEX.   We honor them, any others who have served, and those who are currently sacrificing for our freedom! We also remember those who paid the ultimate price for our country and our freedom today!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the veterans who served and are serving our country and everything we stand for! 


MAY is Better Speech and Hearing Month –This annual event provides opportunities to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing. ASHA has many resources to help you celebrate BHSM every day at www.asha.org . Some good educational material to share can also be found in the booklet ABOVE and BEYOND.

ABOVE and BEYONDBy: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP  Patient, Caregiver, and Healthcare Professional Educational Reference Sheets and Handouts for Effective Dysphagia Rehabilitation.  Over 30 handouts on specific disorders in dysphagia in ONE location to use in your practice, plus a resource section for SLP’s on cranial nerve testing, pharyngeal exercises, and treatment techniques. A need to have booklet in your therapy bag!!   Cost: $40.00. (plus S&H). Call us, and we will get one out to you!

DVD – What you Can Not See At Bedside  – Copies of MBSS studies for education of staff and families on various disorders and clear episodes of penetrations and aspirations.  Cost – $40.00 (plus S & H). Great educational tool for anyone!


Delay in Medicare Cuts – Congress VOTES –  Congress postponed SGR-triggered pay cuts for physicians 17 times since 2003, usually at the last minute and it was no different this year, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate would not vote on the SGR repeal bill until after it returned from an Easter-Passover break on Monday, April 13. The 21% cut was again avoided this year to extend into 2019. As for the therapy cap being eliminated, the Members of the U.S. Senate set out to do just that when they tried attaching an amendment that would do away with the therapy cap to a landmark piece of Medicare legislation that cleared the U.S. Congress earlier this month. But that proposal, which would have cost $10 to $13 billion over the next 10 years, came just shy of the 60 votes it needed to pass on the Senate floor last week, and the system therapy cap opponents claim does Medicare more harm than good remains in place, at least for now.

DiagnosTEX Service Agreements for 2015 – DiagnosTEX updates the FEE schedule to the  service agreement yearly due to Medicare Fee schedule changes, we have postponed this due to Congress, but will update all service agreement fee schedules in May.


Upcoming Continuing Education

  • AMPCARE ESP  – Deciphering Dysphagia with E-Stim     www.ampcarellc.com****LOCAL******  Fort Worth, TX- May 2, 2015

    Orlando, Florida – May 8, 2015

    San Antonio, TX – May 16, 2015


Dysphagia Diets –  Different level of difficulty with meats

  • Puree – smooth, mashed potato-like consistency
  • Minced – very small pieces of 1/8 inch. The flecks of food are smaller than sesame seed.
  • Ground – diced into ¼ inch pieces. These pieces of food are similar in size to rice.
  • Chopped – ½ inch pieces. These pieces of food are similar in size to uncooked elbow macaroni or small bread cubes/small croutons.
  • Soft Regular – soft, moist, regular textured foods.  These foods are baked and moist, like fish, poultry, etc. This diet level includes food that is nearly normal, excluding very hard, sticky, or crunchy foods. Foods should not be overly dry and should still be moist and bite sized. Foods to avoid include dry bread, toast, crackers, coarse cereal like shredded wheat, foods with nuts, seeds, fruits that are difficult to chew such as apples, tough dry meats, and chunky peanut butter.)
  • Regular solid – no restrictions, fried and crispy included.


Dysphagia diet % levels of difficulty in Swallowing Diet, Frank W Jackson MD,Jackson Siegelbaum Gastronenterology

DMR Health Standard # 07-1 Guidelines for Identification and Management of Dysphagia and Swallowing Risks


Alzheimer stats – Cost to a Nation – The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. In 2015, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $226 billion, with half of the costs borne by Medicare. Average per-person Medicare spending for people age 65 or older with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is three times higher than for seniors without dementia. Medicaid payments are 19 times higher. Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. By 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer’s may rise as high as 16 million and it will be one in every three dollars. Unless something is done soon to help cure this terrible disease, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost over $1.1 trillion (in 2015 dollars). This dramatic rise includes a five-fold increase in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and a nearly five-fold increase in out-of pocket spending.