DiagnosTEX May 2016 Clinical Café Newsletter



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!


Monthly motivator:

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up, Next to you and defend her still today, Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land God bless the USA.” – Lee Greenwood

DiagnosTEX Holiday – Memorial Day – DiagnosTEX will not be operating vans on Monday May 30th, 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. ON SALE ONLY IN MAY!

ABOVE and BEYOND By: 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: $45.00. (plus S&H). Call us, and we will get one out to you! BSHM SALE = $40.00 (plus tax and S & H)

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! BSHM SALE = $30.00 (plus tax and S & H)

Aspiration Pneumonia Facts

  • Highest mortality rate of any infection
  • Among hospitalized elderly, development of pneumonia is associated with 43% mortality rate
  • Pneumonia 2nd most common infection in nursing homes
  • Up to 80% of nosocomial pneumonia may be aspiration pneumonia

New Dysphagia Products

Liftware – Liftware is a stabilizing handle and a selection of attachments that include a soup spoon, everyday spoon, and fork. Liftware is designed to help people with hand tremor eat more easily. The Liftware stabilizing handle contains sensors that detect hand motion and a small onboard computer that distinguishes unwanted tremor from the intended movement of the hand. To stabilize the utensil, the computer directs two motors in the handle to move the utensil attachment in the opposite direction of any detected tremor. Liftware automatically stabilizes and shakes 70% less than your hand. Worry less about spilling and focus on enjoying your meal.  For more information go to; www.liftware.com

MIT-E Spoon – Calm, LLC has invented and is currently manufacturing the MIT-E spoon, a spoon that quickly and effectively separates solids from liquids allowing individuals with dysphagia (swallowing impairment) to enjoy common comfort foods without being thickened. An option for those recommended for “No Mixed Consistencies”. For more information go to www.calmslp.com


New Healthcare Era will effect REPEAT STUDIES – The transition from the fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement system to one based on value is one of the greatest financial challenges health systems currently face. CMS announced that the most ambitious phase of a new program which will begin April 1, 2016, when Medicare will begin putting in place a plan to put each hospital at financial risk for the cost and quality of each joint replacement procedure, including care provided outside the hospital for up to 90 days. This stage is a trail stage and there will be more to come. This is putting hospitals at financial risk for the cost of care and is a powerful incentive to get it right. Unnecessary procedures, complications, hospital readmissions and extended care provided in costly “post-acute” settings such as rehabilitation centers all may drive up costs and increase the likelihood that hospitals will end the year owing Medicare money. Hospitals that reap savings will be able to reward physicians and other care providers, providing them too with an incentive to boost quality and cut cost. Under the bundled payment system, the provider receives a fixed payment for the episode of care. The provider decides whether to accept the beneficiary and, for beneficiaries receiving care, selects in a first stage the treatment level that maximizes her expected risk-averse utility. In a second stage, after the treatment is provided, the beneficiary may face complications and require further treatment, the likelihood of which depends on the first stage treatment level. In case of complications, the provider incurs additional treatment costs that will not be further reimbursed by the insurer. We use a similar framework to model the FFS system with the exception that the payment to the healthcare provider is proportional to the cost of treatment offered to the beneficiary. Furthermore, in case of complications, the provider receives an additional payment that is proportional to the complication cost. This brings into concern more than ever the repeat studies on patients that have signed an AMA and are still having complications, there will likely be no more “maybe they will pay”. If the patent has an AMA on file, they will need to accept full responsibility for the repeat MBSS, by aligning an ABN, as there is no medical necessity for further procedures if recommendations for safe PO or NPO are not being followed.