February 2020 Newsletter

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.

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

Here are some interesting facts about Valentine's Day.

  1. After the Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage, Saint Valentine continued to marry men and women in secret. Even then, it was traditional for men and women to exchange flowers on their wedding day, as a sign of good luck and the start of a “blooming” relationship.
  2. In AD 496, Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 Valentine's Day. He was a romantic!
  3. 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! The Modified Barium Swallow study assesses the swallow starting with the lips and we follow that chocolate down to the stomach. Dark Chocolate not just tastes good but is good for you.
  4. Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine's Day in the late 1800s.LOVE THIS MAN! Every year, more than 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolates are sold across the country
  5. Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts, and pets. Hallmark was one of the first to mass produce a Valentine’s Day card, all the way back in 1913.
  6. About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets.
  7. An estimated 198 million roses are produced last year just for Valentine's Day. It’s estimated that the U.S. alone is going to spend $3.3 billion on flowers for loved ones this year. And the most likely flower to be purchased? Red roses of course! 

Texas Speech and Hearing Association Annual Convention in Houston, TEXAS

  • Ampcare will have booth, please stop by and see us at Booth 622.
  • Pam Ragland and I will be presenting “Do You Have the Whole Picture? Viewing Oral to Esophageal” ” on Thursday February 20 from 4:30pm-6:00pm

If you can fit it into your busy TSHA schedule, we would love to see you at both places!

Ampcare will host a 8 hour live ASHA CE course in Fort Worth February 7th  and Oklahoma on February 8th – Go to website to register www.ampcarellc.com

Trends to be seen in 2020 -   2019 will go down as a landmark year for LTC, but SNF issues will keep trending into 2020.

The best operators have prepared for PDPM and recognize they can benefit clinically and financially.  CMS will come down on those operators who have changed their strategies to cash in on the new model. There will be penalties to come. The 2020 political landscape will likely focus a lot on protecting the American seniors from harm and neglect. Both post-acute and long term care will be on agendas. Demands for nursing home services will likely meet or exceed supply in 2020.  Due to some Chapter 11 bankruptcy and continued fall out in 2019 by local operators. Operators and landlords will take a new look at leases. As always the Medicare advantage plans will continue to be an uphill battle in 2020. DiagnosTEX is here to help with you with your documentation for dysphagia as well as to help clawing your way through new insurance issues.

DiagnosTEX New EMR - We are currently transitioning to a new electronic health/medical record.  Our report format will look different to you but it will contain ALL of the exact same information you are used to receiving from our Modified Barium Swallow Studies. This current format may be adjusted within the next few weeks to months as we work out the normal kinks that come with a new EMR system.  We ask for your patience and understanding, while all of our staff (clinical and billing) adjusts to the new software, as we are all learning the new system and adjusting to the software/report format ourselves.  If you have any questions, comments of concern, please call the office and your call will be directed appropriately.  Thank you for your continued support of DiagnosTEX

New DiagnosTEX service agreements being distributed Updated Fee schedules for 2020 - I know it is hard to believe but we have not updated service agreements with facilities in over two years.  We will be updating our Fee schedules to meet 2020 requirements. DiagnosTEX is still the lowest cost dysphagia diagnostic instrumental evaluation available in DFW. In the past 16 years of business, we have only increased our rates by a little over $100. We, as you, do our best to stay ahead of the game and avoid pitfalls. Call us and we will fax you one, or you can find it on our website at www.DysphagiaDiagnosTEX.com

We are also handing out our 2020 Facility and HH packets with all updated paperwork. You can also download this from the website at www.DysphagiaDiagnosTEX.com.   Please do not forget you must submit the new Medicare number/ Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) with ALL of your new referrals. When you send in your paperwork, please make sure you have the face sheet, H & P, order, consult form and all consents. If you are a HH SLP, please try to send in all paperwork together including the 485.

We absolutely will not start processing anything until we have consent to treat and consent to treat comes with a signed physicians order.

 7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate - It is not only tastes good but is very nutritious

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains (1):

11 grams of fiber

67% of the RDI for iron

58% of the RDI for magnesium

89% of the RDI for copper

98% of the RDI for manganese

It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium

Powerful Source of Antioxidants - One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than any other fruits tested, which included blueberries and acai berries

May Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure - Many controlled studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, though the effects are usually mild

Raises HDL and Protects LDL from Oxidation and May Reduce Heart Disease Risk - The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL. In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease

May Protect Your Skin from the Sun - The flavonols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration

Could Improve Brain Function - Cocoa or dark chocolate may improve brain function by increasing blood flow. It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine.

It may help reduce your chances of getting cancer

Cocoa flavanols in dark chocolate have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These are important in keeping the actions of free radicals at bay. As we know, these are the protagonists when cancer starts to invade cells.

It can also help you see better

University of Reading researchers were curious to see if dark chocolate flavanols could actually improve vision as they knew it certainly improved blood circulation in general. They decided to do a small experiment and gave two groups of volunteers some white and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate groups were doing better on vision tests afterwards.

It may help reduce fatigue

If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome you should try adding chocolate to your daily diet. One group of sufferers were given a daily dose of chocolate for two months. They were less tired and the best news of all is that they did not put on any extra weight.     Now that you have finished the list, why not have a piece of dark chocolate and enjoy it? Remember, the darker the chocolate the better! And melted dark Chocolate can be a puree and a great garnish and topping!!!