January 2018 Newsletter


Consultants in Dysphagia Evaluation and Management

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

Clinical Café Newsletter


New Years Resolutions Statistics – Do you have one?

Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data

Self-Improvement or education related resolutions = 47%

Weight related resolutions = 38%

Money related resolutions = 34%

Relationship related resolutions = 31%

DiagnosTEX will be running vans January 2-5 after New Year’s!  We wish everyone a blessed New Year! Look forward to working with you again in 2018!

2018 DiagnosTEX Dysphagia Calendars are distributed!  Thank you for all the great feedback!  So much fun to see how much anticipation there is for them each year. We have only a few left.

NEW WEBSITE has launched! We are so excited!  Check it out at www.dysphagiadiagnostex.com

New Consult/history intake forms being distributed Updated paperwork - I know it is hard to believe but we have not updated our paperwork in over a year.  We will be updating our history/consult forms to meet new 2018 requirements for Meaningful Use and PQRS. We, as you, do our best to stay ahead of the game and avoid pitfalls. Thank you for your understanding of this, and please make copies of the new form when your receive them and discard the old forms in recycle!  A copy is provided to you in this newsletter.  Call us and we will fax you one, or you can find them on our new website.

Quality Assurance at DiagnosTEX

Thank you to all those who have followed-up with us on our annual QA on your patients!  We appreciate you so much!  This information has been used by ASHA and Medicare reform committees in the past in support of dysphagia evaluations.

DiagnosTEX has been doing QA on our patients for 14 years. We follow up on the patients after their swallow study to see how they are doing on the diet we recommended. Once we have seen this patient for a consult, they are now technically our patient and as the treating consultants, we can actively communicate with the heathcare team, even at the facility on their tolerance of our diet and treatment recommendations. THIS IS NOT A HIPAA compliance issue. We have had a few SLPs and DORs and DONs state they cannot discuss the patient status with us anymore. Refusing to speak with us borders unethical on several levels. The interaction is one healthcare professional to another healthcare professional to discuss the status of their patient which whom we have both provided health services. The patient remains a patient of DiagnosTEX. The Privacy Rule, many are taking to extremes and applying incorrectly,  allows those doctors, nurses, hospitals, laboratory technicians, and other health care providers that are covered entities to use or disclose protected health information, such as X-rays, laboratory and pathology reports, diagnoses, and other medical information for treatment purposes without the patient’s authorization. This includes sharing the information to consult with other providers, including providers who are not covered entities, to treat a different patient, or to refer the patient. Collaboration in health care is defined as health care professionals assuming complementary roles and cooperatively working together, sharing responsibility for problem-solving and making decisions to formulate and carry out plans for patient care. Collaboration between physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals increases team members’ awareness of each other’s type of knowledge and skills, leading to continued improvement in decision making.

Under HIPAA, a facility may share or disclose patient information for the following purposes:

  • Treatment of the patient (e.g. consulting with other healthcare providers on diagnosis and treatment)
  • Obtaining payment from the patient’s health plan
  • Operational requirements (e.g. quality improvement activities or peer review)
  • Complying with legally mandated reporting or disclosure

Please review The HIPAA regulations.

Unpredictable Weather in Texas – It’s been a warm winter… so far! - Unfortunately in Texas we do not get a beautiful flaky snowfall, we get ice (usually black ice).  Our weather can change overnight! This kind of weather obviously becomes a problem for anyone who travels.  Most of our daily routine is traveling extensively in all directions!  As winter approaches and the threat of severe weather conditions arise, DiagnosTEX owners and drivers will evaluate the conditions of the roads and DiagnosTEX will contact all scheduled facilities immediately if we are unable to meet our appointments for that day.  If the weather conditions are unsafe for driving, we will cancel the day and reschedule the studies as promptly as possible. Even though roads may be passable in one area, does not mean passing through another area to get there is possible and we have to take all routes and directions into consideration. We have precious cargo on board on mobile clinics, most importantly our staff!

National Trends in Admission for Aspiration Pneumonia in the United States, 2002–2012

The incidence and mortality of patients admitted to acute care hospitals for aspiration pneumonia decreased between 2002 and 2012 in the United States. This difference was more evident for elderly patients. However, the cost of hospitalization almost doubled. Being older than 65 years of age is an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality among patients admitted for aspiration pneumonia. A total of 406,798 patients (weighted total, 1,741,517) admitted for aspiration pneumonia were included in this study. There were 84,200 (20.7%) patients younger than 65 years of age and 322,598 patients (79.3%) aged 65 years or older. Strategies to prevent aspiration pneumonia in the community should be implemented in the aging U.S. population.

Chao-Ping Wu 1*, Yu-wei Chen 2*, Min-Jung Wang 3, and Evgeny Pinelis 1

https://doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201611-867OC       PubMed: 28272915

Received: November 08, 2016 Accepted: March 06, 2017

DiagnosTEX has seen a reduction in MBSS as part of the initial eval and a reduction in repeat studies due to funding concerns and this is translating over to increased numbers nationally as incidents on pneumonia in 2017 as risen.  As SLP’s we need to advocate for proper evaluations to diagnose properly.

In 2017 the number of visits to the ER with pneumonia increased as the primary hospital discharge diagnosis: 423,000.

Number of deaths: 50,622

Deaths per 100,000 population: 15.9

In January we are providing a new booklet to all those who use DiagnosTEX as their service provider called An SLP Should Never Lose Their Voice.  It is a booklet to use to advocate for proper dysphagia evaluations and is full of material for educating Physicians, Administrators, Nurses and other Medical Professional on Dysphagia and MBSS.  This is our 2018 gift to you for choosing DiagnosTEX as your MBSS provider.

This booklet will also be available for purchase in the store on our new website!

Insurance – DiagnosTEX is now in network with BCBS, Wellcare, Humana, United Healthcare, Cigna Commercial, Superior and more to come.  Always check with our office staff, we are getting in network with more each month!