January 2022 Newsletter

Before I agree to 2022, I would like to see the terms and conditions.

Celebrate endings

For they precede new beginnings. Life's not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it's about doing, being and becoming and overcoming. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right or at least do it better than next year. Reset, Refocus, Restart! Look forward to working together with you in 2022!

Updated 2022 DiagnosTEX paperwork

Updated Medicare fee schedules mean updated paperwork, no matter how you look at it. DiagnosTEX will update the service agreement fee schedules and send out to all facilities. Any new facility or change in companies will be required to sign a new service agreement. Also, due to changing commercial insurance and Medicare advantage plan requirements, additional information and documentation is required for us to collect, therefore other DiagnosTEX forms will also be updated January 1. We have had many SLP’s state recently “you never use to require this”, or “you never use to require this much information”. Please understand, anything that we have not required in the past and do now, is usually not something we just woke up one morning and decided we wanted to collect. We agree with you, the less paperwork the better BUT………. these are things we are being required to do by payment sources so that we are able to get paid for the services we are providing to your patients. Find all our new paperwork on the website at www.dysphagiadiagnostex.com.

Digital copy of MBSS

As is the standard with all imaging and hospital facilities DiagnosTEX will begin to phase out handing out the copy of digital images of the MBSS (DVD) to the home health and facilities next year. This will occur due to increasing cost, major supply issues, and more importantly, the unprecedented misuse of images on social media resulting in HIPAA and liability concerns for the patient. This portion of the medical record can always be requested and copies ordered by family for a charge of $10.00. I know some of you will be very disappointed with this change and we understand why. We apologize for the inconvenience but please know this was a very difficult decision that had to be made in this strange, unforgiving times, and often unprofessional use of the new high-tech society. We always encourage all treating SLPs to attend the study if you anticipate any questions or concerns. As always, the evaluating SLP is available to discuss the evaluation and recommendations with you at any time. You can email any of our SLPs with the use of their first name and follow with @diagnostex.us

DiagnosTEX Outpatient Clinic

Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic issues has delayed the opening of our NRH outpatient clinic in both 2020 and 2021, but we have HIGH hopes for a grand opening in 2022. Stay tuned!

Unpredictable Weather in Texas

It’s been a warm winter… so far! - Unfortunately, in Texas we typically do not get a beautiful flaky snowfall, we get ice (usually black ice which caused a horrible tragedy in FW last year.). 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!

Shout your treatment success from the rooftops!

Do you have a favorite Ampcare Success Story, such as helping someone be able to drink their favorite cup of Joe, or taking someone from NPO to a Holiday feast? If so, we really want to hear about it. The joy of these positive outcomes makes our day, week, month and year! Ampcare is excited to offer some official Ampcare swag for filling out the testimonial form using the following link:. https://swallowtherapy.com/testimonial-page/

TSHA is scheduled to be back in Fort Worth February 24-26, 2022

We love it when it returns to our backyard! Registration for the TSHA 66th Annual Convention & Exhibition is now open, register before January 16th for lowest rate. TSHA has secured a block of rooms at three hotels in Fort Worth that are conveniently located to Convention activities. Take advantage of these savings by booking a room by January 25. DiagnosTEX and Ampcare will there! Look forward to reconnecting with everyone!

Dysphagia Puree Diets

As I have always said you can Jazz puree up, it just takes a little creativity! Check out Essential Puree at https://essentialpuree.com/ Essential Puree is a good source for puree recipes for adults and those looking for soft food diet recipes due to dysphagia, gastric bypass surgery, post-surgery diet, injury or swallowing disorders. Right now their site shows “Get 10 e-books for only $20 for a limited time”. Their philosophy for the care and feeding of the dysphagia patient posted on their website says:

  • Life is too short to eat boring, tasteless food.
  • Food is medicine, food is love.
  • The sauce is the secret of flavor.
  • Even with a swallowing disorder, food can still have the Deelish Factor.

Intubation and microaspiration A

study completed in 2021, reviewed data oral and gastric secretions which leak past the endotracheal tube. Pepsin (inactive form of pepsinogen) is stored in the gastric mucosal cells. Pepsin A is considered a specific marker of gastric reflux aspiration, which can induce an inflammatory response with more cellular damage than gastric acid alone. In animal model research, pepsin induced damage to the esophagus was irreversible. The study evaluated 297 patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Microaspiration was found in 43.8% of the patients, those with pepsin A (17.5%) had longer ventilation duration (155 hours vs 104 hours) and longer stay in ICU. Additional prevention such as backrest elevation, oropharyngeal suctioning and management of endotracheal tube pressure may be options for reducing this.
Pepsin A in Tracheal Secretions from Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation. Pulmonary Critical Care, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2021 doi:https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2021528. By: Talbert, S., Bourgault, A., Rathbun, K., Abomoelak, B., Deb, C., Mehta, D., Sole, M.