January Newsletter 2012




DiagnosTEX 2012 Dysphagia Calendar – Be sure you get the new DiagnosTEX 2012 Dysphagia Calendar if you haven’t already, there is a limited supply.


Fun Facts about New Year’s Resolutions – New beginnings

  1. About 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more New Year’s resolutions each year.
  2. About 67% of people who make resolutions make three or more.
  3. Most popular resolutions include promises of weight loss, exercise and quitting smoking.
  4. Also common are resolutions dealing with better money management / debt reduction.
  5. The following statistics reveal how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:
  • past the first week: 75%
  • past 2 weeks: 71%
  • after one month: 64%
  • after 6 months: 46%

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.


Unpredictable Weather in Texas – It’s been a warm winter… so far!

Unfortunately in Texaswe do not get a beautiful flaky snowfall, we get ice (usually black ice).  Our weather can change overnight! Last year we had the worst snow storm I had seen and it shut our vans down for 4 days.  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 severe, we will cancel the day and reschedule the facilities as promptly as possible. If bad weather starts during the work day, an owner and the driver(s) present on the mobile unit(s) will decide together if any changes in the schedule should be made. The patients are extremely important, and our top priority has to be the safety of the patients, our employees and vehicles!  Avoiding these types of risk is important also to prevent further delay of our service to you (due to injury or damaged vehicles). Even minor damage to the mobile vehicle can put us “down” for several days. Our work days are heavily weighted with travel (all over the D/FW metroplex and surrounding areas, on multiple roads and bridges, through varying amounts/degrees of traffic), which naturally increases our risk of difficulties, especially weather-related. Our decision to run the vans that day may be based upon whether or not public schools are closed because of road conditions. In the case of a cancelled day, we will do our best to get your study rescheduled as promptly as we can. Please drive carefully during these winter ice storms!



***********NEW HISTORY INTAKE FORM*********** – Please note the new history form included! Start using this form immediately.  New Medicare regulations change every year and we must change with them.  They require new and different information to prove medical necessity for evaluating the patient for dysphagia, which requires more documentation!  It is frustrating but necessary.  We thank you for doing your part to help us meet these requirements. The one included has both the Facility and HH, please make copies of the correct side for your location and service.


Dysphagia Apps


Smalltalk Dysphagia


Ilarynx – for fun!


Medicare changes for 2012 – Physicians got a brief reprieve from a 27.4 percent Medicare pay cut Friday when the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives each passed a two-month extension of several important policies that expire on Jan. 1.  The U.S. Senate last week voted to extend current Medicare payment rates for two months. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is directing providers and claims administration contractors to delay filing claims for services paid under the 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, the agency announced in a news release. Providers are advised to hold 2012 claims for the first 10 business days of January.


Dysphagia Tidbit –  Cognitive Based Swallowing Impairments and Strategies -ADVANCE

Deficits in attention and problem solving can directly impact a patient’s ability to participate in meals safely and efficiently for adequatePOintake.

Attention strategies – eliminate radio, TV, and extraneous conversation, Limit items in front of pt. (including plate covers and flowers), Staff should interact with pt, not each other.

Reasoning and problem solving – remove all non-food items from table, completely set up tray (including condiments), encourage them to put down utensils and cups between bites and sips, allow agitated patients to stop eating and offer a meal later.

All patients should have the opportunity to safely and efficiently consume a least restrictive diet texture for as long as possible. Using cognitive based interventions may assist patient to consume preferred foods and textures for more time, increasePOintake, and provide a better quality of life.  Utilizing strategies 50% of the time does not qualify a patient for safe PO during all meals, so make sure that supervision is available or provide written cues if appropriate.