May 2011 Newsletter


May 2011
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 this month, whether it is yours or not!
Clinical Café Newsletter
By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP

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 everyday.

New!! Educational Handout for Patients and their Families for Better Speech and Hearing Month – Be sure to get yours next time we see you!

Free Webinars for BHSM for ASHA members – Visit ASHA website
• Wednesday May 11th at 3pm and 6pm – Tracheotsomy: Procedures, Timing, and Tubes
• Monday May 23rd at 3pm and 6pm – Passy Muir Valve FAQ Challenge
Each webinar is 0.1 CEU.

DiagnosTEX Holiday – DiagnosTEX will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 30th. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your MBSS around that time. Thank you. We have veterans working for DiagnosTEX! We honor them, others who have served, and those that are currently sacrificing for our freedom!

A cancellation fee will be charged for a study in the following circumstances: 1. We arrive at the facility to do the MBSS and the patient refuses to participate, 2. The MBSS is canceled after we arrive, 3. The pt is unable to be positioned for the study, or 4. The pt is unable to get up for the study in a timely manner before we have to move on and continue our pre-scheduled day. The travel fee is necessary to offset expense for our time at the facility, staff and physician participation/effort in attempting the study, gas expense and time traveling to the facility with no study being completed. The cancellation fee billed to the facility or home health will be $150.00 per cancelled patient, which is typical for most physicians’ practices. If our staff has contact with the patient, then we have initiated patient care and we will leave documentation of our efforts to complete the study for the medical record. Please be aware of this; it is stated clearly in the service contract signed with DiagnosTEX. We ask that you make sure your patient is willing to participate and can participate prior to us arriving.

Pending studies for being D/C’d out of the facility – I would like to ask everyone who has sent in a pending study request, to notify us immediately if the patient has gone to the hospital, has been discharged or is no longer in the facility since placing the request. We understand that you are busy. (As we are, because our referrals come from you!) Please realize that if we schedule the patient to fit in our full day of MBSS, a cancellation/reschedule can completely readjust our times of arrival for the entire day, directly impacting other facilities and patient schedules. There is no need for us to leave space in our tight schedule and travel time for a pending patient that is no longer at the home or the facility. (This even applies during our scheduling process the day before!) We appreciate your attention to this! I’m sure you can understand this can be a huge contributing factor to getting studies done in a timely manner. Thank you.

Home Health studies – Please let all of your home health (HH) patients know that if they do not answer the phone number you provide us, we will not be able to schedule them. If we do schedule them and they do not answer their phone when we call ahead, we will not continue our route to that location without confirmation that they are there. Subsequently, the study will be cancelled and put back on the pending list (risking further delay). If the HH patient needs a specific time and day (i.e., after 3pm, only on Tuesdays, etc.) please refer them to an outpatient freestanding facility (such as a hospital). Mobile MBSS provides the convenience of the service coming to them, not the flexibility of a specific time and day.

New history/consult request forms – In January, we implemented new history forms (a result of new Medicare requirements). Copies can be found on our website, we have copies on the van, or the office staff can fax you a new one. Many of you are using them, thank you! It is critical that you check the request box(es) at the bottom of the page. Please do not leave this area blank. Thank you!

A Cool New App for Dysphagia – Lingraphica – The Aphasia Company – Small Talk Dysphagia. This app shows video and speaks regarding dysphagia disorders, strategies, diets, and recommendations for those with aphasia! Check it out and pass it along! 

Do you know someone who makes a difference?? Dorland opened up nominations for the second Dorland Health People Awards program, which seeks to recognize those who work with patients every day and who are making a profound difference and positively affecting individuals and their wellness across America. Dorland Health wants to recognize those people who set the benchmark for patient care through their dedication, compassion, and tireless service. With the enriching work of your organization and those who impact lives as a backdrop, nominate a member(s) of your team for the second Dorland Health People Awards program. In addition to those in clinical practice, please consider nominations in categories such as ethics, risk management and quality managers.
**All categories can be found at
The Dorland Health Awards honor the outstanding work of individuals who provide care and support to patients and families across the continuum. This is a great opportunity for those of us spanning the field of medical management to achieve recognition. Finalists of the awards program will be announced mid-summer and will be celebrated at an awards luncheon in Washington DC on October 20, 2011 at the National Press Club where the winners in each category will be announced. Award Winners and Honorable Mentions will be profiled in the Oct/Nov issue of Case In Point magazine, and will enjoy further recognition through press releases and announcements on To submit a nomination or nominate yourself, please visit the website where you will find details, including a link to an entry form.

Facts and statistics – Among nursing home (NH) residents, 72% to 84% have difficulty brushing their teeth, 78-94% find it difficult to impossible to clean their dentures. Medicare guidelines mandate appropriate oral care for those dependent on others. Nationally, 60-70% of NH residents are cognitively impaired and more than half of NH residents depend on caregivers. Poor oral health has been linked to serious systematic illness, including stroke, diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and aspiration pneumonia. Among the elderly population living in NH, pneumonia is the leading cause of death, with mortality rate ranging from 7-41%. An estimated 200,000 cases of aspiration pneumonia occur in the US each year, accounting for more than 15,000 deaths. The annual cost of NH acquired pneumonia among the 1.5 million nursing home residents nationwide exceeds $8 billion. Decreasing Dehydration for Residents in Nursing Homes By Christen Guffey Page, MS, CCC-SLP, with Kristin Anne King, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Richard Dressler, PhD, CCC-SLP – Posted on: April 5, 2011