May 2014 Newsletter


May 2014


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

Monthly motivator:

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood

DiagnosTEX Holiday – Memorial Day – DiagnosTEX will not be operating vans on Monday May 26th, but will run all vans Tuesday through Friday that week.  Please keep this in mind when scheduling your MBSS around that time.  We have veterans working for DiagnosTEX.   We honor them, any others who have served, and those who are currently sacrificing for our freedom! We also remember those who paid the ultimate price for our country and our freedom today!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the veterans who served and are serving our country and everything we stand for! 


MAY is Better Speech and Hearing Month – Be prepared! 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 every day at . Some good educational material to share can also be found in the booklet ABOVE and BEYOND.

ABOVE and BEYOND By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP  –  Patient, Caregiver, and Healthcare Professional Educational Reference Sheets and Handouts for Effective Dysphagia Rehabilitation.  Over 30 handouts on specific disorders in dysphagia in ONE location to use in your practice, plus a resource section for SLP’s on cranial nerve testing, pharyngeal exercises, and treatment techniques. A need to have booklet in your therapy bag!!   Cost: $40.00. (plus S&H). Call us, and we will get one out to you!



Delay in Medicare Cuts – Congress VOTES

The U.S. Senate cleared for President Obama’s signature a one-year delay of a 24 percent cut in payment rates for physicians who accept Medicare patients. The Senate voted 64-35, with 60 required, to pass the measure. Fifteen Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of the delay while six Democrats voted against it. This is the 17th time in a decade that Congress has voted to enact a delay. The American Medical Association, which has pressed for a permanent resolution of the reimbursement issued said it was disappointed in the vote.  The signed proposal would:

  • Grant Medicare physicians a 0.5% fee increase through the end of 2014;
  • Provide higher Medicare payments to hospitals in rural areas and for ambulance services in such areas;
  • Establish two new mental health grant programs, one of which would receive $60 million over four years to improve outpatient treatment for individuals with serious mental illnesses;
  • Delay the deadline to implement the new ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure code sets by one year, to Oct. 1, 2015;
  • Delay implementation of the new inpatient payment rule for hospitals, known as the two-midnight rule, by six months, to March 2015; and
  • Implement $2 billion in payment reductions over 10 years to skilled nursing providers.


2014 DiagnosTEX scheduling paperwork – We have been distributing our new paperwork in a packet on the vans. Be sure to update any paperwork that you have and discard the old ones. Thank you!


Upcoming Continuing Education

  • AMPCARE ESP  – Deciphering Dysphagia with E-Stim
    • ****LOCAL******  Las Colinas, TX- May 17, 2014
    • Hong Kong- May 23 – May 25, 2014


Dysphagia Diets –

Different level of difficulty with meats

  • Puree – smooth, mashed potato-like consistency
  • Minced – very small pieces of 1/8 inch. The flecks of food are smaller than sesame seed.
  • Ground – diced into ¼ inch pieces. These pieces of food are similar in size to rice.
  • Chopped – ½ inch pieces. These pieces of food are similar in size to uncooked elbow macaroni or small bread cubes/small croutons.
  • Soft Regular – soft, moist, regular textured foods.  These foods are baked and moist, like fish, poultry, etc.

(Regular solid – no restrictions, fried and crispy included. This diet level includes food that is nearly normal excluding very hard, sticky, or crunchy foods. Foods should not be overly dry and should still be moist and bite sized. Foods to avoid include dry bread, toast, crackers, coarse cereallike shredded wheat, foods with nuts, seeds, fruits that are difficult to chew such as apples, tough dry meats, and chunky peanut butter.)


Dysphagia diet % levels of difficulty in Swallowing Diet, Frank W Jackson MD,Jackson Siegelbaum Gastronenterology

DMR Health Standard # 07-1 Guidelines for Identification and Management of Dysphagia and Swallowing Risks