May 2024 Newsletter

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers!

And Happy Memorial Day!

Happy National Speech and Hearing Month

Memorial Day is to honor those who served in the military and have passed on.

Remember all of our military men and women on Memorial Day that sacrificed

ALL to fight and maintain our country’s freedom! We are grateful for their service!

May is National Speech-Language-Hearing Month

The National Association for Hearing and Speech Action (NAHSA) announced that starting in 2024, May will be recognized as National Speech-Language-Hearing Month instead of Better Hearing and Speech Month, which NAHSA—the consumer affiliate of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)—initiated in 1972. Now there is a new name of its “parent” organization, ASHA, as well. The consumer affiliate of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the National Association for Hearing and Speech Action (NAHSA) is the one organization focused solely on educating the public about communication health.

Despite the name change the annual event provides opportunities to raise awareness about what we do! This is how we educate that we are essential in times like this. We need to let others know what we do and what we need to effectively carry out our responsibilities. This is the month to advocate! ASHA has many resources to help you at May is also American Stroke Awareness Month with the National Stroke Association. Some other good resources on include the Clinical Café for numerous education handouts or the Store to find the following items:

  • 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. (+S&H). Discounted to $30.00 for MBSH Month. Call us, we will get one out to you!
  • DVD or jump drive – What You Can Not See at the Bedside- By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP and Pam Ragland M.S. CCC-SLP. Copies of MBSS studies for education of staff and families on various disorders and clear episodes of penetrations and aspirations. Cost - $40.00 (plus S & H). Discounted to $30.00 for MBSH Month. Great educational tool for anyone! These are the same videos we presented at TSHA.
  • An SLP Should NEVER Lose Their Voice - Advocate for Proper Dysphagia Evaluations By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP Material to assist in educating Physicians, Administrators, Nurses and other Medical Professionals on Dysphagia and MBSS.
  • Modern Dysphagia Cooking - The team at Simply Thick created recipes incorporating the IDDSI Framework. They poured their hearts & resources into making the ultimate guide for dysphagia diet cooking. A MUST HAVE reference tool for our dysphagia patients and their families & caregivers!

Memorial Day Holiday

DiagnosTEX will not be operating vans on Monday May 29tht for the holiday. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your MBSS around that time. We will run vans Tuesday through Friday that week. We have veterans working for DiagnosTEX and we thank them and any others who have served to protect our freedom! We honor those on Memorial Day, who took the ultimate sacrifice! This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. The flag blows freely not because of the wind but because of each last breath taken from those defending it. Always remember those and be grateful.

Vulnerability of Healthcare has been exposed

Change Healthcare is a clearing house which was already important to the daily operations of the nation’s healthcare system before United Health Group bought it, but the merger turned it into critical infrastructure, serving over 50% of the claims billed out in the US. Practices closed their doors all across the nation and most providers went months without the ability to bill their claims. Some had to revert back to paper claims which some payors did not know how to process. A crisis stemming from the Cyberattack/hack February 21, 2024 has uncovered the frailty of the healthcare system, and resurfaced the original Dept of Justice concerns around consolidation raised three years ago when UnitedHealth and Change first merged. Cyberattacks on the health-care sector have been on the rise, but the Change Healthcare attack was “unprecedented” in terms of how widespread its impact was to practices both big and small. This is what happens when there is monopoly and everything merges leaving one option for hackers to have one big target that they know if brought down, it will cause a near collapse and bring U.S. health care to a halt. Which they succeeded at for the price of $22 million, followed by a second breach/hack of the system including military data within 2 months of the first one. This is a crucial threat to our country that is being explored by the White House, Health and Human Services as well as the FBI.

State Government and Washington DC

This year, the House will consider 19 bills that affect various aspects of the US Health System as the current structure of the physician fee schedule does not provide sustainable, reliable and consistent payment rates. The road ahead will be challenging as we advocate as a profession for fair reimbursement policies while striving to continue quality timely care, also struggling to secure financial viability in our practices. We all need to do our part to engage lawmakers to make needed changes. Don’t ever sit back and say someone else will do it, or I will let them represent me. Keep in constant contact with your Congress Members and Representatives. These individuals were elected by us to represent us. That is their job and they don’t have a job without us. You may not get the actual timely response you may prefer, but don’t let that stop you from educating them regularly on what is happening in the real world of healthcare. Doing this keeps the priority topics at the forefront of their campaigns and their voting decisions. Also, you have a responsibility to VOTE, this is another opportunity to speak up and have a voice. There is much to be done and much that can be done. One person can make a difference if everyone tries.

New research – Reversal of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most significant healthcare problems nationally and globally. Recently, the first description of the reversal of cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer's disease or its precursors, MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and SCI (subjective cognitive impairment), was published [1]. The therapeutic approach used was programmatic and personalized rather than monotherapeutic and invariant, and was dubbed metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND). Patients who had had to discontinue work were able to return to work, and those struggling at work were able to improve their performance. The patients, their spouses, and their co-workers all reported clear improvements. Here we report the results from quantitative MRI and neuropsychological testing in ten patients with cognitive decline, nine ApoE4+ (five homozygous and four heterozygous) and one ApoE4−, who were treated with the MEND protocol for 5-24 months. The magnitude of the improvement is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective. These results have far-reaching implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, MCI, and SCI; for personalized programs that may enhance pharmaceutical efficacy; and for personal identification of ApoE genotype.

Bredesen DE, Amos EC, Canick J, Ackerley M, Raji C, Fiala M, Ahdidan J. Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. Aging (Albany NY). 2016 Jun 12; 8:1250-1258 .