Newsletter :: April 2006


Monthly Motivator

Life is uncharted territory – it reveals its story one moment at a time.


It was so great to see everyone at TSHA! TSHA says it was the largest conference to date! Thanks for stopping by!


Upcoming Conferences

***April 29, 2006 Conference – Deciphering Dysphagia with E-Stim in Austin, TX*****

This is now an 8-hour conference.  Limited seating, so do not delay.

Professional Imaging LLC is a Mobile MBSS company in Houston and Austin, not a part of DiagnosTEX, LLC.  They have invited us as a guest speakers, please call their Corp office 1-866-675-MBSS to register or for any questions about the conference.

MBSS Workshop 2006 – The Truth Behind the Fluoro – Coming this summer to DFW!


April Holiday – DiagnosTEX will observe Good Friday (4/14/06) as a company holiday.  Please take this into consideration when scheduling your MBSS the week of April 10.  Thank you.


Part A patients with NO PART B coverage – DiagnosTEX clarifies billing status on all patients refer to us before we schedule.  There seems to be an increasing number of incidents where a Part A resident is lacking a secondary or Part B coverage.  In this case, DiagnosTEX is unable to bill for our Radiology/professional charges for the MBSS and the only fee we are billing is the Part A rate to the facility that we have contracted with.  In this situation the patient, facility or responsible party would need to sign a private pay agreement for the cost of the procedure/professional charges that are normally billed to Medicare Part B.  Please contact our billing department if you have any questions.  DiagnosTEX accepts Medicare and Medicaid and we are providers for BCBS, PacifiCare, Secure Horizons, and others.


Doctors orders – All orders for the MBSS must be signed by the physician or the RN and be faxed to DiagnosTEX before the patient is placed on the our list to be scheduled.  The 24-48 hour response time does not begin until all the paperwork is complete and received at the DiagnosTEX office.  Thank you for your help and understanding with this issue.


Taking Medications – Here are some ideas for those having trouble takings meds whole or crushed in pudding.  Always check with the pharmacists or doctor about crushing pills.  Not all pills can be crushed.

  1. Crush, mix/put in Vanilla Ice Cream – the cold sensation assists
  2. Crush and mix in Hershey’s syrup
  3. Wrap in a fruit roll up
  4. Crush pill, 1/5 tsp powdered sugar, powder drink and a little bit of hot water to drink
  5. New Product called Flavor-X.  The pharmacy can take the meds, crush them and make them into a suspension with almost any flavor.  Call your local pharmacy for more information.
  6. New Product called Swallow Aid – This gel format modified shape, form, and texture of the pill which reduces negative signals sent to the brain.  It comes in a tube which makes it portable and convenient to use.   For more information call 1-847-673-8488.


Do Your Part!   Advocacy Tools:

Write Congress  in Less Than 5 Minutes

Learn about :  ASHA PAC

ASHA  State-by-State Billing Reimbursement


Article review – Is life better with a feeding tube? And other questions for patients with ALS By: Jason Mosheim

Karen Haring MA CCC-SLP and Susan Jackson PhD CCC-SLP presented eight factors for those with ALS for a rating of importance in making a decision about a feeding tube   They are listed from the most to least important: 1) doctors recommendation 2) prolonging life, 3) personal beliefs and desires about TF, 4) family’s desires, 5) education and counseling from SLP, 6) information from ALS Association, 7) Influence of others with ALS, and 8) spiritual and religious beliefs..  While prolonging life was high on the list, feeding tubes only extend life by about 3-12 months, but there are things they have to take care of, so three months is often worth it to them.  Because eating becomes a chore, many ALS patients opt for the TF, they get scared of choking to death, which is actually a rarity in ALS.  But because the sensory part of the swallow is intact they are fully aware of their dysphagia.  When meals begin taking longer than 45 minutes and they are burning more calories than they are taking in, TF becomes necessary because weight loss could push the disease along.  Those influences by spiritual and religious beliefs are less likely to opt for TF.  Researchers discovered that placing a feeding tube is not considered heroic means of extending life.  The emotional response to TF is that it is the “end of life”. It is comforting to let them know that it extends life.  Education and counseling are a SLP’s primary role in the consideration of TF in ALS.


SLP give-aways –  Be sure to get the DiagnosTEX “cool”  new penlights for your oral motor exams!!!  Ask for yours next time we see you!


Recommendation of “SMALL SIPS”  DiagnosTEX made friends with the Provale Cup and their Rep.  This cup provides 1- 2 tsp of liquid and can be used with water, nutritional and thickened products.  We will be carrying brochures and samples on the vans and DiagnosTEX can help you get this product at a discounted rates.


Dysphagia Tidbit – Aerophagia – Aerophagia is swallowing too much air, a common cause of gas in the stomach and belching. Everyone swallows small amounts of air when eating or drinking. However, rapid eating or drinking, chewing gum, smoking, or ill-fitting dentures may cause a significant increase in swallowed air. For those who have chronic belching, doctors may suggest ways to reduce the amount of air swallowed. Recommendations are to avoid chewing gum and to avoid eating hard candy. Eating at a slow pace and checking with a dentist to make sure dentures fit properly should also help. A second major common cause of gas in the GI tract is aerophagia. Some people with an over-production of saliva can have aerophagia caused by their constant swallowing. Loose dentures can cause aerophagia as well. Usually when someone has this problem the gas is expelled by burping rather than passing through the entire intestine.


Next month is Better Speech and Hearing Month – Prepare to Educate!


Most of you will remember Dr. Frank Gomez from ProgressivEdge, we are sad to say that he passed away March 18th.  We all feel very honored to have known him and to have worked with him. Our sympathy and prayers goes out to his wife of 32 years, Peggy Gomez and his 4 children, 12 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.