Newsletter :: January 2004


Happy New Year!!!


Wow! We have started the New Year with a bang! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Your excitement and support has been so wonderful! We are so very excited to be working with all of you again.

To schedule or obtain an agreement for your facility call: 817-514-MBS1 or 1-888-514-MBS1

To fax: 817-514-MBS8 or 1-877-514-MBS8

Ronda’s pager: 817-418-6211

If you have not used DiagnosTEX yet, give us 1 try and we think you will see the difference!

DiagnosTEX does not have exclusive agreements as we think all Speech Pathologists should have a choice in services, and we know you will make the best choice according to your needs and the outcome of service you are provided. You are the only one who knows what your dysphagia patients need. .

CEU conference – E-STIM

The response I have had by just announcing this has been overwhelming. Do not hesitate on registering for this conference. I would not be surprised if it is filled up within 3 days. Seating is limited to 40 seats due to hands on activities. This is going to be a great conference. You will learn so much from Teresa Biber M.S. CCC-SLP. I will begin the conference by speaking on how to interpret the results of an MBSS to use towards your E-Stim therapy. This is not a VitalStim conference. The registration material is enclosed. Call 817-514-MBS1 or 1-888-514-MBS1; fax your registration form in immediately to 1-877-514-MBS8 and place you check in the mail with pay to the order of DiagnosTEX. If your payment is not RECEIVED AT THE DiagnosTEX office in Bedford BY THE DATE OF JANUARY 30, 2004, the seat will no longer be held in your name and given to next name on the cancellation list. Any SLP’s using DiagnosTEX for their Mobile MBS company at their facilities will receive a discount on the conference. See the registration form. We look forward to sharing this exciting CE conference with you!

MBSS Codes 92611 reimbursement rate has increased!

This is great for our profession! Although this 92611code is the code that has been combined in the consolidated billing that has caused a lot of confusion. For Part B your facility has probably received a bill from the mobile MBSS company at the Medicare Allowable rate ranging from $40.00 to $48.00 depending on the county the facility is in. The reimbursement for this code has increased to $122.00. So you may see these charges change in upcoming bills, but as always the facility can bill this code to Medicare and be reimbursed in full for this code. The next obstacle is for us to get this 92611 code removed from consolidated billing!!!

Our new van

We had such an overwhelming response to our new company at the first of month, we actually pulled our van out of the paint shop to meet your MBSS needs, as we feel your patients are more important than our paint job. We apologize for the exterior of the van as it will be painted soon, but as many of you know, the inside of the van has been customized to make your patients feel as safe and comfortable as possible, allowing us to provide the quality and care that you would expect from us. Thank you for your patience and support.

Dollars and Documentation in Dysphagia

Can you perform a bedside/clinical evaluation (BSE) of swallowing and a Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS) in the same day? Yes. The MBS and BSE are not listed as “pairs” in the National Correct Coding Initiative. Therefore the patient can be seen for a clinical exam followed directly by an MBS and both codes can be used.

Specialty Board Recognition in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders Update

The Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition (CCSR) has recently approved the operating manual for the Specialty Board including all policies, procedures related to candidacy, application, and renewal requirements. This manual outlines the entire plan and will be accessible through the ASHA website. Applications and candidacy requirements for Charter members will be publicly announced via ASHA website.

Dysphagia Tidbit – Pneumonia (Seigel, Mark, SID 13, October 2003)

Pneumonia is one of the most common infections. If untreated it is a source of morbidity and mortality, carrying the highest death rate of any infectious disease. Given the many forms of pneumonia, collaboration between physicians and Speech Pathologists is extremely valuable.

The term pneumonia denotes an infection of the lung parenchyma, as opposed to the bronchi or upper airway (SID 13, October 2003). Various forms of pneumonia occur in adults:

  1. Community Acquired Pneumonia –develops outside of the hospital or in patient hospitalized less than 3 days. High risk patients include smokers, alcoholics, COPD, Lung CA, and patients with a viral illness. There are 2 broad classes:
  1. Typical – Patients present with abrupt onset of chills, fever, chest pain, productive cough with sputum
  2. Atypical – Patients present with more vague symptoms which include headache, sore throat, and low grade fever without chills, nonproductive cough, wheezing, rash, myalgias, and gastrointestinal complaints.
  • Nosocomial Pneumonia – This pneumonia is categorized as this when it develops after 3 days of hospitalization or residence in an extended care facility. Mortality is up to 70%. It can be subcategorized into that occurring in association with intubation and mechanical ventilation. Ventilator associated Pneumonia is a topic in itself and an often occurring complication.
  • Aspiration Pneumonia – deposition of foreign material into the airway or distal lung and represents the most feared complications. Predisposing factors include altered consciousness (coma, sedation etc) seizures, head and neck tumors, and dysphagia. There are 3 main aspiration syndromes:
    1. Asphyxiation – foreign material occludes the central airway, generally at the level of the vocal cords. Usually fatal unless the obstruction is immediately alleviated.
    2. Chemical pneumonitis – aspirate significant quantities of gastric contents or other foreign material (for example, water during a drowning). This pneumonia can progress over hours to days.
    3. Aspiration Pneumonia –pneumonia that occurs as a direct consequence of aspiration. Although other forms of pneumonia frequently result from aspiration of oropharyngeal material, the term aspiration pneumonia refers to a specific syndrome involving larger quantities of material, generally from oropharynx or stomach and almost exclusively involves depended regions of the lungs, particularly the lung bases.