October 2014 Newsletter


October 2014

Clinical Café Newsletter

By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP

Monthly Motivator: 

Everyone enjoys doing the kind of work for which he is best suited. Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.


FLU season – We ask that if you or a family member or even the patient is ill with an active cough, sneezing, and/or fever that you do not attend the MBSS on the mobile clinic or reschedule the patient, as we do not want to contaminate our small area. We see many fragile individuals in a day in this small environment and also our staff is small and their absence is greatly felt if they become ill.  Please be considerate during this flu season and refrain from being on the van if you or a family member does not feel well. If the patient is ill, please reschedule for another day.  Thank you!


Alzheimer’s facts

  • 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Every 67 seconds someone in the USA develops Alzheimer’s
  • Approximately 500,00 people die of Alzheimer’s each year, 1 in 3 seniors
  • One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care valued at $210 billion for persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012
  • In her 60’s a woman’s estimated lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6, breast cancer is 1 in 11. Almost 2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer’s are woman

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s™ is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. Take the first step to a world without Alzheimer’s by finding a Walk near you. Once you register, you will have access to a wide range of tools and support through your Participant Center, ensuring a successful and fulfilling experience. When you participate in Walk, your fundraising dollars fuel our mission-related initiatives of care, support and research. In addition, your actions, both through fundraising and participating in the event, help to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in your community.

As many of you, I have a chilling front row seat to the effects of this disease professionally, but also personally. My family is making a personal commitment to the Grapevine WALK TO END Alzhiemer’s this month.  If you would like to follow our walk for this cause, please log on to www.alz.org and look for our team page:  HEELS FOR HOPE.


MBS Studies Under Home Health PPS  – We have been getting many questions on possible changes with Home Health and Modified Barium Swallow Studies.  Many are having difficulty scheduling at the hospital, as the hospital is wanting to bill the HH for the MBSS. The patients receiving HH have always been Part A and have always been subject to PPS/consolidated billing.  Which means any speech services which includes the SLP MBS code 92611 WILL be billed to the HH Company whether by a hospital or a mobile company like DiagnosTEX.

ASHA sought clarification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the financial liability of a home health agency when a Medicare patient requires a modified barium swallow (MBS) study.  We were informed that the outpatient or hospital may bill Medicare directly for the radiology portion of the test (CPT 74230).  This procedure code pays for the radiology technician and an interpretation by the radiologist.  The Medicare Part B fee (subject to geographic adjustments) is $78.78 [2004].  The hospital charges a negotiated rate to the home health agency for the MBS services of the hospital speech-language pathologist. Those SLP MBS services are CPT code 92611, valued at $83.48-$88.06 depending on county, in the Part B fee schedule. The home health agency must pay for the services of the hospital/outpatient speech-language pathologist with funds that were paid by Medicare to cover the patient’s 60-day episode under the prospective payment system (PPS).  PPS covers the core home health services:SLP, OT, PT, Social Work, HH Aide, and Nursing. CMS states that the speech-language pathologist costs associated with dysphagia evaluation (CPT 92610) and the MBS (CPT 92611) for home health patients were included in home health cost reports for purposes of calculating the PPS payment rates. Please share this information with your HH agencies.  Any further questions can be directed to ASHA



Dallas, Texas, Friday, August 22, 2014, the developers of AMPCARE, a Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved electrical-stimulation device used by Speech Therapists in the treatment of swallowing disorders, or dysphagia, were awarded The Tech Titan Technology Inventor of the Year Award for 2014.  The Tech Titans Technology Inventor Award recognizes the pioneering accomplishments for the creation of breakthrough ideas, processes or products which have advanced the disciplines(s) of the arts, education, electronics, energy, engineering, environment, medicine and/or science in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.   The next local conference Deciphering Dysphagia with Estim using ESP – “Effective Swallowing Protocol” is Saturday November 1, 2014 in Fort Worth at TCU! Don’t miss it!  For more information on AMPCARE, go to www.ampcarellc.com .


Dysphagia Tidbit – Making Every Bite Count – By: Laura Michaels

A care manual called: “Making Every Bite Count – Cooking for Someone with Swallowing Problems”.  This care manual includes instruction on basic nutrition, recipes and techniques for modifying “just about everything”, recipes for pureed food the whole family can eat, tips on how to get through the day without using your blender, eating out, and more. She developed this large print 3-ring binder/care manual for her private clients and for the group homes she trains and certifies in the Phoenix, AZ, area. “Making Every Bite Count” is available on Amazon and also for sale on her website. If you want more info, check-out her website: www.dysphagiasupplies.comThe Perfect Popsicle I mentioned in the July newsletter is in this booklet as well.