January 2024 Pediatric Newsletter

Welcome change, embrace adventure, & make this new year one you will never forget!

New Beginnings

As we embrace the end of one year and welcome the next, I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve our community! In these first 9 months of seeing patients, we have helped many parents ensure they are feeding their children a safe diet, and I’m looking forward to growing the program more this next year.

Many families had a lasting impact on me, but one dad told me after his child’s study, “This is the best doctor’s appointment we have ever been to.” Mind you, this child has a severe heart condition & has endured countless appointments and multiple surgeries in her short 14 months of life. She has only ever done tastes of puree with therapy, and I was able to clear them for puree to begin at home! She is still going to require her g-tube to maintain nutrition & hydration, but this one small step for her felt like a huge leap for them. Patients like this one are a great reminder that this assessment, which can feel routine & simple, is often life-changing (for better or worse) for some families.


I often get questions from therapists regarding required documents to refer a patient, so I thought I would review that process. We require the following from a referring physician:

  • A SIGNED order requesting a “Modified Barium Swallow Study” or a “Swallow Function Study.”
  • Demographic sheet with insurance information
  • Their latest clinical notes to provide a thorough history
  • All of these documents can be faxed to 888-920-1201 or emailed to info@diagnostex.us

My patient has been scheduled for an MBSS, what should the family and therapist expect prior to, during and following the study?

Prior to the study:

  • Once we receive the signed order and have verified their insurance, I will call the family to schedule, hear their concerns, obtain a feeding history, review the process of an MBSS, and tell them what to bring for the study.
  • If the patient is in therapy, I will get the therapist’s information & call them prior to the study.
  • Families will get a confirmation email with their appointment time and our location.

During the study:

  • I will explore any and all consistencies with a variety of nipples, cup presentations, utensils, etc. that may be necessary to determine a safe diet.
  • Whatever will make the child most comfortable and generate a successful study, I am happy to accommodate. I will even go so far to allow a mom to breastfeed for a few minutes if that will assist in soothing and organizing the baby to a bottle. The last thing I want is for a family to feel as though the appointment was a waste.

Following the study:

  • The report will be faxed to the referring physician and treating SLP (if applicable). If the family wants it faxed to anyone other than the referring physician, I am happy to do that as well.
  • Parents will leave with written recommendations on their child’s diet and modifications.
  • If thickening is required, I will teach them how to thicken liquids accurately at the office before they leave. They will receive plenty of handouts and resources to reference for the recommended thickener. If they require GelMix, I will provide on-the-go to go home with. A generous family is currently donating enough GelMix cans for me to supply families with 1-2 cans to go home with. If those donations run out, I will still send families home with on-the-go sticks. I will also email them a letter of medical necessity to upload to the GelMix website in attempt to assist with the financial burden.
  • If they require SimplyThick, I have plenty of single packets to last for a couple of weeks.
  • If thickener is required, it will be documented on my report, but I will also call the referring provider to make sure they are aware to get the order expedited.
  • I will always call/email/text the treating therapist to provide a summary of results and recommendations.
  • A DVD of the study is available for purchase for $10.83 and will be mailed to the person requesting it. I can usually get that completed and mailed within 1 week.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have regarding appropriate referrals!


Looking to start the new year with some CE? Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare’s ESP™ (Effective Swallowing Protocol) is a great place to start. They are offering the course on the following days this month:

  • On-Demand + Zoom Webinar: Tuesday & Wednesday, January 9-10, 2024, 4-6 pm CT
  • Live In-Person Course: Saturday, January 13, 2024. New Braunfels, TX
    *8 Hours Advanced ASHA CE. To register online go to: https://swallowtherapy.com/product/webinar-course/


The Annual Convention will be held February 22-24, 2024, at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel & Fort Worth Convention Center. Register now until January 14th for the lowest rate. After January 14th, the rate increases! Both DiagnosTEX and Ampcare will have a booth at the convention. We look forward to meeting new colleagues and re-connecting with others!


Do you have an interesting topic that you would like to share in a newsletter, whether it be a research article you have read or a patient you have treated? Email me if you are interested!

I, and the rest of the DiagnosTEX staff, look forward to helping you serve your patients and ensure a safe diet for ALL children.