How involved is Speech Therapy in performing the BIMS at your SNF? If the answer is “not involved,” perhaps it is time to reconsider.

As the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) arrives, Skilled Nursing Facility operators should be confident that Speech-Language Pathologists are highly proficient in performing the BIMS.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why:

  • Speech-Language Pathologists have taken multiple courses in both undergraduate and graduate studies to both assess and treat patients with speech-language and cognitive impairments. SLPs are specially trained to give multiple standardized tests. Therefore, we can analyze and interpret the results with ease and familiarity, to the overall benefit of the patient.

For example, The non-SLP examiner may not have the patience, the overall skills, or the background knowledge to ensure the patient is both attending to the tasks and can hear what is said.

  • Speech-Language Pathologists can determine if the patients have any further impairments during the course of the cognitive screening.

For example, The patient may score a 15/15 on the BIMS, indicating no impairment to a non-SLP examiner, but it may have taken the examiner thirty minutes to administer the screening, due to the patient’s attention deficits, requiring frequent redirection back to the task at hand.

  • Having the most accurate BIMS possible will ideally generate more revenue in the long run. Because of the new SLP Component, Speech Therapy will have a larger role to play in PDPM. One of the largest factors in determining SLP reimbursement rates is determining the presence of cognitive impairment. Accurately coding the BIMS is a critical function.

Have any questions or ideas? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

About the Author: Tara Tyler, CCC-SLP is a Regional Manager for Language Fundamentals in the Northern Dutchess / Ulster area of New York State. Tara is a graduate of both the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY and St. John’s University in Queens.