Speech Language Therapy:
Aphasia is an impairment of one's ability to either understand or express language.
Aphasia is a result of brain damage usually secondary to a stroke and can have a debilitating impact on one's ability to communicate.
Speech language pathologists have the ability to assess and treat people with Aphasia through language intervention in conjunction with alternative or augmentative communication.
There are two types of apraxia, developmental (found in children) and acquired (found in adults after some type of injury to the brain).
Acquired apraxia causes people to lose the speech-making abilities they once possessed. Acquired apraxia can be remediated with intervention by a highly trained speech language pathologists.
Developmental apraxia of speech is also known as childhood apraxia of speech. This condition is present from birth, and it affects a child's ability to form sounds and words. Children with speech apraxia often have far greater abilities to understand speech than to express themselves with spoken words.
The majority of children with developmental apraxia will experience significant improvement, if not complete recovery, with the correct treatment by a highly trained speech language pathologist.
Dysarthria is speech disorder. It results from impaired movement of the muscles used for speech production, including the lips, tongue, vocal folds, and/or diaphragm. The type and severity of dysarthria depend on which area of the nervous system is affected. A trained speech language pathologist may be able to increase the individual’s speech by teaching compensatory strategies and improving overall speech intelligibility.
Derived from the Greek word phagein, meaning "to eat."
Occurs when there is a problem with any part of the swallowing process – from the mouth to the stomach.
Affects as many as 15 million Americans with approximately 1 million new cases diagnosed annually.
Will develop in 1 in 17 people at some point in their life, including:
–50% to 75% of stroke patients
–60% to 70% of patients who undergo radiation therapy for head and neck cancer
–Up to 90% of Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients
Other causes include traumatic head or spinal cord injuries, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, burns and tracheotomies.
Especially prevalent among the elderly, with studies suggesting that as many as 75 percent of nursing home residents have some degree of dysphagia and as many as half of all Americans over 60 will experience the disorder at some point.
Leads to more than 60,000 deaths annually in the U.S. – more than the total from liver disease, kidney disease and AIDS combined.
Complications include choking, bronchospasm, increased infection rate, chronic malnutrition, life-threatening dehydration, significant weight loss, physical debilitation, social isolation and even death.
Increases healthcare costs through hospital readmissions, emergency room visits, extended hospital stays, long-term institutional care and expensive nutrition and respiratory support.
Severe cases may require a feeding tube, which dramatically affects a patient's quality of life and costs as much as $31,000 per patient per year.
Costs national healthcare system more than $1 billion annually.
Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow
A safe, non-radioactive alternative to modified barium swallow studies (MBS). [More information]
Evaluation & Treatment:
A breakthrough therapy approach to treat dysphagia (difficulty with swallowing). [More information]
Speech Therapy Operational Consulting
If you are a Skilled Nursing Facility or Health Care Provider wondering if your Speech Therapy Department is functioning at its highest capability, you aren’t alone.
It’s typical for a facility to have:
• Difficulty finding Speech Therapists who understand how to treat today’s long-term care patient
• Unproductive and costly speech therapists as full-time employees
• More patients on altered diets and thickened liquids than typical
• Speech therapists who aren’t strong in providing swallowing therapy or treating cognitive deficits, which are crucial to treat the LTC population
Patient Driven Payment Model
The Patient Driven Payment Model System has been proposed by CMS to replace the RUG-IV System for Medicare Part A reimbursement to Skilled Nursing Facilities and is an updated version to the RCS-1 system introduced last Spring.
The current plan is for the new system to be effective on October 1, 2019. When the Patient Driven Payment Model is implemented, we will see the most significant change in the world of Medicare reimbursement since MDS 3.0 in 2010.
Medicare Part A Patients will receive a score at the time of their initial MDS Assessment from the following categories:
- Speech Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Non-Therapy Ancillary
The conditions and co-morbidities of the patient will ultimately determine the reimbursement for their care. Providing therapy will remain a critical factor in the patients’ outcome, however the number of minutes deliver will no longer be a driver in overall reimbursement.
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