It is interesting to note what is expected of the Speech Language Pathologist in Medicare law as regards the appropriate evaluation of the dysphagia patient. To quote the law: “If you conduct videofluoroscopic assessment (modified barium swallow), document that the exact diagnosis of the swallowing disorder cannot be substantiated through oral exam and there is a question whether aspiration is occurring. The videofluoroscopy assessment should be conducted and interpreted by a radiologist (often with assistance and input from the physician and/or individual disciplines). The assessment and final analysis and interpretation should document a definitive diagnosis, identification of the swallowing phase(s) affected, and recommend the treatment plan. “ (Medicare Intermediary Manual, Part 3 – Claims Process, Transmittal No. 1528, section 450. Subsection D, paragraph 2).
Articles in Category: Dysphagia
Through my travels and as I read my emails, I am uncomfortable with the lack of knowledge that SLPs have regarding the laws that govern their responsibilities for evaluation and functional maintenance programs required for the dementia patients. Even if SLP’s have “some” knowledge of their “job” with the dementia patient, a fully implemented program is not instituted within the facility. So here’s a brief synopsis of the SLP’s responsibilities under the law.
As I travel and lecture across this country, the question continuously surfacing in each workshop is "What did I spend my money on for my master's?" This question is usually generated by a feeling that somewhere in their graduate studies, the workshop attendees should have had instruction on the workshop topic areas, since these topics have such basic implications on their SLP practices. Quite frankly, as I look at the catalog curriculums of some of our schools, it is difficult to discern curriculum differences since the time when I went to school - twenty years ago.