PDPM Preparations

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

RehabVisions is busy preparing for the new PDPM payment system, the first significant change in the SNF reimbursement model in 20 years. While the current PPS system is based on two case-mix adjusted components; therapy and nursing, the PDPM system is based upon five case-mix adjusted components: PT, OT, SLP, Nursing and Non-Therapy Ancillaries. In addition, there is a non-case mix component.
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Due Diligence in Aphasia Education

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of the communication disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak, read, write and/or listen. Debra Kirchhoff, SLP is an advocate for therapists checking in on aphasic patients outside of their therapy sessions. When you hear skilled nursing staff use words or phrases like “combative,” or “they  don’t understand me,” or “my patient just isn’t getting ready the way I want,” it’s appropriate to offer advice. These types of comments can be common when staff deal with aphasic patients. Providing occasional feedback to staff on how to best interact with them will help to reduce patient agitation.
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Prevention and Cognitive Exercises for Memory

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

As the focus of healthcare shifts toward wellness and prevention, it’s important for us as healthcare professionals to acknowledge and address this change in our practice. Our scope of practice is incredibly wide! It’s easy to narrow our own focus to just diagnosis and treatment when presented with patient after patient already diagnosed with something preventable, or with something that could have been delayed.
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New Quality Measures Coming to SNFs

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

By the year 2018, Quality Measures will help determine how skilled nursing facilities are compensated based on the quality of services provided. This shift in reimbursement methodology continues a commitment to move Medicare payments from volume to value. CMS has set measurable goals and a timeline to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they provide to patients.

You may be familiar with the Five-Star Quality Rating System. CMS created it to help consumers, their families and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily. There is one overall five-star rating for each nursing home and
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Home Safety Evaluation

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Research shows that most short-term rehab patients will benefit from a home safety evaluation (HSE) to increase safety and independence as they return to their prior living arrangement. Director of Operations Tracy Milius, OT emphasizes this, saying, “You can provide therapy all day in a facility, but it is incomplete if you don’t ensure everything you have taught the patient can carry over to their home.” Returning patients to a safe home environment is also important when meeting the new skilled nursing (SNF) facility quality measures, particularly the percentage of short-term stay residents who are re-hospitalized after discharge.

So when is the right time to complete an HSE, and what disciplines should be included?
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THINK LOUD

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

For Better Hearing and Speech month, we asked Sarah Willard, SLP to write about LSVT LOUD, a research-based speech therapy approach for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

THINK LOUD! These two words do not seem therapeutic at first glance. However, in the correct context “THINK LOUD” is helping people with voice production.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to complete the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment training (LSVT). Certified individuals are listed on a national online registry as resources for therapy.
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Working in Multidisciplinary Teams

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Earlier in my career I worked as a speech-language pathologist in a hospital setting. The speech pathology department was separate from the physical and occupational therapy departments, and I rarely had opportunity to interact with these therapists. When I transitioned to a career with RehabVisions, I quickly noticed the benefits of practicing near and collaborating with the other therapy disciplines. In RehabVisions rehab departments, our therapists benefit from working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
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Wheelchair Positioning – A Therapist’s Role

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Positioning and appropriate seating systems are concerns to the Occupational Therapist working with patients in wheelchairs.

Many nursing home residents and elderly patients sit for hours each day, sometimes in wheelchairs designed primarily for transportation. Prolonged periods of sitting in such wheelchairs may not only be uncomfortable but could pose multiple health risks such as difficulty with breathing, swallowing and digestion as well as skin breakdown. Poor positioning limits patients’ ability to socialize and interact with others.
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Using Comic Strips to Expand Your SLP Tool Box

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

As speech therapists it’s important that we continue to find new techniques to integrate into our “tool box.” While our focus is always on customized and patient-centered care, it can be easy to reach for the same book or open the same app with a patient if they’ve had success with those resources. There are many everyday items that are both inexpensive and easy to find that you can incorporate into your therapy sessions to enrich the therapy and deepen your patient’s progress.
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Rehab Department Thrives in Boom Town

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Perhaps you have heard about the oil boom going on in North Dakota these days. Williston, North Dakota, in the northwest corner of the state, is more than having its 15 minutes of fame in the media with stories about the influx of population on the town and its effects on traffic, real estate and the job market.

In the midst of all of that, life goes on for the residents of Williston. They still have needs, and sometimes that gets lost in the “news” stories of this town.
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I Love The SNF Setting and Here’s Why

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Just as I was starting to think our jobs in therapy were getting consumed with Medicare rules and regulations, a patient encounter reminded me otherwise.

In visiting one of our skilled nursing facilities recently, I was sitting in the therapy department when a gentleman in jeans and a plaid shirt approached and asked for one of the therapists. He was told that she was with a patient so he reached in his pocket and pulled out a note. “I have that recipe for her,” he said. On the paper was a carefully typewritten (from his computer) recipe for what are reportedly the world’s best Ginger Snap Cookies.
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Comparing Therapy Staffing Models in SNFs

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

I’ve had numerous discussions over the years, with not only administrators but also family and friends, explaining what I do and what RehabVisions does as a company. It always leads to a discussion about why a skilled nursing facility would utilize a contract services company for their therapy.
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What Lymphedema Treatment Is Really About

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

If you’ve been around the therapy world for awhile, you’ve probably encountered the word “lymphedema.” But you may be surprised to learn about the complexities involved in treatment of patients with lymphedema.
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