Stacey Turner, MS, CCC/SLP and VP of Operations for Infinity Rehab, had the opportunity to present at the ASHA Connect Conference in Chicago recently.  She joined a panel along with others who are in senior leadership roles within rehabilitation organizations.

Panel highlights PDPM and SLP services in the post-acute care spectrum

Their presentations focused on PDPM and the value of SLP services in the post-acute care spectrum.  The discussion focused on professional issues such as productivity, documentation, advocacy, group/concurrent, salaries, and other barriers related to the provision of SLP services.  The session started off with an overview of how upcoming payment changes in the post-acute spectrum in 2019 and 2020 will impact speech-language pathology service delivery in skilled nursing facilities and home health care agencies.

Key elements related to MDS were reviewed

Some of the key items that were discussed were:

  1. Even if skilled speech therapy is not provided, based on the coding that the MDS coordinator records in the 5-day MDS, facilities will still receive money allocated to the SLP component.
  2. There are many opportunities to increase the SLP case mix group and the case mix index. The reimbursement to the facility will be based on proper documentation and identification of the SLP component requirements.
  3. Since SLP is reimbursed at 100% throughout the length of stay, it is even more important to capture the most accurate coding for the 5-day MDS.
  4. Speech language pathologists needs to work with nurses to ensure that documentation and patient assessment of cognition, diets, and swallowing disorders are appropriate and accurate.


Compelling questions researched related to PDPM and other topics

ASHA gathered questions from speech language pathologists across the country before the ASHA Connect Conference and those questions created the foundation for the panel discussion.
Below are some of the questions ASHA gathered and that were discussed:

  • How do you envision planning for group and concurrent therapy under PDPM?
  • Why is it so challenging to gain access to instrumental assessments of swallowing across the PAC spectrum?
  • Do you anticipate models of productivity calculation will change after implementation of PDPM?
  • Is there an industry standard for frequency/amount of pay raises? Many members are reporting pay freezes for almost a decade.
  • How are you planning to use speech language pathology in MDS coding?

These questions resulted in quality conversations and highlighted the critical need for advocacy, education, and to continue healthy discussions around the provision of speech language pathology services as we navigate changes in the post-acute spectrum.

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