Speech-Language Pathologists, also known as SLPs, provide evaluation and treatment for individuals that might be experiencing trouble with speech, language, cognitive function, and/or swallowing disorders.

Patients who suffer from a progressive, degenerative neurological disease such as Dementia or Parkinson’s Disease, may require an SLP screen or evaluation to assure the maximum quality of life and independence are achieved. SLPs are able to alter the environment, provide education to family and staff, and develop cueing strategies to facilitate an optimal setting in which the patient can comfortably complete their daily tasks and enjoy leisure activities.

How Can a Speech-Language Pathologist Help?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, talk with your doctor about the benefits of therapy with a Speech-Language Pathologist.

  • Difficulty swallowing (coughing, choking, excessive throat clearing)
  • Odynophagia (painful swallowing)
  • Trouble finding words to communicate your wants and needs
  • Difficulty understanding and/or expressing your thoughts
  • Memory problems or difficulty focusing
  • Soft, breathy voice making it difficult for people to hear and understand what you are saying

Legislation has been introduced to postpone the 15% reimbursement cuts to PTA and OTA treatments. Please help us to support this bill.

Dear Partners and Friends,

Please take a few minutes to read the below message from NASL regarding the new legislation that has been introduced in the US House. We need everyone to support this bill in order to postpone the 15% reduction in reimbursement for Med B services provided by PTAs and OTAs. This cut is set to happen on 1/1/2022. If this legislation is passed, it will delay this cut until 1/1/2023. Additionally, this bill allows for rural and underserved areas to be exempt from these cuts once they are implemented.

As skilled nursing operators and professionals, I urge each of you to take a few minutes to read the letter, make any additional edits/comments, and submit it to your personal representative. Spending a few minutes of your time could result in a very positive impact for our patients, as well as our industry. Your action is extremely time-sensitive because if this bill does not have enough support, it will not move on.

From NASL: Click here to access the letter and the ability to submit directly to your representative.

The time for advocacy on this issue is now as there is not much time left on the legislative calendar for Congress to act before this policy is implemented on January 1, 2022. NASL has prepared a letter for you to email to your respective House members urging them to cosponsor the Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation and Therapy (SMART) Act of 2021 (H.R.5536) and asking them to add the bipartisan legislation to any legislative packages moving before the end of the year.

Use the link above or visit https://app.govpredict.com/gr/m5bwzm-u to access and send this email in under two minutes.

Thank you for your time and effort to support this bill!


Cassie Murray, President


Cassie Murray, OTR, MBA, QCP

President of HTS

Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc.


May is Better Hearing & Speech Awareness Month. Speech-Language Pathologists play an important role in working with the aging population. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly trained to help older adults with communication, cognitive and swallowing impairments due to illness, trauma or disease.

Signs of Speech and Language Disorders:

    • Having Difficulty Communicating to Others
    • Struggling with Speaking Clearly
    • Having Problems with Expressing Your Thoughts
    • Hoarse or Raspy Voice
    • Trouble Swallowing
    • Frequent Coughing or Choking During Meals
    • Extra Effort or Time Needed to Chew or Swallow
    • Saying Words in the Wrong Order
    • Avoiding Social Activities

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above signs, talk to your doctor about Speech Therapy. Speech-Language Pathologists can help older adults communicate their needs better, boost their memory and thinking skills, and improve their ability to swallow.

Speech Therapy can help you have a better quality of life!

Source: www.asha.org

Accurate coding for the SLP Component under the PDPM reimbursement methodology has been an area of opportunity across the industry. HTS has uniquely positioned itself with a team of seasoned therapists and nurses to analyze data and trends to optimize systems and processes to assure a smooth transition into PDPM. Now that we have three months of PDPM under our belt, here is what we have learned:

  • A tool to communicate SLP evaluation findings to the IDT will streamline the process and optimize IDT collaboration. Our MDS coordinators have enough on their plates. Let’s make it as easy as possible to present them with information so they can make the best coding decisions. HTS has created a tool for this, “HTS IMA SLP Component Communication Tool.” This tool is completed by the SLP and/or OT to provide information regarding sections B, C, I, and K related to the SLP therapy PDPM component. The tool is also equipped with a coding reference to assure that therapists are familiar with the RAI language and coding instructions.
  • Best practices when administering the BIMS is an area of opportunity. HTS recommends reviewing interview guidelines from the RAI, coding tips, and BIMS basics. Use HTS’ “Cognitive Assessment Quick Reference” for a guide to optimize practices in these areas. Also, remember the BIMS is a brief test and is not sensitive enough to capture some cognitive deficits such as executive functioning impairments. Even if a patient is “cognitively intact” (BIMS score of 13, 14, or 15), they still may benefit for cognitive-communicative therapy. The SLP will have formal testing to identify these areas of deficit and create short term goals associated with these areas.
  • If a patient scores in the SA case mix group indicating there are no items coded for the SLP component, the patient can still qualify and benefit from therapy. As mentioned in #2, the formal testing selections by a SLP will be more sensitive to cognitive impairment and therefore capture deficits more brief tests will not. However, if a patient is coded as “SA” and would benefit from speech-language therapy, HTS recommends going over the patient record to assure coding accurately reflects the patient’s medical complexities. Often times aphasia in section I4300 of the MDS may be a coding opportunity but also may require querying the physician. Additionally, section K coding best practices could also result in a more accurate SLP case-mix group.
  • Section K coding and optimization requires IDT collaboration. 2017 CMS data analytics revealed that section K coding was also an area of opportunity. In the past many have relied solely on the dietary department for section K coding. We’ve learned the SLP observations are also an important factor when coding section K accurately. For this reason, HTS created a “Quick Reference Optimize Coding in Section K” and “RAI Instructions for Completion of Section K.” Additionally, a webinar is available on the partner portal, “PDPM: SLP Component and Accurate Reporting of SLP Comorbidities.”

As we continue to navigate new waters under the PDPM methodology, we have adapted and modified our systems and processes to assure patient-centered care is at the forefront and best practices are in place. Accurate SLP component coding allows us the opportunity to more accurately depict the patient’s medical status and individualized needs. HTS will continue to provide the resources and tools to achieve IDT collaboration for the best patient outcomes possible so together we can drive quality improvement.

Written By: Sheena Mattingly, M.S., CCC-SLP, RAC-CT, Director of Clinical Outcomes

HTS is excited to collaborate with our partners for a successful transition to the new Medicare payment model. Our ongoing focus on clinical quality, patient-centered programs, and functional outcomes has prepared our staff in advance to succeed under PDPM. In addition to implementing proprietary clinical program efficacy analysis, HTS has assessed the financial impact of PDPM and is committed to supporting our partners through the challenges of adapting to the new reimbursement model.

HTS will be providing PDPM solutions that include:

  • Staff Education and Training in Critical Areas such as Section GG and ICD.10 Coding
  • PDPM Live Trainings for Partners and Staff in Multiple Locations
  • Internal System Transitions
  • RUGs IV to PDPM Facility-specific Impact Analysis

Our alliance with Proactive Medical Review, the PDPM experts currently providing education on this topic to 25 states, allows us to uniquely provide our partners with additional support for strategic planning, MDS coding efficacy, and nursing best practices.

Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) training dates:

  • Friday, September 21 – Evansville, IN
  • Thursday, October 4 – Fort Wayne, IN
  • Thursday, October 11 – Louisville, KY
  • Tuesday, October 16 – Greenwood, IN
  • Tuesday, October 23 – Kokomo, IN
  • Friday, November 9 – Edmonton, KY
  • Thursday November 15—Phelps, KY

We remain optimistic considering the enormous changes we are facing with this new payment model. As partners in therapy, you can be confident in our resources and unmatched expertise to navigate this change while working together toward a successful transition.

If you have any questions at all about this information, please contact us directly.

National Physical Therapy Month is a celebration held each October by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). PT month is designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. Physical therapists are movement experts who can help you overcome pain, gain and maintain movement, and preserve your independence, often without the need for surgery or long-term use of prescription drugs. Physical therapy is a cost-effective treatment that allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.

Goals of physical therapy include:

  • Restore physical function
  • Improve the ability to ambulate
  • Strengthen the body affected by injury/illness
  • Reduce pain and inflammation
  • Education and prevention

We offer comprehensive rehabilitation services including physical, occupational and speech therapy. Our therapists are experts in treating conditions affecting adults ages 50+. Therapy is a cost-effective treatment that allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs to regain function and independence for a better quality of life.

For more information, contact www.htstherapy.com.


October is National Physical Therapy Month!
National Physical Therapy Month is designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. Physical therapy may be necessary for those recovering after an illness, a fall, injury, surgery or chronic condition. Physical therapists work hard to help patients retain and regain their quality of life.


Speak with your doctor to find out how therapy could benefit you!


Resource: APTA, www.apta.org

Finding the right therapy provider for your building can be a challenge. As assisted living providers handle increasing clinical complexity, you need quality rich, expertly delivered rehabilitation to meet the unique needs of each resident.

You need a therapy partner with expertise in the senior care industry that collaborate with your staff, doctors, hospitals and home care providers to provide a well‐rounded, strategic approach to aging in place.

Experts in Therapy for Senior Living Providers

Your Complete On-site Outpatient Therapy Program Includes:

  • Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy Up To 7 Days a Week
  • Complete Management, Staffing, Scheduling and Billing
  • Therapy Exercise Equipment & Technology
  • Patient Satisfaction & Outcome Measures
  • Comprehensive Value—Added Services and Programs
  • Close Collaboration with Physician—Therapy is Directed by the Physician and Progress is Noted at Each Session and Communicated.

Set Your Community Apart

60+ Clinical Pathways
We utilize current practice standards and evolve clinical programs to achieve the maximum potential for even the most clinically complex patients.

  • Fall Prevention
  • Bone & Joint Recovery
  • Cardiac Recovery
  • Stroke/CVA
  • Pain Management
  • Arthritis

Dementia Specialization
HTS therapists are highly trained in maximizing each person’s ability with a dementia diagnosis. Our Embracing the Cognitive Spectrum Dementia Care modules are designed to provide person‐centered and intentional care delivery, while coaching your staff on programming and care mapping.

All Staff Training & Care Collaboration
Prevent and decrease resident falls with root cause-based programming. Improve strength, self care and confidence. Reduce hospital readmissions. Utilize training to all of your staff to address resident decline at every level. Work closely with home health care and other providers to develop and execute a collaborative care plan.

Improve Census & Outreach
Help create your message to share the benefits of having on-site outpatient therapy. Full marketing collaboration to increase your occupancy and provide a competitive advantage over your competition. Customized marketing strategies to strengthen outreach efforts to hospitals, physicians and community.

Whole-Person Wellness
We provide you with your own customized whole‐person wellness program including health and wellness assessments and workshops to create a powerful all‐campus program that improves the lives of every resident in your building. Wellness software that provides measurable outcomes. Library of specialty classes including personal training.

Keep Your Residents Strong, Independent & Living to the Fullest

  • Proactively Prevent and Reduce Risk for Falls
  • Maintain & Improve Mobility
  • Address Even the Subtlest Declines in Physical and Cognitive Health
  • Improve Activities of Daily Living
  • Improve Cardiopulmonary Health
  • Improve Muscle Strength & Stamina
  • In-depth Cognition Testing for Those Challenged with Memory Impairment
  • Reduce Effects of Progressive Conditions, like MS, Parkinson’s & Dementia
  • Improve Confidence in Social Situations
  • Teach Compensation Skills to Residents, Caregivers & Families
  • Initiate Wellness & Promote Successful Aging



October is National Physical Therapy Month!
National Physical Therapy Month is designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. Physical therapy may be necessary for those recovering after an illness, a fall, injury, surgery or chronic condition. Physical therapists work hard to help patients retain and regain their quality of life.


Speak with your doctor to find out how therapy could benefit you!

The goal of rehabilitation is to help an individual heal physically and mentally and achieve their highest level of independence possible. Physical Therapists (PT), Occupational Therapists (OT), and Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) all work together to help individuals overcome obstacles and accomplish normal tasks of daily living. These therapists work on an individual level, which is beneficial for a range of conditions/diseases, ages and abilities. Read more

Therapy to Restore Speech Lost to Aphasia

Did you know that strokes are the fifth most common cause of disability in the U.S? Strokes can be caused by a plethora of factors, including vascular malformations, trauma, and elevated blood pressure. A stroke can impact one’s overall health and quality of life in a number of ways, by triggering multiple communication problems.  One such problem is Aphasia, a language disorder affecting the stroke sufferers’ ability to communicate, which requires speech therapy to help the sufferer learn to communicate again. People that suffer from Aphasia typically have symptoms associated with damage to the left side of their brain. The person may have difficulty finding or pronouncing words, forming sentences, misunderstanding what others say, difficulty spelling and writing sentences, and problems with counting or reading the time on a clock. Read more

Understanding Stroke Risk

According to the numbers provided by the American Stroke Association, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. The fact that strokes are often ignored or mishandled is just as disturbing. Read more