Historically, Speech Therapy has jokingly been referred to as the “red headed step-child” of rehab. My apologies to our friends who just happen to have red hair. With the advent of PDPM and the new role of Speech, Owners and Operators of Skilled Nursing Facilities are evaluating their speech therapy delivery. In order to do so properly, let’s ponder these important aspects:
1. Case Load – What is a typical case load for a speech therapist? You’d be surprised how many owners and operators never considered this question. Maybe because finding speech is often challenging, they were happy just to have someone to care for the speech needs of the patients. SNFs now need expert insight over:
- Typical speech case load
- Distribution of patient conditions on case load (dysphagia, speech language deficits, cognitive impairment)
- Duration of treatment for both short-term and long-term patients
2. Part B / Case Mix – Does Speech generating Part B revenue on a monthly basis for your SNF? A great speech department should excel in caring for the long-term care population. Therefore, they should generate Part B revenue and for those in case mix states, make a meaningful contribution to CMI.
3. Backup and Coverage – What happens when your “regular” SLP is sick, on leave, or on vacation? Is it difficult to arrange coverage? Is it a royal pain? If you are lucky enough to have an SLP to help cover, is that person productive, efficient, and passionate about treating in a medical setting? Bringing in a temp or a traveler can fill a need, but at a hefty price tag.
Want to take a deeper dive into these issues related to your SNF? We here at Language Fundamentals offer a Speech Department Utilization Analysis and would be glad to perform one for you. We’d be glad to help.
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