FEESability

Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing

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GETTING STARTED

ARE YOU UNSURE HOW TO GET THE CONVERSATION GOING? ARE YOU NEW TO THE FACILITY AND YOU’RE NOT SURE HOW TO APPROACH UPPER MANAGEMENT?

I can provide a free inservice to nursing staff, give a demonstration of FEES to your facility managers, or contact your administrative office to insure the scheduling and billing process goes smoothly. Whatever you need to get started, I can help!

WHAT ARE SOME FINDINGS UNIQUE TO ENDOSCOPY?

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Only endoscopic evaluation of the swallow can visualize:

Direct assessment of sensation

Airway protection

Vocal fold mobility

Arytenoid movement

Path of bolus

Location of bolus residue with the HP specificity (what’s HP?, mean HD, High Def?)

Secretions (location, amount viscosity, patient reaction)

Surface anatomy / mucosal abnormalities (edema, erythema)

Pharyngeal reflux / tissue damage from reflux

MOBILE FEES SERVICE

As Medicare is shifting toward value-based reimbursement, there’s never been a better time to implement FEES in your facility. Not only does FEES provide a quality assessment for the health of your patient, but it can help reduce pneumonia-related rehospitalizations and reduce facility costs if patients no longer require thickened liquids.

Don’t be afraid to ask for FEES for your patients because you think instrumental swallow exams are too expensive. Video swallow studies, on average, cost about $1600. Not only is a FEES less than a quarter of this cost, it has the potential to save your facility money, not to mention scheduling headaches and staff time! No, there is not a catch and no, this is not a sales line. It is simply the truth.

Contact me about pricing and ask how you can save even more money by contracting with FEESability!

FEES get billed the CPT evaluation code 92612, but did you know, that the facility SLP can also bill 92526 dysphagia treatment code while assisting with the FEES procedure at the patient’s bedside? That’s because FEES is both an evaluation procedure, and a therapy tool when we’re checking the effectiveness of compensatory strategies.

After the procedure, you will not be waiting and trying to decipher what “passed” means or try to decipher vague reports that don’t tell you when the aspiration occurred (before, during, or after the swallow), if your patient had a reflexive cough, or if multiple swallows caused problematic residue buildup. After an onsite FEES, you can confidently instruct the patient and staff to use the appropriate consistencies and train your patient to use compensatory strategies that you know they are capable of doing. I will provide you with the high definition FEES video that you can use for staff, patient, or family education in following therapy sessions.

If you’re interested in providing the highest quality of care for your patients, using modern evidence-based practice techniques, and feeling more like a “swallowing hero” than the “swallowing police,” you need to schedule a FEES for your patient!

More importantly, a patient is now required to be treated in a hospital for a preventable disease which not only reduces their satisfaction of services received within your facility, but illness now consumes the patient due to poor scheduling. Lastly, I know how busy you are. I have worked for more than ten years in nursing facilities. I know the emphasis on treatment minutes and what happens if you or other team members miss minutes because of appointments. We are all human and at times a scheduler may forget to write an appointment time down on the weekly list or someone on the therapy team may forget to check the schedule one morning because a patient took longer than expected during their IADL. And let’s face it, most of the patients that receive a VFSS or FEES have other appointments such as dialysis, wound clinics, ENT, GI appointments, etc. It can be difficult for the entire therapy team members to get all of their minutes on a patient if said patient is being constantly sent out of facility for appointments.