Speech therapists, also called speech language pathologists, provide care that is designed to evaluate and treat neurological, cognitive and physical disorders that cause difficulty with speech, language and swallowing.
In order for skilled nursing care to be covered by the Medicare home health benefit, your care must be necessary and ordered by your doctor for your specific condition. You must be homebound and only need care on a part-time or intermittent basis (not full time).
On their first visit, the speech therapist will perform an initial assessment of your overall health and functional ability. After that, the speech therapist with make regularly scheduled visits to your home. If you need other therapy or nursing services, you will receive an initial assessment and regularly scheduled home visits from those nurses/therapists as well. Doctor’s orders are needed to start care.
Our speech therapists will:
- Help you to develop or recover reliable communication and swallowing skills.
- Modification of your home environment to promote independence through cognitive training, education and use of tools.
A typical home health visit from a speech therapist may include:
- Exercises and games to improve cognitive retention and thought processes.
- Teaching you how to make sounds, improve your voice or increase your language skills so you can communicate more effectively.
- Developing a personalized plan of care to fit your needs.
- Exercise to strengthen muscles or teaching of strategies to swallow without choking or inhaling food or liquid.
The following are technical terms and Colorado and Medicare rules for Home Health Speech Therapy:
- A3-3118.2, HHA-205.2: The service of a physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, or occupational therapist is a skilled therapy service if the inherent complexity of the service is such that it can be performed safely and/or effectively only by or under the general supervision of a skilled therapist. To be covered, the skilled services must also be reasonable and necessary to the treatment of the patient’s illness or injury or to the restoration or maintenance of function affected by the patient’s illness or injury.
In order for therapy services to be covered, one of the following three conditions must be met:
- The skills of a qualified therapist are needed to restore patient function.
- The patient’s condition requires a qualified therapist to design or establish a maintenance program.
- The skills of a qualified therapist are needed to perform maintenance therapy.
And, the amount, frequency, and duration of the services must be reasonable.