WE HAVE ANSWERS!
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
BSPS is a provider with most major health insurance plans. As a courtesy to our families, we are happy to submit the charges for services to your insurance. However, it is important that each family take the time to fully understand the coverage and policies of your individual plan. Not all companies cover outpatient speech therapy and many that do have limited benefits in place.
WHAT ARE BILLINGS SPEECH PATHOLOGY SERVICES HOURS OF OPERATION?
At BSPS we make every attempt to accommodate our client’s scheduling needs. Our office is open by appointment only Monday-Thursday from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm (depending upon availability) and Fridays by appointment only. Contact information for individual therapists is provided at the time of evaluation to assist with scheduling needs.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY INSURANCE COVERS SPEECH PATHOLOGY SERVICES?
BSPS contacts your insurance company as a courtesy to our clients. We will do a verification of benefits on your behalf that verifies your coverage, its policy exclusions and identifies your own financial responsibilities. However, because we believe it is the family's responsibility to remain informed regarding their coverage, we always recommend families contact their insurance carrier and verify this information as well.
WHAT IF I HAVE BILLING QUESTIONS AFTER STARTING THERAPY?
Therapists do not deal with billing issues. If questions arise concerning coverage, outstanding charges, or periodic overcharges based on the delayed processing by an insurance company, our office administrators are happy to deal with those. Please contact them directly at 816-228-8393 for assistance and clarification.
HOW LONG IS EACH SPEECH THERAPY SESSION?
An average therapy session lasts thirty minutes, although this may vary depending on the age of the child and/or severity of the delay/disorder. Because attention spans vary between individuals, your speech therapist will suggest an appropriate length of a session using their clinical judgment following the evaluation.
HOW OFTEN WILL MY CHILD NEED THERAPY?
Frequency is critical to success. The frequency of therapy is determined by the extent of the child's delay/disorder, their age and attention span, and what works with each family's schedule. The standard recommendation is two 30-minute sessions per week. This may vary depending upon the type of therapy the child is receiving and compliance. If a therapy schedule is not aggressive enough, progress will be slow. Our goal is to facilitate these changes during the time the neurotransmitters of the brain are most receptive to changes and development.
HOW LONG WILL MY CHILD NEED SPEECH THERAPY?
There are a variety of factors that may determine how long someone will require speech therapy services. At BSPS, we strongly believe that each person’s needs are unique, as are their skills to address them. We pride ourselves in tailoring our treatment plan to the specific needs of each individual. The level of motivation, compliance, severity of the delay/disorder, and amount of time the child practices learned skills outside of therapy may have a direct impact on the duration of therapy. Progress in therapy depends on the individual themselves and how much outside practice is integrated outside the therapy setting.
WHY WON'T SURGERY RESOLVE THE PROBLEM?
Sometimes an individual requiring treatment may require prior surgery. This might include: tonsils and adenoid removal, tongue tie, or deviated septum or nasal surgery. While it might be tempting to consider that "surgery" is corrective in nature, the truth is that virtually all surgical candidates, from cardiac to ACL repair, require followup care through the therapeutic process. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes for issues that arise. Each plan of care at BSPS is unique to the individual, their ability to be compliant, and their home/work/school schedule demands.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THERAPY?
BSPS accepts many private insurance plans for affordable options for our patients. If your insurance is accepted you will be responsible only for your deductible, coinsurance or co-payment. For individuals who are uninsured or do not have speech therapy benefits, we offer low cost options for private pay.
WON'T MY CHILD JUST GROW OUT OF THIS?
The answer to this question can be yes or no. While some language and articulation errors are perfectly normal at certain ages, others are not. If your child is demonstrating articulation errors or language errors that are age appropriate, chances are they will just grow out of that. However, not all errors are typical and some processes should resolve by a certain age. A skilled Speech Pathologist will be able to assess your child’s speech and inform you if their speech patterns are typical for their age or should require intervention. Atypical error patterns seldom resolve without proper intervention and can impact all aspects of communication and education, so if you are concerned about your child’s speech it is best to have them evaluated by a professional.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS PROGRESSING IN THERAPY?
At BSPS we are committed to involving you, the parent/caregiver, by periodically providing individual session and overall Progress updates that outline overall progress. Updates are provided in person or written format depending on the location the child is seen. Therapists are happy to answer questions, but have limited time between sessions or at the end of the day for lengthy discussions. Parents should reserve an appointment time in advance for more lengthy discussions regarding areas of concern.
MY CHILD IS NOT EVEN TWO YEARS-OLD, BUT I’M NOT SURE IF HE/SHE IS MEETING DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES. WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CONTACTING A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST FOR SERVICES?
You should contact a professional as soon as any speech-language-feeding, or any other developmental concerns arise. No child is too young to be helped. If there is a problem, early identification is crucial. Speech and language skills are like building blocks. The foundation is built when a child is very young. Babies begin developing speech and language skills as infants when they “coo” and “babble. The earlier a problem is identified the earlier the skills can be targeted, which can positively affect the rate of progress for your child. Remember: testing recommendations are made to “rule out” a problem. Being sure their child is developing appropriately offers peace of mind for many parents.
MY CHILD IS GOING TO RECEIVE A FREE SPEECH-LANGUAGE SCREEN AT THE DAYCARE CENTER. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
Because the therapists at BSPS believe early identification is a key factor to facilitating strong speech and language skills, we provide speech-language screenings. We offer FREE center-wide screenings to daycare centers and preschools throughout our community. We are committed to preparing the children in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan area for academic and social success. Therefore for parent convenience, we are happy to schedule screenings at childcare facilities so all children are given access to this service. If you would like your child to be screened, you must return the completed "permission to evaluate" form (you can find it in the “Forms” section of this website). A screen consists of a serious of tasks and questions that will help the speech pathologist determine if the child needs further evaluation. The therapist may also speak with the child’s teacher regarding any academic/social concerns the teacher may have noted in the classroom. Each child who is screened will have a “results page” sent home. If the therapist recommends further testing, the parent will be contacted by the speech pathologist.
WHY CAN'T I JUST DO THERAPY ON MY OWN?
While modern technology has made it increasingly easy for teachers, parents and students to access activities that make learning easier, o date NONE of these programs can provide parents with a comprehensive assessment or address the underlying etiology of a specific disorder. Nor do Applications or Do-it Yourself programs teach the subtle modifications patients require that facilitate those changes in the user. Speech Language Pathologists undergo 6-8 years of educational training that focus on the building blocks of speech and language and swallow development that occur in the brain and learn how to effectively identify and treat those differences in individual people. Just as we are cautioned to limit self-diagnosis related to medical conditions, parents and family should use caution in assuming “programs for sale” are a good substitute.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCHOOL-BASED AND PRIVATE SPEECH THERAPY?
While school based speech-language pathologists are excellent therapists who do their best to provide high quality treatment, they must function within the confines of state and school district regulations. All children in school districts must “qualify” for special services that include speech therapy. In order to qualify, a student must meet state criteria on standardized IQ assessments as well speech and/or language testing. Additionally, the speech-language pathologist (SLP) must document that the child's speech/language impairment is adversely impacting their learning in school. Therefore, many children with speech and especially language disorders do not qualify for school based services because they function at too high or too low of a level.
In general, most children who receive school -based services do so in a group therapy setting. Private speech therapy is typically one-on-one, giving the child the undivided attention of the SLP and the opportunity for far more practice of their target skill(s). While the ultimate goal of speech therapy in a school setting is to help the child benefit from their education, the goal of private speech/language therapy is to help the child master their communication goals as quickly as possible.
Privacy and confidentiality are often another consideration for parents. School based services require an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 (Special Accommodations) that staff and support staff may access and become part of the child’s permanent educational record. Private practice therapists are bound by Health Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPPA) regulations that assure patient confidentiality and privacy.
Finally, recent studies have shown that children who undergo private speech language pathology services complete their course of treatment in a lesser amount of time than school-based services. In many cases, families may opt to do both. BSPS is happy (with written authorization) to confer with the school based therapists to develop the most effective treatment plan for the child.