We Have Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Aphasia is a communication disorder that can occur after a stroke, affecting a person's ability to understand and use language. It can impact speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For example, your spouse might struggle to find the right words or understand what others are saying.

Understanding aphasia and its impact on individuals and families is crucial for providing effective treatment and support. Aphasia can disrupt a person's ability to understand and express language, making everyday communication challenging.  

Aphasia can profoundly impact your relationships.  Over time, individuals can lose connection with their loved ones because of misunderstanding what aphasia is, and what your language and thinking capabilities are, and there can be misunderstanding and frustration, too.  

When treating aphasia, a speech pathologist considers more than just language skills. They also look at the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of the person's life and their family. They create communication goals and customize therapy techniques to meet the person's unique needs in collaboration with the person with aphasia and their immediate family.

Speech pathology treatment can be highly beneficial for stroke survivors with aphasia. Speech pathologists are trained to assess and treat language and communication disorders. They use various techniques and exercises tailored to individual needs to help improve language skills. For instance, they may focus on word retrieval strategies or practice conversation skills.  Mindset is also an important component for recovery, even years after the onset of aphasia.

The Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) is a dynamic and empowering approach to aphasia rehabilitation. It focuses on enhancing communication skills to help individuals with aphasia actively participate in all aspects of life, reclaim their identities, and connect with the world around them.  

LPAA goes beyond traditional language therapy by emphasizing the importance of real-life communication and supporting individuals in achieving their personal goals, fostering social engagement, and promoting overall well-being. With LPAA, aphasia becomes an opportunity for growth, resilience, and renewed connections. Discover how this innovative approach can transform lives and open new doors to communication success. 

The duration of speech pathology treatment for stroke survivors with aphasia can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the aphasia, individual progress, the specific goals of the therapy, and insurance benefit coverage. Treatment length is often individualized and may extend over weeks, months, or even years.  

It's essential to understand that the duration of treatment is flexible and can be adjusted based on individual progress and changing needs. Regular communication and collaboration between the stroke survivor, their family, and the speech pathologist help ensure the treatment plan has been personalized and responsive to the person's goals and aspirations throughout their aphasia recovery journey.  

Let’s address the concept of a plateau.  At some point, most people with aphasia will hear the words,, "You are going to be discharged because you've hit a plateau."  For some people, it comes after only a few weeks of therapy. For others, you may have a few months of therapy. Sooner or later, your therapist or insurance (or both) will stop your therapy.  

The therapy plateau is a myth.  Find another clinician if the clinician runs out of therapy ideas and goals.  If your insurance does not pay for therapy, explore other opportunities to keep moving forward.  The brain is a resilient organ – it will continue to build new pathways when challenged and as you work on your speech, language, and thinking skills.  

"Plateaus" are a constraint of your health insurance, but can also be because your therapist doesn't know what else to do. You'll need to think outside the box, commit to improvement, and take action to make a difference.  Work with a clinician who is experienced with stroke recovery, understands the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia, and can provide a variety of sources of tasks and homework to keep you moving forward in your recovery. 

Speech pathologists use techniques to treat aphasia at the impairment level, such as semantic feature analysis, sentence completion tasks, and melodic intonation therapy.  These approaches target specific language difficulties and promote functional communication skills.

However, a more comprehensive treatment approach utilizes the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia, LPAA, a framework to treat the whole person.  LPAA emphasizes functional communication in real-life situations, supporting individuals with aphasia in actively participating in meaningful activities and achieving their communication goals.

Functional Communication Tasks focus on training individuals with aphasia to perform specific functional communication tasks relevant to their everyday lives. These tasks include making phone calls, ordering food at a restaurant, or participating in group conversations.  

Supported Conversation is a technique involving providing support and strategies during conversations to enhance the individual's participation and understanding. The speech pathologist facilitates effective communication using techniques such as paraphrasing, visual aids, and gesturing.  

Communication Partner Training recognizes the importance of educating communication partners, including family members, friends, and healthcare professionals, about aphasia and effective communication strategies. They provide training to enhance communication interactions and create a supportive environment. 

Yes, there are seven different types of aphasia, and they are categorized in broad categories, including fluent, non-fluent, and global.  
Check out this short video from the Unlocking Aphasia Course about fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia.

Fluent Aphasia
Imagine a river flowing effortlessly. That's how we can picture fluent aphasia. Individuals with fluent aphasia often have no trouble with their speech fluency. They can produce words and sentences quite easily. However, their language may need more meaning, coherence, and accuracy.

Treatment Approach for Fluent Aphasia
When treating fluent aphasia, the focus is on improving comprehension and word-finding abilities. Speech pathologists employ semantic feature analysis, supported conversation, and functional communication tasks to enhance understanding and promote meaningful communication. The goal is to bridge the gap between fluent output and the individual's ability to convey and understand relevant information.

Non-Fluent Aphasia
In contrast to fluent aphasia, non-fluent aphasia is characterized by limited speech output, reduced speech rate, and difficulty initiating speech. Individuals with non-fluent aphasia may struggle to find words and produce short, fragmented sentences.

Treatment Approach for Non-Fluent Aphasia
The treatment approach for non-fluent aphasia emphasizes improving expressive language skills. Speech pathologists often employ melodic intonation therapy, constraint-induced language therapy, and script training. These techniques leverage rhythm, intonation, and repetitive practice to enhance speech production and rebuild expressive language abilities. The focus is on promoting increased fluency, sentence formulation, and expressive communication.

Global Aphasia
Global aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia, where individuals experience profound difficulties with expressive and receptive language skills. Communication is severely impacted, making conveying thoughts or understanding spoken language challenging.

Treatment Approach for Global Aphasia
Treating global aphasia requires a comprehensive and individualized approach. The focus is on utilizing multimodal communication strategies to facilitate understanding and expression. Speech pathologists may integrate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods, visual aids, and gestures to supplement verbal communication. The goal is to support individuals with global aphasia to find alternative ways to communicate and participate in daily activities.

By understanding the different types of aphasia and tailoring treatment approaches accordingly, speech pathologists can provide targeted and effective interventions. The engaging and compelling journey of aphasia treatment aims to unlock the power of communication, allowing individuals to reconnect, express themselves, and engage meaningfully with the world around them.

Learn more about the seven types of aphasia on our Aphasia Treatment page.  Would you like to figure out what kind of aphasia you or your loved one has?  We offer the Unlocking Aphasia on-demand course.  Learn more about the course here.

Insurance & Financial Information

Improving communication is an investment of your time, energy, and finances.  LIFE Speech Pathology offers a variety of options to pay for your treatment.  

Original Medicare part B

We are a participating provider with traditional or original Medicare (part B, outpatient).  LIFE Speech Pathology will submit a claim for services rendered when you have original Medicare and/or a supplemental insurance plan.

For those who do not have supplemental insurance, a co-payment will be charged automatically using the credit card on file at the time of service.

Original Medicare will pay for services that are considered medically necessary.  Your clinician will work with you to explain the treatment that is covered and treatment that is outside the scope of medical necessity.
For flexible, client-focused, and specialized treatment, we offer out-of-the-box concierge wellness treatment when Medicare benefits have been exhausted.

Out-of-Network Insurance

We are an out-of-network provider for all  insurance companies.  Many insurance companies offer out-of-network reimbursement for services.  

If you have out-of-network benefits, the service will be paid in full on the day of services via a credit card on file.  If desired, a superbill can be provided with the codes and necessary information.  You'll submit the superbill to your insurance company and your insurance company will pay you directly.

 We have created a Medical Insurance Benefit Worksheet.  This worksheet will guide you to ask the questions of your insurance company to determine your coverage and benefits.  

Download the Insurance Benefits Worksheet Here.

Out-of-the Box Concierge Treatment

For those with no insurance benefits for speech therapy, those who have utilized their benefits or those who want specialized therapy above and beyond what is considered medically necessary by Medicare and other insurance companies, we offer our Concierge Treatment option.

With this, clients are in the driver's seat with regards to treatment, focusing on their wants and needs for communication and having the option of individual or group treatments.

Our pricing is transparent, with a good faith estimate when beginning treatment, and the session rate is based on the time per session - charged on the day of treatment.  Customized treatment packages are also available to meet your therapy needs.

Treatment plans are tailored to the therapy needs of each client, and agreed upon before beginning services

Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Medicare utilizes a definition of medical necessity to determine what they will and will not pay for.  If you were recently discharged from outpatient speech pathology, it is unlikely that you will qualify for additional treatment paid for by Medicare.  However, we do offer a concierge treatment program that is private pay and can meet your continued communication goals and needs.

Original Medicare part B will pay for treatment that is considered to be medically necessary.  The best way to determine if treatment meets this definition is to have a consultation with one of our speech pathologists to determine your goals and to look into Medicare eligibility.  There is no one-size-fits-all definition.  If it has been a year since you were discharged, and if your physician agrees, you may be eligible for an evaluation and brief follow up treatment.  LIFE offers a concierge treatment program that is private pay for any treatment you would like that does not fit the definition of medical necessity.  

Each Medicare Advantage Plan is different.  You will have to determine if your plan offers out-of-network benefits, what the deductible is, and how to submit a superbill for treatment.  If you select to move forward with treatment, you'll join our out-of-network program and will receive, upon request, a superbill that documents the treatment received.  You can then submit the superbill to your insurance company and will be reimbursed directly by the insurance company to you.  All out-of-network insurance clients maintain a credit card on file which is charged on the day of service.

There are as many insurance companies as there are states in the United States.  LIFE Speech Pathology serves clients across the USA and we are not able to be credentialed with each insurance company, hence, we are out-of-network providers.  

LIFE Speech Pathology offers a concierge treatment program to continue the therapy that you want to receive.  A credit card is maintained on file and is charged on the day of service.

Original Medicare lumps physical therapy and speech pathology into the same reimbursement bucket.  When the resources are close to being finished, each therapy has to justify medical necessity when the claim is submitted to Medicare.  If you desire to continue treatment that is not considered medically necessary, there is often a concierge or wellness treatment program available to you for private pay.

Yes!  We offer treatment packages that are designed for a 4-week interval and are paid up-front at the time of booking and receive a 10% discount.