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Author: Janis Bautz

Understanding Your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Pediatric Therapy

Understanding your Explanation of Benefits: Understanding your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Children’s Speech, Occupational or Physical Therapy is important to ensure that your insurance is working. And above all, to eliminate surprises that result in unexpected expenses.

Keeping track of denials: Many times the insured (you)  gets the EOB in the mail before the provider (BDI). Therefore, if you see something that doesn’t look right, you can call your insurance or your pediatric therapy billing office right away, before you accumulate a large bill you might not be prepared for.

  • Look for accuracy: It is in your best interest to watch your EOBs from your insurance to verify services are accurate. Noticing an error can be brought to your provider’s attention sooner so it can be corrected immediately.    
  • Reading an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance for your child’s pediatric therapy can be a little confusing at times. Some pediatric therapies use the same or similar codes for treatment. These are called CPT codes. A CPT code is the code assigned to the therapy to describe the type of therapy your child had.
  • The office will bill a set rate (or charge) to your insurance for those CPT codes. If our company has a contract with your insurance; a discount might be offered and included on your EOB. Based on your benefits, you would be responsible for any unmet deductible, coinsurance, or copay

1-What services were performed.

2-The amount that was billed to your insurance.

3-Your insurance allowed this amount for that service, based on our contract with them, if any.

4-The amount your insurance paid the company based on your policy benefits.

5-Name of the organization that was paid for the service (BDI, or Bautz Developmental Intervention)

6-What your financial responsibility is for this date of service based on your policy benefits. (This would be deductible, copay or coinsurance portion.)

7-The reason for any non-payment or adjustment (reduction in payment) that was made. 

Our goal is to make funding for your insurance as stress-free as possible. If you need additional help, we are only a phone call or email away! Our patient families can reach us at office@bdiplayhouse.com or 708-478-1820.

Written by:

Ann Marie Johnson

BDI Playhouse Insurance Billing Specialist and Assistant Office Manager

My Child Cries At Drop-Off and I Want to Too!

What should you do if your child cries at drop-off?  Dropping your child off at preschool, daycare or a babysitter can be a time of anxiety for both parent and child but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some do’s and don’ts of dropping off your teary-eyed child.

    1. Do – Leave- This is huge! If your child cries at drop-off, the longer you linger and extend that goodbye the harder it is for your child to adjust to drop off. This makes your child think they may not have to stay or you will stay with him or her. As a former preschool teacher, one of the most effective ways to leave is to have a short goodbye ritual, for example, “one hug, one kiss, I love you!  Then, mom, you’re out the door. “But my child is clinging to me for dear life or chasing after me, what should I do?” You can let your child’s teacher know you may need some help with separation. Preschool teachers are very creative and can usually find a way to redirect or help your child make a smooth transition. 

    2. Don’t – Sneak out when they are not looking. This can be scary for your child. Always make sure you tell your child, “I have to go now but I will be back to pick you up after school.”  Always say goodbye to your child and let them know who will be back to pick them up at the end of the day.

    3. Do – Tell them they will get to do fun things in school and say it with a smile. Your child wants to feel safe in his/her preschool environment so your expression will help him/her realize it’s going to be GREAT and they will be safe and have fun!

    4. Don’t – Show fear or sadness when you are dropping off your child. If you look scared or sad, your child will be scared and sad and will continue to have a difficult time adjusting. We want our kiddos to feel safe at school so slap that smile on your face and show your excitement for them! 

    5. Do – Acknowledge your child’s tears. Tell your child you understand they are feeling sad but reassure them they are going to have fun, play with friends, make cool stuff and you will see them after school to hear all about it. Your child wants to know you think he/she is in a safe place and you care about his/her feelings and how he/she is feeling at that moment. 
    6. Don’t- Become frustrated with your child’s crying.  It can be scary leaving a parent. Your child’s fear of abandonment is real and he/she needs to know you understand his/her feelings. Acknowledge their feelings, reassure them, and leave.

Remember to give your child time to adjust to this new routine.  They may cry for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. Hang in there and stay consistent with the do’s and don’ts. It can be hard for a parent to walk away when their child is crying.  But, if you make those goodbyes short and sweet you will be picking up a child that is happy to see you and excited to tell you all about their day.  

If your child continues to have difficulty during drop off please contact BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy for a free consultation. You are not alone and we can help!

Written by Jessica Frederick COTA/L

Picky Eating

Why my Picky Eater Won’t Eat Your Cranberry Sauce

A letter to my well-meaning relatives around the holidays: Why my picky eater won’t eat your famous homemade cranberry sauce…

Dearest Relatives, 

We love seeing you around the holidays! Family is so important to us, and we look so forward to the warmth of a festive home, the scents of dinner cooking in the oven, and the time interacting with our family to celebrate these special days.

This time of year can be hard for my child. The hustle/bustle of gift shopping at crowded stores filled with sparkly and scented shelves and swarms of people sets my little one on edge. Bright lights that decorate your house are a lot of visual input for small, tired eyes. Hugs and kisses from relatives is a squeezy experience all it’s own. My child spends the holiday season overwhelmed, and the family parties are no exception. 

Then comes dinner time.

Days were spent preparing your famous cranberry sauce. You bought special cranberries, soaked them, washed them, mashed them. I’m sure you bought a unique ingredient at the ONE special store that carries it, and you got it JUST before it went out of stock. There was mixing and cooking and chilling. The beautiful treat was placed in the perfect serving dish so your entire family would be able to enjoy your masterpiece.

BUT…

At dinner, my child has trouble sitting politely at the table. After keeping it (mostly) together during the appetizer/pre-dinner activities, my child is quite jazzed. His system has a hard time processing all of the aspects of the evening that have lead up to the main event that is dinner. Asking them now to sit nicely in their chair next to their siblings/cousins/relatives is a feat meant for champions alone. And then they are faced with a gorgeous plate full of “delicious” food, including your precious cranberry sauce, and fear strikes his heart. And mine. 

**Please don’t make a scene, please behave, please let us get through this meal without an upset**

All my pleading cannot account for the fact that this food is my child’s demon, his largest aversion, his highest obstacle, his “Everest.” Maybe he is not ready to face it today, even if (especially if) it is a holiday. Maybe he will gracefully leave your cranberry sauce on his plate and eat around it, maybe he will run and hide under the table in the other room.

My child has difficulty feeling the cranberry sauce in his mouth and is fearful to put it between those teeth for fear of choking or losing it in his back cheeks. Sometimes my child is unable to coordinate his tongue in order to move those berries around in his mouth to properly chew or swallow that goop. It could also be that the texture of wet, mushy berries surrounded in unidentifiable glop is far too intimidating to place in his mouth and swallow. It’s also very possible that the scent of the sweet dish is off-putting to an ultra-sensitive nose. Perhaps the way your cranberry sauce jiggles is overly exciting for the eyes, or too closely resembles another feared food item. It could even be that today is Thursday, and we only eat yellow foods on Thursdays. 

Whatever the reason, please don’t take offense!

  • Please don’t offer more, or comment on my child’s lack of enjoyment of your prized dish.
  • I’m begging, please, please, please, don’t suggest my child eat these berries or ask him to “just try a bite”.
  • I would also love it if you did not snort judgment as I heat up the chicken nuggets in the microwave.
  • Let me help you understand what you are asking before you ask it. Be mindful of what this holiday and that cranberry sauce means to me and my child.

We love you, and one day we may also happily indulge in your cranberry sauce. Today may not be that day, but we are working towards that! First, we must master looking at new foods, smelling them, touching them, licking them, biting them, swallowing them, and smiling with joy at the taste. When that is accomplished, we hope that our dear child will eat every bite of your famous cranberry sauce, so we can all rejoice!

Until then, enjoy my child’s giggles, curiosity, love for all things bouncing/rolling, and for you (cranberry sauce not included)!

Happy Holidays,

Mother of a child with a zest for life, a goofy smile, a whit faster than light, and feeding difficulties

Written by: Margaret Lord OTR/L

If your child is a picky eater and mealtime is creating a challenge in your home, contact us for a free consultation.  You are not alone and we can help!

You have Questions. We have Answers.

Schedule a consultation by phone or at our Naperville – Aurora or Orland Park clinic here:

baby crawling

Do Babies Really Need to Crawl?

That glorious moment when your baby is mobile, crawling around your house at hyper-speed is both joyous and terrifying. Time to baby-proof your house! Do babies really need to crawl? Crawling is essential for your baby’s development. The coordination and strength that are attained while your baby is exploring the world through crawling is irreplaceable, and sets them on the path to success!

This side/that side: Crawling requires the perfect unison of arms moving in alternation. This skill is important for future coordination of hand movements for play with toys, walking/running, climbing and pulling, home skills like taking off the toothpaste cap or opening containers, and academic skills like cutting!

Getting ahold of it: Putting weight through our hands forms the arches in the palms of our hands. These arches allow for our hands to grasp items of various sizes and shapes, and allow for our fingers to move in coordination with the objects we hold. We need these arches to play with baby blocks and balls, grab a paper cup without smashing it, and use our thumb to pinch thin objects within our fingers. 

Show me your muscles: Bodyweight through our arms develops the muscles in our shoulders and arms. The shifting of a crawling movement helps strengthen these muscles and allow for stability at our shoulder, which we need for later fine motor manipulation tasks like completing buttons, writing/coloring and lifting heavy items.

Tummy time upgrade: The crawl position tilts our body horizontal with the ground, requiring that our head work against gravity to look around. This strength and control in our neck is used for balance and stability for the rest of our life!

Look at it this way: As baby crawls around, they can look at the floor, up at you, and back at the floor. This is an extremely important motor pattern for the development of eye movements. Looking at something near the eyes, then turning focus to something farther away requires our eyes to work together to focus and adjust eye position quickly. Your baby will use this important skill later for play activities like catching and throwing, learning tasks in the classroom, and even driving!

So, do babies need to crawl? If your baby has skipped the crawling phase, they may be missing out on the development of some of these fundamental skills. BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy offers free screenings to give you the tools to help your baby “crawl” their way to a strong and play-filled life!

Written by: Maggie Lord, MS, OTR/L

preschool circle time seating

Sit Smart, Not Still – Best Seating for Classrooms

Is it necessary for children to sit still to attend in circle time? Let’s talk about creative seating in the classroom. As adults, we make sure to “get comfortable” before focusing on things we want or have to do, whether it’s paying bills at the table or watching T.V. on the couch. We do it automatically – we shift our weight or add a pillow under our legs without even thinking about it! When your seating arrangement is comfortable, you are able to give your full attention to the task at hand without having to think twice about how your body is positioned. Like adults, kids need to be comfortable and “situated” in order to focus, especially in school. Sometimes, finding comfortable and focus-inducing seating for the classroom requires creativity and flexibility!

“Sitting Smart”- Benefits of flexible seating options: 

  • Movement Opportunities: Moving your body helps increase blood flow to the brain, which improves focus and attention & reduces stress. Movement options while sitting in the classroom can involve small, minor movements/wiggles or large bounces/shifts to facilitate organized engagement in those wiggles and promoting increased focus.
  • Something for Everyone: Providing a variety of seating options encourages kids to explore and figure out what helps them learn best – we are all different! Allow a child to select what helps them most provides a sense of ownership and self-awareness that will allow for increased engagement in their task, their way!
  • Motivation: Having fun seating options is a way to motivate kids to want to come to school and learn. Increasing the intrigue with novel seating arrangements improves a child’s willingness to approach a seated task that might otherwise be “boring” or “too hard”.

Here are some seating options to help kids improve focus and participation while seated in the classroom:

Cube Chair 

Low Table with Pillows

Floor Chair with Back Support -Postural stability is key!

Fidget Band for Chair -Gives kids an opportunity to move their legs and improve focus

Wiggle Seat – Movement and input while sitting are super motivating!

Exercise Balance BallProvides range of motion opportunities

Wedge Seat positions pelvis for upright posture

Beanbag Chair – Available at Walmart

Scoop Rocker Chair

Inflatable Chair  

Wobble Stool

If these seating options aren’t providing everything your kids need to be successful, BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy offers free screenings to give your child the necessary tools to improve participation and function at home and in school.

By Jade Pellerito, OTR

Occupational Therapist