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Augmentative-Alternative Communication Clinic

Augmentative/Alternative Communication is the use of technology to support, enhance and supplement communication by individuals who are not independent verbal communicators in all situations. This service is for patients who have been diagnosed with a neurological condition and have difficulty communicating verbally. The process is most effective for patients who are approximately one year post-onset of the condition.

Common Diagnoses:

Late effects of CVA (Stroke)
Late effects of traumatic brain injury

Program Features and Requirements:

  • The Augmentative-Alternative Communication program is by physician order only. (The physician should send a prescription for evaluation to Patricia Neal Outpatient Services.)
  • The patient must have family support.
  • Insurance most often funds the initial evaluation.
  • Initial evaluations last approximately one hour and are scheduled by appointment (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.).
  • Patients are evaluated by a speech-language pathologist.
  • Medicare pays 80 percent toward the purchase of any recommended device.
  • Secondary insurers may cover the remaining 20 percent that is not covered by Medicare.
  • TennCare coverage is negotiable for eligible patients. .


Physician Consults with Therapist:
Mary Margaret Preston, MA, CCC-SLP
Clinical Specialist
(865) 331-2316