Scientists study human reflexes to improve prosthetic legs | Self-healing polymer could lead to prosthetic skin | Children's type 2 diabetes risk tied to maternal diabetes, study finds
November 19, 2015
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Scientists study human reflexes to improve prosthetic legs
Carnegie Mellon University is testing above-knee prostheses that mimic human neuromuscular control to minimize tripping and falling on uneven terrain. A device called the Robotic Neuromuscular Leg 2 was able to respond to disturbances at the beginning of the walking movement and at late swing but does not respond well at mid-swing, researchers said. (11/18)
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Science and Technology
Self-healing polymer could lead to prosthetic skin
Israeli chemical engineers are developing technology that enables flexible sensors to "heal" by repairing cracks that could break the flow of electricity. Researchers predict the synthetic polymer, which features gold nanoparticles and high-conductivity electrodes, could one day be used in prosthetic limbs. (U.K.) (11/19)
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Medical News
Children's type 2 diabetes risk tied to maternal diabetes, study finds
Children whose mothers had diabetes before pregnancy or gestational diabetes during pregnancy were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a younger age -- an average of 0.6 years younger -- than those whose mothers didn't have the disease. The findings in Diabetes Care, based on 632 patients ages 10 to 17 who were diagnosed with diabetes before age 2, also showed those exposed to maternal diabetes had an average 0.3% increased A1C and reduced beta-cell function, compared with those who weren't exposed. Endocrinology Advisor (11/17)
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Experts look at cinnamon's role in treating type 2 diabetes
Cinnamon is used as a type 2 diabetes therapy in many parts of the world and while some studies suggest it lowers blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association has said there is not enough scientific evidence to support its use, writes registered dietitian Marsha McCulloch. Chiropractic doctor Brian Mowll said that of the two major varieties of cinnamon available in supplements, Ceylon is considered safer than Cassia in large doses. Today's Dietitian (11/2015)
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Weight loss from gastric balloon procedure may not last, study says
Intragastric-balloon procedures helped people lose weight, but for most patients, it was not sustained long term, according to a study from Brazil that was presented during Obesity Week 2015. Researchers said patients were counseled by a dietitian, psychiatrist and fitness trainer on behavior modification and physical activity, but 70% still regained weight within three years after the balloon was removed. Medscape (free registration) (11/17)
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Legislative and Regulatory
ACA Medicaid expansion fuels shift to value-based care
Thirty states have expanded or plan to expand Medicaid programs, and many have handed administration of the expanded coverage to private plans. Last year 7.8 million more beneficiaries enrolled in private Medicaid managed care plans, and the trend is expected to grow as fee-for-service models are increasingly replaced with value-based, outcomes-linked models. Forbes (11/15)
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Groups say better quality measures needed for new Medicare payment system
The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and other groups told the CMS that better quality measures are needed before implementation of a value-based payment program to replace the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula. The American Medical Informatics Association said that the current system of electronically specified quality measures is not adequately complete or accurate. Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (11/16)
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Trend Watch
Dallas facility offers vigorous workouts for military amputees and others
Military veterans and others with amputations or past traumatic injuries can gain fitness and renewed purpose at the Adaptive Training Foundation in Dallas. The foundation offers a nine-week program with a minimum of one hour of strenuous exercise three days a week. "The breakthroughs can be small or large, but they're still breakthroughs, and we cherish every single one of them," said retired Marine Cpl. Blake Watson, who lost part of his left leg while serving in Afghanistan. WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (11/22)
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Civil War brought first legislation to provide artificial limbs
Congress passed the first legislation funding artificial limbs for Union soldiers in 1862, while Confederate soldiers relied on donations from a volunteer organization. After the war, benefits for Union amputees were more generous than those for Confederate veterans whose limbs had been amputated. Efforts by physicians, prosthetic manufacturers and others led to the creation of the Veterans' Bureau in 1921, a precursor to today's Department of Veterans Affairs. (11/16)
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Breaking news from AOPA
RAC contractors have been authorized to re-start audit activity. CMS implements final rule on comprehensive care for joint replacement. CMS finalizes Stark Law changes in CY 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. Read the November issue of the O&P Almanac online. Mark Your calendars for the 2016 webinars. This and more in AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Dec. 9: Bringing in the New Year: New Codes and Changes for 2016. Learn more and register online
Jan. 13, 2016: AOPA Webinar: Pre-Payment Reviews: What You Need to Know to Pass. Learn more and register online.
January 2016: Essential Coding & Billing Techniques Seminar in Tampa, Fla.
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