Amputees to protest Medicare eligibility changes | For more: | Exoskeleton can be controlled through computer-brain interface
August 20, 2015
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

Top Story
Amputees to protest Medicare eligibility changes
The Paducah, Ky., Coalition for Amputees is joining other amputee groups in Maryland next week to protest changes in Medicare patient eligibility criteria that would limit access to advanced prosthetic devices. "I don't want to see someone get a crappy, basic prosthetic leg and stick it in the corner because it hurts to wear it," said amputee Terri Ross, president of the Paducah group. A national petition to fight the changes has collected more than 100,000 signatures, she said. WPSD-TV (Paducah, Ky.) (8/19)
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Science and TechnologySponsored By
Exoskeleton can be controlled through computer-brain interface
A computer-brain interface developed by Korean and German scientists enables the user to control a lower-limb exoskeleton by staring at one of five flashing lights. Each of the LEDs flashes at a different frequency, and an electroencephalogram cap decodes brain signals that correspond to a particular movement. The system is useful for paralyzed patients who can only move their eyes and could not otherwise control an exoskeleton, researchers said. Gizmag (8/18)
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Flexible prosthetic sleeve is more comfortable and secure
Army Capt. Matthew Bacik, who lost his right leg below the knee in Iraq, has been testing a prosthesis with a flexible sleeve for Limb Lab. The company has been working with the Mayo Clinic to improve the efficiency of prostheses. Bacik said the device is more comfortable, and he doesn't have to change his position throughout the day to accommodate it. (8/19)
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Algorithm creates improved gait for robotic prosthetic leg
A new robotic prosthetic leg uses a control algorithm to determine when to apply force, achieving a more natural gait. The device, which uses software and sensors to control its motion, was developed by Robert Gregg and his students at the University of Texas at Dallas. Gregg is working on a way to use the wearer's motion rather than an external controller to shift the device from one activity to another, such as climbing stairs and walking. MIT Technology Review online (8/18)
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Medical News
Experts: Diabetic foot disease guidelines should be implemented worldwide
Worldwide implementation of the new global guidance of the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot would help prevent amputations among diabetes patients, experts wrote in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. "Results continue to show that too many patients fail to receive timely and optimum treatment in both the ambulatory and inpatient settings," said lead author Benjamin Lipsky. Medscape (free registration) (8/18)
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Study: Genetic testing improves care for babies with diabetes
U.K. researchers found that genetic testing of babies with diabetes could provide physicians information on how best to treat the disease and offer medical guidance to parents. The findings, published in The Lancet, were based on 1,020 neonates with diabetes. Yahoo/The Press Association (U.K.) (8/18)
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Experts: Clinicians should consider using older insulins
Older insulins such as the regular and neutral protamine Hagedorn insulins may be used as a cheaper and effective alternative to expensive insulin analogs for type 2 diabetes patients, endocrinologists Tracy Tylee and Irl Hirsch wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "The affordability of insulin is becoming an important factor in decision making, and clinicians should be aware of the lower-cost options that may be available for their patients," they wrote. Medscape (free registration) (8/18)
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Legislative and Regulatory
GOP contenders float ACA "repeal and replace" plans
Republican presidential candidates Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal have issued plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with proposals that include allowing Americans to buy health plans across state lines, using tax deductions instead of credits, basing tax credits on age instead of income and allowing states to set rules for insurers. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/18)
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Trend Watch
Clinic gives amputees opportunity to try new devices
An amputee clinic in Lincoln, Neb., sponsored by Hanger gave participants the opportunity to try running blades. Using the devices takes practice, but high school track coach Bob White, whose leg was amputated in 2007, said, "It feels like I'm walking on pillows." Lincoln Journal Star (Neb.) (tiered subscription model) (8/19)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA and the Amputee Coalition issue a joint press release on the LCD policy. Get your update on all of AOPA's actions on the policy inside. WillowWood remembers Joe Arbogast. How will your business thrive in 2015 and beyond? Inside is an exclusive offer for readers. Get the latest in AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Sept. 1: Last day of early bird registration for the 2015 National Assembly in San Antonio, Texas. Learn more or register online
Sept. 9:
Prior Authorization, How Does It Work? webinar conference. Learn more or register online
Oct. 7-10:
AOPA 2015 National Assembly. Learn more or register online.
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