Assessment, appropriate device selection are key to O&P care | Carbon-nanotube fiber electrodes could improve prostheses | Designer updates flexible 3D-printed hand

April 16, 2015
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

Top Story
Assessment, appropriate device selection are key to O&P care
O&P practitioners discuss the use of existing and self-created tools for assessing potential functional levels of new patients, as well as considerations involved in selecting an appropriate device. Some practitioners use the Prosthetic Limb Users Survey of Mobility for ongoing assessments, which clinicians agree are critical. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (4/2015)
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Let Them Go! Shed the Business Fears Holding You Back
If your business growth has stalled, it could be because you haven't let go of the worries holding you back. It's time to let them go and move on. Read the featured article to learn more.

Science and Technology
Carbon-nanotube fiber electrodes could improve prostheses
Scientists at Rice University found that small, flexible electrodes made of carbon-nanotube fibers can pick up signals from neurons in the brain, potentially improving prosthetic devices that integrate with the peripheral nervous system. The technology could also be used for deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, according to the study, which was published in the journal ACS Nano. Chemical & Engineering News (4/15)
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Designer updates flexible 3D-printed hand
The 3D-printed Flexy-Hand 2 -- Filaflex Remix, the latest version of a prosthetic hand developed by Steve Wood of Gyrobot, has a realistic look and is made of flexible Filaflex filament. Features include hidden finger hinges, realistic articulation and two thumb angles. Designs for the device, which can be attached to an existing prosthesis, are free online. (4/13)
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Medical News
Knee bracing relieves some pain in OA patients
Valgus knee bracing caused "small to moderate improvements in pain" among patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario, who conducted a meta-analysis of six randomized, controlled trials. News (4/15)
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Improved insulin pump can help prevent hypoglycemic attacks
Eight-year-old Xavier Veivers-Brown received a new insulin pump developed by doctors in Perth, Australia, that can better control insulin delivery and prevent hypoglycemic attacks. Business Standard (India) (4/15)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Medicare "doc fix" bill passes Congress
Congress approved a bill Tuesday that would prevent a 21% cut in payments to Medicare physicians. The 92-8 vote in the Senate came hours before the cut was supposed to be implemented. The bill, which is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama, also extends the Children's Health Insurance Program for two years. Reuters (4/14), USA Today (4/14), CNN (4/14)
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Trend Watch
Specialized prosthesis allows Boston Marathon amputee to golf again
Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics fit Boston Marathon bombing victim J.P. Norden with a golf-specific prosthetic leg featuring a rotator that allows him to pivot during a golf swing. "I can't even remember walking with my regular leg," Norden said. (4/15)
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Business and Finance
Strategies that help speed up reimbursement
Joe McTernan, AOPA's director of reimbursement services, offers tips for timely and proper collection of payments, including requesting coinsurance and deductible payments upon device delivery and accepting credit cards. Building relationships with individuals at payer companies can help resolve reimbursement problems, and businesses should consider the use of professional collection agencies, he writes. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (4/2015)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Support the orthotic and prosthetic industry. With the President Signature on April 15, the SGR/Doc Fix has been completed. Enter the Mobility Saves Testimonial Contest for your chance to win! How do you celebrate April's limb loss awareness? This and more in AOPA's Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
May 13: The New Player in Town: Understand How the RAC Contract Works. Learn more and register online.
June 1: AOPA 2015 National Assembly Preliminary Program available -- early-bird registration opens.
June 10: Stay Out of Trouble: Building a Medicare-Approved Compliance Plan. Learn more and register online.
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Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
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