U.S. Supreme Court upholds ACA exchange subsidies | DARPA sets 4-year goal for mind-controlled prosthesis development | Lifestyle changes can help reverse prediabetes, experts say
June 25, 2015
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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U.S. Supreme Court upholds ACA exchange subsidies
Supreme Court
The Supreme Court. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)
The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act for people buying insurance through the federal insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov. The 6-3 opinion in King vs. Burwell was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. The decision confirms that people qualify for subsidies whether they buy health plans through state or federal exchanges. NBC News (6/25), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/25)
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Science and Technology
DARPA sets 4-year goal for mind-controlled prosthesis development
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is giving a mind-controlled prosthesis project four years to prove viable, Geoffrey Ling, founding director of DARPA's Biological Technologies Office, told attendees at this week's DARPABiT conference. More than 1,500 soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have required limb amputations, according to the Congressional Research Service. Quartz (6/25)
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Lifestyle changes can help reverse prediabetes, experts say
People with prediabetes may not have noticeable symptoms, making it difficult to motivate them to make lifestyle changes that can prevent progression to full diabetes, said Margaret Powers of the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis. Registered dietitian Hillary Wright said weight loss and exercise is the best strategy for normalizing blood glucose levels. U.S. News & World Report (6/23)
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Legislative and Regulatory
House votes to repeal Medicare IPAB
The House voted to repeal a section of the Affordable Care Act that sets up the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would be convened to suggest spending-reduction strategies if the growth in Medicare spending exceeds certain levels. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (6/23), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/23)
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Debate on medical device tax repeal moves to Senate
The debate on whether to repeal the 2.3% medical device tax now shifts to the Senate after it was approved last week by the House in a 280-140 vote. Support for the bill has spanned party lines, but it's not clear how the Senate will respond to the measure, which industry advocates say is bad for business and patients. MedPage Today (free registration) (6/23)
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CDC: U.S. uninsured rate fell to 16.3% last year
Last year, 16.3% of adults in the U.S. younger than 65 had no health insurance, down from 20.4% in 2013, a CDC survey found. The average uninsured rate was 13.3% in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, compared with 19.3% in states that did not expand Medicaid. Bloomberg (6/23), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/23)
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Trend Watch
Manufacturer sees bionic arm prostheses as future trend
Bionic arm prostheses likely will become the choice of most adult amputees as they become more mainstream and prices drop, says Ted Varley of Steeper, the U.K. company that makes the bebionic hand. Further, properly manufactured prostheses are more durable than 3D-printed versions, he contends. BBC (6/25)
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Other News
Breaking news from AOPA
Breaking: Supreme Court upholds ACA subsidies -- what does it mean for O&P? Important coding and billing reminder on miscellaneous codes inside. Legislation repealing the medical device tax passes House. AOPA Assembly spotlight: AOPA expert Joe McTernan presents three essential sessions. Don't miss these stories and more in the latest AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
July 8: Who’s on First? Medicare as a Secondary Payer. Learn more and register online.
July 13-14: Essential Coding & Billing Techniques Seminar, Philadelphia, Pa. Learn more and register online.
Oct. 7-10: AOPA 2015 National Assembly Learn more or register online.
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