September 12, 2013
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AOPA in Advance SmartBrief Special Report
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

AOPA's 2013 World Congress Preview
AOPA's 2013 World Congress -- the premier destination for the worldwide orthotic and prosthetic community -- will be held Sept. 18-21 in Orlando, Fla., at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.

The World Congress is where attendees gather to learn more about O&P and hear from world-class speakers and see highly acclaimed research.

The World brings together prosthetists, orthotists, physicians, technicians, scientists, researchers, engineers, programmers, clinicians, pedorthists, fitters, physical therapists, manufacturers, suppliers, patient-care facility owners, managers and executives and other rehabilitation caregivers to provide a unique and powerful environment to advance the field.

You can still register to attend this timely event.

With the event just a week away, AOPA In Advance SmartBrief has put together some news stories that reflect trends in the industry as well as some helpful links to guide you through the event.
Innovations in O&P 
  • Superthin, superstrong graphene could be used in bionic limbs
    Graphene, perhaps the thinnest, strongest material yet created, has drawn a flood of patents from such companies as Apple, IBM, Saab and Lockheed Martin. Although expensive to produce, graphene is made from ordinary graphite and is both versatile and highly conductive. It is being tested for living tissue applications in prostheses, as well as other commercial uses. International Business Times (8/26)
  • Microprocessors, materials and software launch new bionic era
    In London, scientists are assembling a Bionic Man that will combine advanced artificial limbs and organs, all operated by computer, in a demonstration of the extraordinary technological advances that are taking place in the fields of prosthetic devices and replacement organs. The Bionic Man, which incorporates i-limb and other innovations, will be the subject of a Smithsonian Channel documentary in October. Biophysicist and engineer Hugh Herr of MIT's Media Lab predicts that, because prostheses are improving so quickly, physical disabilities may be a thing of the past by the end of this century. Smithsonian Magazine (9/2013)
  • 3D prostheses feasible, but costs and engineering remain challenges
    3D printing can create relatively inexpensive, highly customized prostheses, but ensuring that the socket fits properly to the body remains a challenge. "We can print out a socket that can be used definitively, but attached to that socket is generally some sort of suspension device," said WillowWood Director of Research Jim Colvin. "To print that [component] in the same printer is not possible today." Nevertheless, Patrice Johnson, former Physionetics chief technical officer, has used 3D printing to create prosthetic arms for land-mine victims in Myanmar and Thailand. Johnson sees creating low-cost prostheses for victims in third-world countries as the next application for 3D printing. The Atlantic online (8/23)
Education On Demand—Coming Soon!
Created with convenience in mind, clinicians can take this one-hour course anytime, anyplace. Specifically designed for O&P professionals who work with SureStep, this course includes a self-guided presentation including 25 questions that will test users on basic SureStep concepts. This course will be approved for 1 CEU. Register today!
Legislative and Policy Update 
  • HHS to review CMS bids for DMEPOS
    In response to congressional queries, the HHS Office of the Inspector General will conduct a limited review in four states of how CMS conducted the bidding process for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies. Specially, the OIG will investigate allegations of whether unlicensed providers received awards during Round 2 bidding in Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. CMS says the program could save Medicare Part B as much as $25.7 billion from 2013 to 2022, but some members of Congress want the second round of bidding delayed. Bloomberg BNA (free content) (8/28)
  • CMS updates off-the-shelf orthoses eligible for bidding
    CMS has updated its HCPCS list of off-the-shelf orthotic devices defined as needing minimal adjustment, which could be subject to a round of DMEPOS competitive bidding in the future. Although CMS is authorized to include OTS orthotics in bidding competitions, it has not done so to date. CMS has not yet identified which specific orthotic codes might be included in such a bidding process. Health Industry Washington Watch blog (8/27)
  • Other News
Interested in increasing profits?
SureStep is proud to announce the opening of its Central Fabrication division. By using SureStep C-Fab, not only will practitioners have access to years of knowledge and expertise, but also experience the same quick turn-around times customers are accustomed to with SureStep products. Visit us at booth #401 or call 877-462-0711 to learn more.
  • Make sure to attend AOPA's 2013 World Congress
    Why should you attend?

    Research and development expenditures in the United States are more than $95 billion, making the nation the leader in medical innovation and creating the ideal location for a unique gathering of high visibility and importance.

    Superior clinical education featuring the best speakers from around the world. Hear from physicians, researchers and top-notch practitioners.

    Practical learning and live demonstrations.

    Preparation for the massive changes that U.S. health care reform is sure to bring and its influence on global health policy.

    Networking with an elite and influential group of professionals.

    Largest display of exhibits in the United States for the orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic profession.

    See the agenda.

Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AOPA endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AOPA.
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