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November 20, 2012
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

  Top Story 
  • ReFIT algorithm takes neural prosthetics to a new level
    A team at Stanford University developed an algorithm called ReFit that significantly improved the speed and accuracy of neural prostheses operated by rhesus monkeys to control computer cursors. Unlike earlier versions, ReFIT analyzed and implemented visual feedback gathered in real time, interpreted neural signals about the cursor's position and velocity at the same time, and performance did not degrade for as long as four years. "These findings could lead to greatly improved prosthetic system performance and robustness in paralyzed people," said Stanford professor Krishna Shenoy, who wrote the paper published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. News-Medical.Net (11/19) , VentureBeat (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical News 
  • CDC data show sharp increase in U.S. diabetes rates
    Diabetes cases increased by at least 50% in 42 states and by at least 100% in 18 states between 1995 and 2010, a study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicated. Southern and Appalachian states showed the highest increases. Ann Albright of the CDC said rates will keep rising "until effective interventions and policies are implemented to prevent both diabetes and obesity." Reuters (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: 221 new diabetes treatments are under development
    A total of 221 new drugs for diabetes and related diseases are awaiting FDA approval or are in clinical studies, according to a report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The treatments include 130 for type 2 diabetes, 32 for type 1 diabetes, 14 for unspecified diabetes and 64 for related conditions, with some medications in multiple categories. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science and Technology 
  • Shoes play critical role in orthotic outcomes
    Appropriate shoes are vital for successful orthotic intervention, yet they receive too little attention, primarily because they lack insurance reimbursement, according to experts. Clinicians need to take into account materials, construction and size when treating specific foot conditions. "If you don’t have the right shoe, nothing else, including the body, can function properly," said pedorthist Dennis Janisse. O&P Almanac(Adobe Flash required) (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Components combine to create advanced prostheses
    Using a new combination of the BiOM ankle/foot from iWalk and Ottobock’s X2 knee, retired Marine William Gadsby successfully hikes mountain trails and sand dunes. The BiOM has an active push-off when climbing stairs, and the X2 knee is able to anticipate and adjust for the user’s next step. Both use microprocessor systems to offer real-time adaptation to the environment. Pairing the two devices is a relatively new development, so more study is needed, say VA clinical care providers Dr. Joseph Webster and Dr. Joseph Miller. Stars and Stripes (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  Legislative and Regulatory 
  • Compliance programs ensure day-to-day documentation
    Reimbursement expert Kathy Dodson details seven steps of developing an effective Medicare compliance program, from writing down standards of conduct, policies and procedures to designating a compliance officer and correcting infractions. It may seem like a lot of work, she writes, but "implementing such a program will help eliminate any common errors that can hamper a well-run office and slow down cash flow even more." O&P Almanac(Adobe Flash required) (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New fraud-detection system is behind schedule
    CMS implementation of a new anti-fraud system will be at least six months behind schedule, according to the Government Accountability Office. The CMS wants to move from a pay-and-chase system to one that spots likely fraudulent claims before they are reimbursed. The new system, modeled after anti-fraud practices in the financial industry, would use predictive analytic models that employ claims data to identify provider and claims that are a high risk for fraud. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ind. lawmakers look to defer device tax implementation
    Efforts are ongoing to put off implementation of the 2.3% medical device tax by one to two years, said Indiana Reps. Marlin Stutzman, a Republican, and Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, who expressed opposition to the tax. Plans to defer the tax could be included in a fiscal proposal Congress is devising to stop $600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending reductions from taking effect, Stutzman said. The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.) (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AOPA News 
  • Breaking news from AOPA
    Today's breaking news includes important information concerning today's announcement from the Obama administration and plans to move forward with the health care law. Learn about two RFPs soliciting grant proposals. Prepare for 2013 by learning about the 2013 Medicare Open Enrollment, 2013 Medicare Part B Premium Announcement and don't forget that the 2013 World Congress Call for Papers is live. Learn more about how you can submit your scientific and clinical case studies today! All of this and more is in today's AOPA Breaking News. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., the AOPA in Advance SmartBrief will not be published Thursday, Nov. 22. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
A good man with a good conscience doesn't walk so fast."
--Georg Büchner,
German writer


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