October 14, 2021
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics ProfessionSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
Several researchers were recognized for their work on pectus carinatum, an orthotic device worn over a protruding chest cavity. Because the device could be uncomfortable, they developed a device that allows for better comfort and breathing for users.
Full Story: O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (10/2021) 
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Science and Technology
University of Utah researchers have devised an exoskeleton for those with an above-knee amputation that can reduce exertion by almost 16% by propelling the leg forward. Twelve users have tested the device, and the team landed a nearly $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue to refine and test it.
Full Story: KUER-FM (Salt Lake City) (10/14),  Cosmos Online (10/12),  Daily Mail (London) (10/14) 
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Kota Takahashi at the University of Nebraska-Omaha will use a $2 million Department of Defense grant to study how various shock-absorbing prostheses affect other parts of the body, such as the back or knee. Tests will be performed on members of the military as well as veterans to measure motion, mobility, and comfort of different prostheses.
Full Story: University of Nebraska Omaha (10/13) 
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Warsaw University of Technology engineering student Ewelina Drelich is leading a team in developing a prosthetic hand for children that will grow with the child. Components are swapped out to save on the cost of a new prosthesis as a child develops and movement becomes more complex.
Full Story: The First News (Poland) (10/13) 
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Medical News
The FDA has given breakthrough status designation to Siemens Healthineers company Varian for its Embozene microspheres that are uses genicular artery embolization to treat knee osteoarthritis. "GAE holds great promise in providing clinicians with a new, non-invasive treatment option, which may not only ameliorate pain, but reduce the economic burden of this common disease," said Frank Facchini, president of interventional solutions at Varian.
Full Story: MassDevice (Boston) (10/13) 
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Legislative and Regulatory
A Kaiser Family Foundation report says more than 7 out of 10 Medicare patients did not consider changes in their Medicare Advantage plan in 2018 and some discovered their medications were not covered after their plan changed. Low-income patients, those who reside in rural areas and those in poorer health were most likely not to examine their plan and compare it with others, according to the report.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (10/13) 
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The CMS has approved Colorado's proposal to require individual and small group health insurance plans in the state to cover gender-affirming care, including hormone therapy, genital reconstructive services, facial bone remodeling, and breast or chest reconstruction. The changes, which will take effect in 2023, mark the first time the federal government has allowed a requirement for coverage of transition-related care.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/12),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/12) 
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