VA study: How epidural stimulation can help with SCI | How amputees learn motor skills after limb loss | Effects of metformin on postoperative outcomes
April 9, 2020
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics ProfessionSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
Researchers at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System are looking at how an exoskeleton implanted with a lumbosacral epidural stimulation can help patients with spinal cord injuries walk again. One patient has shown "remarkable improvement" and 20 more veterans are expected to take part in the study, said Dr. Ashraf Gorgey, director of research for spinal cord injury and disorders.
Full Story: VAntage Point blog (4/9) 
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Science and Technology
Dr. Szu-Ping Lee is part of a five-year investigation into how limb loss affects balance and fall arrest in people with chronic diabetes. Lee also studies the orthopedic problems after limb loss and health disparities among amputees.
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Medical News
Diabetes patients who took metformin before undergoing a surgical procedure had a lower risk of both mortality and hospital readmission at 90 days compared with those who did not take the drug, according to a study in JAMA Surgery. Based on data from 5,460 diabetes patients ages 18 years and older, the findings also found that metformin prescriptions were tied to less preoperative inflammation.
Full Story: HCPLive Network (4/8) 
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A report submitted to the White House by a panel of experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggests there is little scientific evidence that warmer weather and greater humidity will contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The report said laboratory studies have been inconclusive and more research is needed, but other new coronaviruses "have not demonstrated any evidence of seasonality."
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/8) 
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A study published in JAMA Network Open found that young adults with type 1 diabetes who have a strong family support system were more likely to have a general sense of well-being later in life, including having a purpose in life, a feeling of self-acceptance and a positive relationship with others, compared with young diabetes patients with no strong family support.
Full Story: HealthDay News (4/8) 
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Legislative and Regulatory
The CMS has paid almost $34 billion in advance and accelerated Medicare payments to providers and this week plans to send hospitals the first $30 billion from $100 billion allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The American Clinical Laboratory Association has asked HHS to allow commercial labs to receive funding from the CARES Act's Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/7),  Healthcare Dive (4/6),  Healthcare Dive (4/8) 
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Tricare is waiving co-pays for off-base health care visits resulting in COVID-19 testing, but beneficiaries will be responsible for co-pays when tests are not ordered, and prescriptions filled at off-base pharmacies also remain subject to co-pays.
Full Story: Military online (4/7) 
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Trend Watch
Eric Neufeld with Agile Orthopedics in Denver is making intubation boxes for health care providers during the coronavirus pandemic. Neufeld is only charging providers the cost of materials and has several orders from around the country.
Full Story: KDVR-TV (Denver) (4/7) 
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Double-amputee Heather Foster of San Diego received a $100,000 grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation to purchase running blades so she can fulfill her dream of running on the beach with her daughter. Ossur Prosthetics is partnering with the foundation to provide the blades.
Full Story: KNSD-TV (San Diego) (4/8) 
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Business and Finance
Building on examples of companies who have used innovative campaigns to make it through a crisis, columnists Eddie Yoon and Christopher Lochhead outline how to boost cash flow during a crisis. Roll out products in development and new pricing models, cut marketing costs without a clear ROI, and seek new ways to attract ideal customers, they suggest.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (4/8) 
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Many companies need to take steps to cut costs, but now is not the time for knee-jerk responses and short-sighted plans for compensation, says Amanda Wethington of Korn Ferry. Consider staff rotations, deferring salary increases, providing mental health support and making employee safety a top priority.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (4/7) 
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Bewildered, bewildered, you have no complaint. You are what you are, and you ain't what you ain't.
John Prine,
folk singer-songwriter
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