FBI warns medical device companies about hackers | BiOM team studied motion of dance to create limb for Haslet-Davis | Researchers ID vascular proteins potentially critical to wound healing
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August 21, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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FBI warns medical device companies about hackers
An FBI Flash alert said hackers are targeting health care and medical device companies. The alert said medical device companies may be hacked to obtain information on valuable intellectual property, including device and equipment development data. Reuters (8/20)
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Science and Technology
BiOM team studied motion of dance to create limb for Haslet-Davis
Ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, the opening keynote speaker at the upcoming AOPA National Assembly, is back dancing after shrapnel from the Boston Marathon bombing took her left foot. Bionics expert Hugh Herr studied the mechanics of dancing by putting sensors on a dancer of the same height and weight as Haslet-Davis, then collected data about how and when pressure was exerted as she danced. Herr and his team reconfigured the BiOM T2 powered ankle-foot prosthesis for Haslet-Davis, which led to development of an experimental limb with an even wider range of motion. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (8/2014)
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Medical News
Researchers ID vascular proteins potentially critical to wound healing
When signaling from endothelial cell fibroblast growth factor receptors FGFR1 and FGFR2 was turned off in mice, wounds healed more slowly and the density of blood vessels surrounding wound sites was decreased, though the mice appeared to be in otherwise good health and lived to normal ages, researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings suggest that manipulating FGF signaling in the body could increase blood vessel growth and improve wound healing, especially in people with difficult-to-heal wounds, the researchers said. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (8/19)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Knowing supplier standards helps ensure successful site inspection
The CMS has put more emphasis on compliance with supplier standards for durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics since the rule implementing the Affordable Care Act was finalized in 2011. Understanding standards is an important part of preparing for a site inspection, since these standards are used as an anti-fraud tool by Medicare. There are 30 standards overall, but this report takes a look at six that are the most confusing when applied to O&P and notes that practitioners may even be exempt from a few of them. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (8/2014)
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FDA's new API makes medical device adverse event data more accessible
An Application Programming Interface issued by the FDA, which will allow searches back to the early 1990s, is aimed at making medical device adverse event information more publicly accessible. The FDA said the API also will aid researchers looking for safety signals linked to medical devices, but cautioned that the API is not a complete record of every incident involving a medical device, but rather a compilation of reports received by the FDA. FDA Voice blog (8/19)
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Other News
Trend Watch
Adaptive Climbing Group takes amputees to new heights
The Adaptive Climbing Group teaches amputees how to rock climb and encourages them to join in competitive climbing events. Some competitive climbers get advanced rehabilitation from the Amputee Comprehensive Training program at the University of California, San Francisco, which also help athletes get special prostheses designed for specific sports. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/18)
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Mich. woman gets robotic arm through social media campaign
Torri Biddle, who was born without a right arm, received a robotic prosthesis from the Hanger clinic in Kalamazoo, Mich., that helps her accomplish daily tasks, such as tying shoes, styling her hair or making an ice cream cone. Her friends used a social media campaign to get the arm for her, and if a video of Biddle's story on YouTube gets more than 1 million hits, Hanger said it will give another amputee a similar prosthesis. WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo, Mich.) (8/20)
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Business and Finance
IRS struggling with medical-device tax under Affordable Care Act
The medical-device tax that is part of the Affordable Care Act is only raising 75% of expected revenue, in part because the Internal Revenue Service is making mistakes as it attempts to collect it, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Agents are having difficulty determining who owes the tax. The Hill (8/19)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Send your comments on OTS orthotics to the CMS before the Aug. 28 deadline. The proposed rule could limit your patients' access to care and eliminate the role of orthotic fitters -- submit now! Registration is still open online for the 2014 National Assembly -- don't miss out on the O&P meeting of the year! Download AOPA's exclusive 2014 National Assembly app to optimize your schedule and meeting performance. It's last call to enter the technical fabrication contest, and don't miss out on the Wine Auction & Tasting -- Vegas is the place to be! Get the HIPAA compliance update, and Asif Ahmed joins the Hanger board -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more or register online.
Sept. 10: Urban Legends in O&P: What to Believe, Webinar conference  Learn more or register online
Oct. 20-21:
Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, St. Louis, Mo. Learn more or register online.
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