O&P schools are preparing practitioners for the future | Nonprofit helps Sudanese with 3D-printed prostheses for war victims | Panasonic unit plans first mass-produced robot exoskeleton in 2015
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January 9, 2014
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AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

Top Story
O&P schools are preparing practitioners for the future
O&P schools are adjusting their programs to better prepare practitioners for the burgeoning patient population as baby boomers age. Students have changed, as well, with high levels of motivation and better qualifications, according to educators. Today’s O&P curriculum includes more science and a greater emphasis on evidence-based research. Other changes include evolving residency programs and more O&P staff trained as extenders of care, such as assistants, orthotic fitters, mastectomy fitters and pedorthists. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (1/2014)
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Science and Technology
Nonprofit helps Sudanese with 3D-printed prostheses for war victims
Not Impossible, a California nonprofit, has established a facility in Sudan where workers are producing low-cost, 3D-printed prostheses for victims of the civil war in the Nuba Mountains. Within weeks, the local staff had already produced four new arms at a cost of $100 each. "We're hopeful that other children and adults in other regions of Africa, as well as other continents around the globe, will utilise the power of this new technology for similar beginnings," said founder Mick Ebeling. Wired.co.uk (U.K.) (1/8)
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Other News
Medical News
Expert: Need for better PAD drug treatments is urgent
Physicians still lack drugs that can be prescribed to patients for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, in spite of extensive clinical trials, according to Rayaz Malik of the U.K.'s Central Manchester University Hospitals, speaking at the World Diabetes Congress in Melbourne, Australia, in December. There is still no simple objective test to identify early nerve damage, Malik observed, and current trials focus only on large nerve fibers. He also contended that cardiac risk factors including blood pressure and lipids are better predictors of PAD than glucose control. Medscape (free registration) (1/8)
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Low-frequency ultrasound speeds wound healing in trial
Treatment with low-frequency, low-intensity ultrasound reduced the size of chronic wounds after four weeks in a small trial. Drexel University doctors and engineers are working on a portable ultrasound device that patients could use at home. The researchers said ultrasound works best when used along with compression therapy. InsideScience.org (1/7)
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Lower diabetes risk seen with Mediterranean diet
Older participants at risk of heart disease who adopted a Mediterranean diet had a 30% reduced risk of developing diabetes at four years compared with those who followed a low-fat diet, a Spanish study indicated. The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Reuters (1/6)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
Deadline for HIPAA Omnibus Rule has passed, but facilities can still comply
O&P facilities should have already updated their HIPAA policies and procedures to comply with the HIPAA Omnibus Rule that took effect Sept. 23, 2013, but it is not too late to limit your exposure if you have not done so, according to Devon Bernard, AOPA assistant director of coding reimbursement, programming and education. Requirements include notifying patients of any breach of their protected health information, establishing a policy to handle breaches and updating your notice of privacy practices to reflect additional patient rights. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (1/2014)
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Business and Finance
Consultant offers tips on working pay raises into a budget
Budgeting is crucial for business success, and business owners who have had a good year should plan on pay raises for their employees, consultant Chris Griffiths writes. "I believe in using a range of compensation increases based on performance. Often a low of 2 to 3 per cent up to a high of 7 to 8 per cent works best," Griffiths writes. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (1/7)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
Reminder: PECOS enforcement is in effect--read the announcement here! AOPA's 2014 coding products are available in the bookstore for pre-order; anticipated delivery is March 1. Hit the ground running and put in your pre-order today! AOPA’s first 2014 Coding & Billing Seminar is going to New Orleans this February. Get the latest information on medical policies, documentation and compliance--register your staff today! ABC is an event sponsor for OPAF McKeever’s First Ride, and British Healthcare Awards were given to Ottobock and RSL Steeper--all of this and more in today’s AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Feb. 10-11:  Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Techniques Seminar, New Orleans
Learn more or register online
Feb. 12:
Billing for Diabetic & Orthopedic Shoes, Mastectomy Services, and Surgical Dressings (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.
March 12: The ABC's of Audits: What to Expect and How to Respond (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online.
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SmartQuote
Things start out as hopes and end up as habits."
-- Lillian Hellman,
American writer
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