Congress approves bill to ease airport screening for veterans | Ultrasound patch speeds wound healing | Israeli officials launch polio vaccination campaign for children
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August 6, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Congress approves bill to ease airport screening for veterans
Congress has passed legislation that would ease the security screening process for wounded or disabled veterans, including amputees. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, sponsored the bill after hearing stories from veterans about having to remove their prosthetic devices to pass through airport security. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (8/2)
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Science and Technology
Ultrasound patch speeds wound healing
A sticky patch that generates low-frequency ultrasound waves can greatly speed healing when adhered to a wound. The development by researchers at Philadelphia's Drexel University stimulates immune cells and the production of connective tissue. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (8/2)
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Medical News
Israeli officials launch polio vaccination campaign for children
Israel's Health Ministry announced on Sunday that it is recommending that children in the country's southern region go to clinics to receive the active polio vaccine after the virus was detected in more than 1,000 carriers in the area. The agency is deciding whether the immunization campaign should be widened. Reuters (8/4)
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HHS grants $47.2M for engineered tissue development
HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will grant Stratatech up to $47.2 million for the development of skin tissue for use in patients with severe thermal burns. The five-year grant will support the project from the preclinical phase through manufacturing scale-up. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (7/31)
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Legislative and Regulatory
CMS releases 5 new FAQs on meaningful use program
CMS has attempted to clarify public health reporting and information exchange requirements in the EHR meaningful use program with the release of five new frequently asked questions. The agency said states can leverage an HIE to gather sophisticated patient-level clinical quality data for the Medicaid EHR program's electronic clinical quality measures. CMS also said providers should link to their state's public health agencies, even if they are already connected to an eHealth Exchange participant, to satisfy meaningful use requirements. Health Data Management (8/2)
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Group asks doctors to ensure info is current for Sunshine Act
The American Medical Association has called on physicians to ensure that all of their financial and conflict of interest disclosures and national provider identifier database information are corrected and updated in preparation for implementation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Healio/Orthopedics Today (7/30)
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Trend Watch
Vet makes use of advanced arm prosthesis
Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers has been testing a state-of-the-art anthropomorphic arm developed by a Johns Hopkins University research team that gives him better hand function using a wrist processor that interfaces with peripheral nerve control in his arm muscles. "[W]ith this, I can open my hand, I can rotate my wrists, I can grab something, and it's amazing to have something that you can manipulate with your residual limb and eventually with your brain," said Deslauriers, who is a triple amputee. The researchers have been working on using brain interfaces for prostheses and are also exploring how to incorporate a sense of touch. Air Force Times (free registration) (8/5)
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"Dolphin Tale" prosthetist visits with amputees in Maine
Certified prosthetist Kevin Carroll visited the Hanger Clinic in Bangor, Maine, last week to talk to amputees about advances in prosthetics, including a prosthetic leg designed for the military that is now available to the public. Carroll earned recognition for a prosthetic tail he developed for a dolphin that was featured in the 2011 movie "Dolphin Tale." WLBZ-TV (Bangor, Maine) (7/31), WABI-TV (Bangor, Maine) (7/31)
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Vet looks to become first double amputee to complete Spartan Race
James Simpson, who served with the U.K.'s Royal Artillery, will become the first double amputee to participate in a Spartan Race, a difficult open-country run that includes obstacles such as ice pits, rope traverses and flames. "It's going to be a challenge," said Simpson, whose legs were amputated above the knee after being damaged by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2009. Simpson is testing his prostheses for the different terrains he could encounter. Daily Express (London) (8/5)
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New tool to aid groups as they transition to EHRs
FrontRange recently unveiled a change management application, part of its Helpdesk Expert Automation Tool product line, to assist health care groups as they transition to EHRs from paper records. The solution will help organizations determine what software and hardware components they need in the transition and evaluate those options. "With the introduction of our EMR [electronic medical record] change management solution, we're dramatically reducing the complexity associated with the deployment, operations and maintenance of government-mandated EMR systems," said FrontRange CEO Jon Temple. eWeek (8/4)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Two important updates from AOPA: CMS bidding in OTS orthotics and the introduction of the House Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act of 2013. AOPA is also seeking video submissions for the O&P World Congress opening ceremony. Learn about the technical education program coming up at the O&P World Congress and be sure to complete the 2013 Operating Performance & Compensation/Benefits Report today. An update on the CMS open door forum call and an AOPAversity audio conference coming up—all of this and more in today’s AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Aug. 9: Last day to save $100 off your World Congress registration
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Aug. 28: 2013 HIPAA and the HITECH Final Rule Webinar
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Sept. 11: Read Between the Lines: The Medicare Lower Limb Prosthetic Policy (Telephone audio conference)
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-- Robert Frost,
American poet
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