CMS proposes more limits on inpatient rehab services | Turkish scientists work on prosthetic sense of touch | Osseointegration performed on New Zealand amputee
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July 8, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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CMS proposes more limits on inpatient rehab services
The CMS has proposed further limits for fiscal 2015 on when patients can receive inpatient rehabilitation services, which are reimbursed at higher rates than acute-care services. Facilities must have 60% of admissions related to billing codes tied to 13 specific medical conditions to qualify as inpatient rehabilitation facilities. CMS deleted 259 codes and now wants to delete 10 more that relate to amputation status and prosthetic fitting. Hospitals and physicians are protesting the proposal; policy analyst Linda Fishman of the American Hospital Association said it would "further reduce access to IRF services for patients who would otherwise meet IRF admissions criteria." Modern Healthcare (free registration) (7/5), Crain's Detroit Business/Modern Healthcare (7/7)
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Turkish scientists work on prosthetic sense of touch
Scientists at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul are building on their work in robotics and developing technology that would allow amputees to regain a sense of touch. The process would link the brain to sensors on a pad slipped under the covering of an artificial limb, according to mechatronics engineer Utku Buyuksahin, who hopes to have the sensory system completed within two years. World Bulletin (7/3)
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Osseointegration performed on New Zealand amputee
Blair Marriott, a New Zealand firefighter who lost his right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident, had a titanium rod inserted into his femur that will eventually attach to a prosthetic leg. The osseointegration procedure should allow him to experience "osseoperception," the ability to perceive different walking surfaces through nerves in his residual limb. He will soon be fitted with the Ottobock Genium prosthetic knee. Stuff (New Zealand) (7/7)
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Paralyzed jockey uses exoskeleton in studies at Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
Former jockey Michael Straight, who became paralyzed from the chest down in a racing accident, is participating in studies at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in Florida. In June, he volunteered to work with doctors training to use the Ekso Bionics exoskeleton and was been able to walk 343 steps for more than 16 minutes. Straight is waiting for the Miami Project to receive grant funding for another exoskeleton study to spend more time in the device. Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) (7/6)
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Medical News
Aerobics plus resistance training is good for diabetes patients
Austrian researchers analyzed data from 14 studies and found aerobics and resistance training together may be better than either workout alone for people with type 2 diabetes. Their report in the journal Diabetologia found that compared with the individual exercises, the dual fitness regimen was linked to better blood glucose, blood fats, blood pressure and weight measures. HealthDay News (7/3)
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Legislative and Regulatory
More healthy enrollees are needed in ACA exchanges, experts say
About 57% of Americans enrolled in a health insurance plan through an Affordable Care Act exchange were previously uninsured, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates. About 28% of enrollees were between 18 and 34 years old, according to federal data, and 54% were female. For the exchanges to succeed, twice as many people must enroll for 2015 and more healthy people must enroll, experts say. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/4)
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Trend Watch
Amputee wows audience on "America's Got Talent"
Former U.S. Marine Sal Gonzalez, who lost part of his leg while serving in Iraq, impressed the audience in a recent episode of "America's Got Talent" with his rendition of the song "Ain't No Sunshine." Gonzalez, who wears a Fillauer Wave Sport foot, works for the Wounded Warrior Project. People (7/2)
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Prosthetist specializes in adventure-sports devices
When prosthetist Bryan Lott opened a branch of Hanger Clinic in Durango, Colo., he noted the prevalence of adventure-sports enthusiasts and decided to focus on that niche for amputees. He worked with Mert Lawwill, who invented a prosthetic device for mountain bikers, to adapt the prosthesis for partial hand amputee Tony Miely. Lawwill is also working on an electronic biking arm equipped with an accelerometer that will become rigid when the rider brakes. Durango Herald (Colo.) (7/6)
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Video of toddler mastering prosthetic legs goes viral
A 2-year-old double amputee learning to use prosthetic legs became a Facebook sensation after his mother posted a video of Kayden Kinckle walking and shouting, "I've got it!" The boy was born with deformed legs, and surgeons amputated one leg and one foot in January. (7/8)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA introduces the new and improved O&P Almanac, your connection to everything O&P. Dive inside and check out the new issue today! CMS releases a proposed rule updating the definition of minimal self-adjustment related to OTS orthoses -- get the scoop from AOPA! AOPA is hosting the last FREE Prior Authorization Webinar on July 22nd. Get the latest information on the pros and cons – RSVP today and see what AOPA has to say! BOC is conducting a Pedorthist Job Task Analysis Study, and Ottobock announced a new sales region and promotion to Brian Long -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
July 22: AOPA Prior Authorization Webinar, Webinar conference  Learn more or register online.
July 9:
The OIG: Who Are They and Why Are They Important?  Webinar conference  Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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