CMS announces limited restart of RAC Program | For more: | New elevated vacuum prosthesis aids long-term amputee
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August 5, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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CMS announces limited restart of RAC Program
CMS announced it would restart the Recovery Audit Contractor Program this month, stating that auditors would “conduct a limited number of automated reviews and a small number of complex reviews” on claims including prosthetics and orthotics. CMS said the limited restart would continue until it awards a new round of recovery auditor contracts, which it hopes will occur this year. Health Data Management (8/5)
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  • For more:
    Read today's AOPA Breaking News to learn more about the restarting of the RAC audits and what AOPA plans to do in response.
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Science and Technology
New elevated vacuum prosthesis aids long-term amputee
Above-knee amputee Gary Peck has relied on crutches for nearly 25 years because his residual limb had become bony and he found wearing a prosthesis too uncomfortable. He recently received an elevated vacuum socket from prosthetist Joe Kuerth of Golden O&P in Johnstown, Pa. The technique uses a silicon sleeve that creates a constant positive pressure fed by a pump in the artificial foot. Jason Kahle of Westcoast Brace & Limb in Florida, who developed the process, traveled to Johnstown to train Kuerth on how to fabricate the device. The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, Pa.) (8/4)
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After losing fingers, pipe fitter helps devise his own prosthesis
When Howard Kamarata, a pipe fitter, lost four fingers in an accident, he and a friend combined 3D-printed finger sections with a glove, fishing line, screws and hinged joints to make a prosthesis for his missing fingers. Kamarata is now working with a foundation to bring the prosthesis at little or no expense to others who have lost fingers. USA Today/The Arizona Republic (8/5)
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Medical News
Amputation risk higher among poorer diabetes patients
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found diabetes patients residing in poorer neighborhoods were up to 10 times more likely than their affluent counterparts to undergo a toe, foot or leg amputation. Black or non-English-speaking men older than 65 also had higher odds of amputation, researchers wrote in Health Affairs. HealthDay News (8/4)
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Study: Short, intense bursts of walking can lower blood sugar
A study at the University of Copenhagen of 32 patients with diabetes found that short bursts of fast walking resulted in better control of blood sugar levels than did walking at a steady pace. Participants trained for one hour five times a week over four months. Only the interval walkers achieved a reduction in glucose levels; the control group and those who walked at a continuous pace showed no improvement. The Daily Mail (London) (8/5)
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Legislative and Regulatory
130M Americans are expected to receive care from ACOs by 2017
Accountable care organizations will cover over 130 million patients by 2017, up from 40 million in 2015, according to a Parks Associates report. The increase will be driven mainly by business and regulatory reforms and a growing focus on performance-based measures. (7/31)
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Trend Watch
Photo essay shows remarkable advances in athletic prostheses
Electronic components and imaginative designs have led to a new generation of sophisticated and specialized prosthetic limbs for today’s athletes. Photos show track-and-field blade runners, swimmers and surfers, as well as snowboarder Amy Purdy, MIT robotics researcher and mountain climber Hugh Herr, ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis and sports bionics designer Bob Radocy, who uses different hand prostheses for baseball, basketball and golf. Business Insider (8/1)
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British Paralympic Association celebrates 25 years
The British Paralympic Association marked its 25th anniversary by making five grants of approximately $8,400 each to sports clubs promoting disability sports. One member of the judging panel was Australian comedian and television personality Adam Hills, who was born with a malformed foot. Hills hosted a series on the Paralympics called "The Last Leg." The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (8/4)
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Business and Finance
Touch Bionics considers public stock offering
Touch Bionics, maker of the i-limb ultra revolution prosthetic hand, is considering a stock market listing by the end of the year and has retained broker Oriel Securities as an adviser. Funding from a public listing, which could be as high as $84 million, would be used to expand into Asian and European markets. Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) (8/4)
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Breaking news from AOPA
The CMS announces a limited restart to RAC activities -- get the update and contact your member of Congress! A new CMS proposed rule could limit your patients' access to care and could eliminate the role of orthotic fitters -- RSVP to AOPA's OTS Orthotic Regulations Webinar and send CMS your comments! Compliance, coding and documentation will be covered in the Advanced Coding & Billing Techniques Seminar with AOPA in St. Louis -- register now to go to the Arch and step up your coding game! Earn 36 continuing education credits at the National Assembly! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. 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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