Veteran with prosthetic hand sues FBI to become special agent | Military IDEO to be manufactured for civilian population | Ekso plans to make exoskeletons to augment the able-bodied
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July 30, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Veteran with prosthetic hand sues FBI to become special agent
Army veteran Justin Slaby, who wears a prosthetic left hand, has sued the FBI after being dropped from its special agent training program. Although Slaby passed the basic fitness test to become an agent, officials say he cannot fire a gun safely with his prosthesis or properly hold down a suspect during a search. Along with the discrimination issue, the case has raised the question of whether agents need to be able to fire their weapons with their nondominant hand, which in Slaby's case is his prosthetic hand. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/27)
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Science and Technology
Military IDEO to be manufactured for civilian population
A Seattle-based company has purchased patent rights to the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis, or IDEO, which was developed by prosthetist Ryan Blanck, a civilian employee at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas. Until now, only military personnel had access to the device, which helps patients with lower-limb injuries regain movement and avoid amputation. Blanck, who is leaving the Center for the Intrepid to be a partner in the Seattle firm, had donated the patent to the military -- and will now be buying it back. WOAI-TV (San Antonio) (7/30)
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Other News
Medical News
Study: Chronic wounds heal more quickly with frequent cleaning
Frequent debridement of wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers allows them to heal significantly faster than more routine cleaning and treatment, according to researchers who reviewed the records of 155,000 patients at 525 wound centers. Typically, diabetic foot ulcers took an average of 21 days to heal when cleaned weekly, compared with 76 days when debrided once every two weeks or more. Reuters (7/26)
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Reperfusion therapy fails to improve limb ischemia in clinical trial
The use of controlled reperfusion techniques for patients undergoing surgical revascularization did not improve their recovery from critical limb ischemia in a randomized study of 174 patients conducted in Germany. The study showed that the rates of amputation-free survival after four weeks and one year remained the same between the controlled reperfusion group and those who just had surgery. (7/29)
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Legislative and Regulatory
CMS answers new FAQs on MU program
CMS has released three new frequently asked questions about updates to the EHR meaningful use program's clinical quality measure specifications. The agency clarified that EHR developers are not required to have their EHR systems recertified or retested if the platforms have already been certified based on the December 2012 CQM specifications. CMS added that vendors can update their technology that meets December 2012 CQM specifications to reflect the new standards without the need for further testing and certification. Health Data Management (7/26)
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Trend Watch
Brazilian double amputee breaks 100-meter T43 world record
Brazilian double amputee Alan Oliveira broke the T43 100-meter world record at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games in the U.K., completing the race in 10.57 seconds. American sprinter Richard Browne, who finished second in the mixed-class race, broke the single-amputee record at 10.75 seconds. He predicted that more than one amputee would be competing in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, saying, "We will break the able-bodied barrier." Daily Express (London) (7/28)
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Business and Finance
Outsourced HR helps small businesses level the playing field
About 85% of companies use outside firms to handle at least some of their HR functions, and the outsourced HR industry has grown by about $165 billion annually in recent years. The trend is helping small businesses offer more benefits and share the liability of legal compliance while getting the latest technology, experts say. Inc. online (free registration) (7/23)
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Should you buy or lease equipment?
There are advantages and disadvantages to leasing equipment as opposed to buying it outright, Carla Turchetti writes. Leasing includes lower upfront costs, but buying equipment adds to your company's assets. "[F]or an established business, taking a close look at your expenses and comparing the tax strategies of owning vs. leasing will help you make an informed decision," she writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (7/23)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Be on the lookout: The Early Bird deadline for the 2013 World Congress registration is fast approaching – save money today! Get the latest update on RAC audits being rescinded, along with Noridian prepayment review updates in today's breaking news. Thank yous and acknowledgements are given to the supporters of the PAC and Wine Auction. Be sure to complete the 2013 Operating Performance & Compensation/Benefits Report today, and review AOPA's upcoming events along with two important meetings: the HIPAA Webinar and the CMS Forum Call—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
Aug. 14:
Don't Get Stuck with the Bill: Medicare Inpatient Billing (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online
Aug. 28: 2013 HIPAA and the HITECH Final Rule Webinar
Learn more and register online
Sept. 11: Read Between the Lines: The Medicare Lower Limb Prosthetic Policy (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online
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Discontent is the first necessity of progress."
-- Thomas Edison,
American inventor
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