Researchers explore how brain registers touch | Britain's "Bionic Man" to be displayed in NYC | Study of nerve block device for amputee pain OK'd by FDA
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October 15, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Researchers explore how brain registers touch
Scientists have created the sensation of touch in monkeys using electrodes that stimulate specific areas of the brain, paving the way for future touch-sensitive prosthetic limbs. The study, led by University of Chicago neuroscientist Sliman Bensmaia, was published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (10/14)
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Britain's "Bionic Man" to be displayed in NYC
The celebrated "Bionic Man," made up of advanced prostheses and artificial body parts including a functioning circulatory system, is scheduled for display in New York City at Comic Con on Friday and will be the subject of a Smithsonian television documentary Sunday. The Seattle Times/The Associated Press (10/14)
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Study of nerve block device for amputee pain OK'd by FDA
The FDA has granted Neuros Medical investigational device exemption approval to launch a clinical trial evaluating the use of its Altius System High Frequency Nerve Block system in managing intractable limb pain in 130 U.S. patients. The company hopes to submit the device for premarket approval by 2015 if the trial proves successful, said Jon Snyder, the company's president and CEO. (10/10)
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Medical News
Drug for weight loss lowers type 2 diabetes risk in obese patients
Overweight and obese patients who took the weight-loss drug Qsymia, which combines phentermine and topiramate extended release, were 70.5% to 78.7% less likely than those in the placebo group to develop type 2 diabetes, a study found. Patients in the Qsymia arm also showed greater weight loss at 108 weeks compared with the controls, researchers wrote in Diabetes Care. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/10)
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Legislative and Regulatory
La. woman gets 5-year sentence for Medicare fraud scheme
Linda M. Jackson of Plaquemine, La., received a five-year federal-prison sentence and an order to pay $297,523 in restitution for defrauding Medicare. Jackson pleaded guilty and admitted to submitting false billings for cranial cervical orthotics and power wheelchairs to Medicare using her company, A&A Durable Medical Supply. Eunice Sparrow, Jackson's mother, and Uniecesco Smith, Jackson's daughter, pleaded guilty in July 2012 to their roles in the fraud scheme and were sentenced to a year and 14 months in prison, respectively. The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (10/11)
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Study looks at varying ACO formation across U.S. regions
Areas in the Northwest lack accountable care organizations, while ACOs are more numerous in the Midwest and Northeast, according to a study in Health Affairs. Provider integration appeared to be associated with greater likelihood of ACO formation, while factors such as regional income and Medicare Advantage enrollment rates were not. News (10/11)
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Trend Watch
Boston Marathon amputee travels road to recovery
After losing her left leg above the knee in the Boston Marathon bombing, Mery Daniel has undergone long hours of rehabilitation, followed by fittings with prosthetists Paul Martino and Julianne Mason of United Prosthetics for a more advanced artificial leg. The Associated Press (10/15)
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Complaints about Phoenix airport searches doubled in 2012
The rate at which individuals with prosthetic devices or disabilities complained of mistreatment by TSA personnel at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport more than doubled in 2012 and is 2.5 times the national average. Eight of the complaints since 2011 involved women with breast prostheses, who said they were subjected to humiliating pat-downs or asked to remove the prosthesis, sometimes in public. USA Today/The Arizona Republic (10/12)
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Business and Finance
Mich. firm sticks with O&P focus
Family-owned Wright & Filippis, based in Rochester Hills, Mich., is reducing sales of home health-care equipment to refocus on its core business of prosthetics and orthotics. "That's really where we're taking the lead again, is in the clinical part of our business," said President and CEO A.J. Filippis. In the past two years, the company has acquired Michigan Orthopedic Services and South Carolina-based Carolina Orthotics & Prosthetics. Crain's Detroit Business (10/14)
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Breaking news from AOPA
BOC debuts its Retail Pharmacy Accreditation – read about how it is expanding with retail pharmacies! The Office of Inspector General (OIG) responds to O&P Alliance concerns about physician-owned distribution entities - read all about it! Hanger hires new clinicians in AOPA’s People in O&P News! Strike while the iron is hot and take action on the Medicare O&P Improvements Act - send a letter to your representatives today! Stay on top of the game with AOPA’s last 2013 Coding & Billing Seminar in Las Vegas! All of this in today’s AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Oct. 22-23: Mastering Medicare: Advanced Coding and Billing Techniques, Las Vegas
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Nov. 13: Advocacy: A Potent Weapon for Change (Telephone audio conference)
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Dec. 11: What's on the Horizon: New Codes for 2014 (Telephone audio conference)
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A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better."
-- Jim Rohn,
American entrepreneur
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