Relationship between senses, body may lead to more natural prostheses | Device monitors gait to evaluate progress | Review cites link between lower diabetes risk, Mediterranean diet
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April 1, 2014
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AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

Top Story
Relationship between senses, body may lead to more natural prostheses
An experiment conducted at Milano-Bicocca University in Milan, Italy, demonstrated that sound as well as sight can powerfully affect the brain's sensations of the body. When a recording of a hammer striking marble exactly matched taps on a subject's concealed hand, subjects felt as if their arms were turning to stone. If the sound did not sync with the actual taps, there was no such reaction. Experts say this research could lead to prostheses with more a natural function and feel. Gizmodo Australia (3/30)
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Science and Technology
Device monitors gait to evaluate progress
The wearable LegSys device from BioSensics is designed to help evaluate how well a patient is walking and can benefit individuals with diabetic neuropathy who are concerned about falling, as well as stroke patients in rehabilitative physical therapy. Sensors on the LegSys collect information on stride, speed, cadence and stance. MedCityNews.com (3/29)
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Medical News
Review cites link between lower diabetes risk, Mediterranean diet
People who adhered to the Mediterranean diet were 21% less likely than those in the control group to develop type 2 diabetes, according to Greek researchers who reviewed 12 studies. The findings were slated for presentation at the American College of Cardiology meeting. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (3/27)
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Gastric bypass improves diabetes outcomes, study finds
Type 2 diabetes patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery were more likely than those who had sleeve gastrectomy to gain control of their disease without taking medication, with the effects lasting for at least three years, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers said other participants required less medication to control their blood glucose levels following the weight loss surgeries. HealthDay News (3/31)
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Study ties traditional CV factors to PAD risk in diabetes
Traditional cardiovascular risk factors -- such as BMI, systolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels -- predicted the onset of peripheral artery disease in type 2 diabetes patients who were prescribed insulin-sensitizing drugs, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers found changes in A1C helped forecast PAD onset in patients who were given insulin-providing medications. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (3/28)
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Legislative and Regulatory
At deadline, surge of ACA applicants stresses enrollment systems
Health insurance enrollment offices were strained over the weekend by last-minute applicants, prompting hours of waiting, extra security and long lines nationwide ahead of Monday's Affordable Care Act deadline. The federal enrollment site HealthCare.gov was down early on Monday after being visited 2 million times during the weekend. The maxed-out human capacity of the system left very few enrollment workers and navigators to direct enrollees through the application process. Many enrollees were asked to try again today under state and federal extensions recently announced for those who got stuck while signing up. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/31), USA Today/The Associated Press (3/31)
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ONC, OCR release tool to help groups secure patient data
The ONC and the HHS Office for Civil Rights have partnered to develop a tool that was unveiled last week and can be used by small to midsize health care groups to perform HIPAA security risk assessments. "The SRA tool and its additional resources have been designed to help health care providers conduct a risk assessment to support better security for patient health data," said National Health IT Coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo in a statement. Healthcare IT News (3/28)
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Trend Watch
Triple amputee founds adaptive-golf nonprofit
Former manufacturing executive and triple amputee E.Q. Sylvester founded the Freedom Golf Association to help people with disabilities play the game through the use of special clubs, grips, carts and wheelchairs. The nonprofit, which has 12 certified adaptive-golf instructors, collaborates with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. "Some of the individuals we work with were basically shut-ins, and I see them transformed by the fresh air, physical activity and camaraderie of golf," said Sylvester. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/30)
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Other News
Business and Finance
Ottobock relocating N. American office to Austin, Texas
Ottobock HealthCare has announced that it will relocate its North American regional headquarters from Minneapolis to a 40,000-square-foot facility in Austin, Texas, bringing 110 jobs and $4.6 million in investment to the city. The move is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. American City Business Journals/Austin, Texas (3/31)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA's Annual Policy Forum is tomorrow -- it's not too late to register and take a stand for O&P! Get the latest update on the Revised DME MAC Guidance for Split Code Orthoses. What is AOPA doing? Find out! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a provider HIPAA Compliance Tool -- check it out! Congratulations to Sochi snowboard Paralympian Evan Strong for taking home the gold medal and being featured on the Wheaties breakfast cereal box -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
April 2 - 4:  2014 AOPA Policy Forum, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C. Learn more or register online.
April 7 - 8:  Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Seminar, Las Vegas Learn more or register online.
April 9:  How to Use Advanced Beneficiary Notices (ABNs) Effectively (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.

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