CMS schedules O&P coding hearing for June 3 | For more: | Scientists stitch together artificial muscles made of fishing line
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February 25, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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CMS schedules O&P coding hearing for June 3
The CMS will hold a public meeting June 3 on the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) for durable medical equipment and orthotics and prosthetics. The agency will post preliminary coding determinations ahead of the meeting. Health Industry Washington Watch blog (2/24)
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Pediatric Orthotic Interventions
Review patient assessment product selection and fitting for: MultiMotion, joint system for contracture mgt: KiddieGAIT and KiddieROCKER, dynamic response for AFOs for ankle/foot instability; and SWASH, the Sitting-Walking-And-Standing-Hip orthosis. This course qualifies for an Allard SWASH Certificate. See you at AAOP in Chicago, Workshop #19.
Science and TechnologySponsored By
Scientists stitch together artificial muscles made of fishing line
Scientists have created artificial muscles by twisting and coiling high-strength polymer fishing line and thread that can be powered by electricity, chemical reactions or the absorption of light. The muscles could be used in prostheses and exoskeletons or to transmit the sense of touch to a human hand from sensors on a robotic hand. The study was published in the journal Science. HealthDay News (2/20)
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Medical News
Polio-like syndrome has left some Calif. children paralyzed
As many as 25 children across California have been affected by a polio-like syndrome that causes acute, or sudden, flaccid paralysis. All victims have been vaccinated against polio, but their symptoms were similar to the disease. The cause of the illness remains unknown, but a virus strain called enterovirus-68 could be the culprit, said Keith Van Haren, author of a case report and a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. USA Today (2/23), HealthDay News (2/23)
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Too much time sitting may put older people at risk of disability
For every extra hour spent sitting, the risk of disability for everyday activities among people 60 and older increases by 50%, regardless of their physical-activity level, U.S. researchers said. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey involving more than 2,200 older people also showed that only 6.2% of them met the federal target of 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week. "People should find opportunities to replace some of their sitting time with light activity," study lead author Dorothy Dunlop says. USA Today (2/19)
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Legislative and Regulatory
White House proposes major cut in 2015 payments for Medicare Advantage
An annual notice released Friday by HHS proposes what could amount to a more than 7% cut in payments to private health insurance for Medicare Advantage plans in 2015, which would reduce benefits according to Republican lawmakers. "These Medicare Advantage cuts are misguided, threaten a successful program for seniors and must be overturned," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Reuters (2/21), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/21), Politico (Washington, D.C.) (2/21)
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Trend Watch
Orthosis causes problems for passenger at Indian airport
Officials at an airport in Hyderabad, India, asked a passenger to remove his knee-ankle-foot orthosis so it could be run through X-ray screening. The passenger, who has post-polio residual paralysis, requested that security officials run the explosive detector test instead, which he felt would be less embarrassing than removing his KAFO in a public place. India's Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has no provisions for external aids, such as orthoses, and a doctor's certificate may not be enough for security officials, according to this article. The Times of India (2/25)
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U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team goes for 2nd gold medal
Seventeen men ages 15 to 35 will compete for a gold medal in sled hockey at the March Paralympic games in Sochi, Russia. Leading scorer Joshua Pauls had his legs amputated above the knees when he was 10 months old and says competing in the Paralympics opened his eyes to the possibilities of what he can do in life. The medal would be the second gold for the U.S. team. CBS News (2/24)
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Other News
Business and Finance
Ossur devices can stay on the U.S. market as patent case proceeds
Otto Bock Healthcare's motion to keep certain prosthetic devices made by Ossur off the U.S. market until after a patent infringement case is decided was denied by a federal appeals court last week. (Boston) (2/24)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Viva Las Vegas! AOPA's Coding & Billing Seminar goes to Vegas in April -- don't miss it! Review the latest update on the O&P Alliance's challenge to physician-owned distributors -- get the scoop on this long-running issue! All coding products are available in the AOPA bookstore. Keep up with the changes and don't be left out in the cold -- visit the bookstore today! Will you be at the AAOP meeting this week in Chicago? Be sure to visit the AOPA booth and win big! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
March 12: The ABC's of Audits: What to Expect and How to Respond (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online.
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.
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-- Pearl S. Buck,
American writer
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