Team of experts worked with first U.S. osseointegration patient | Variety of technological advances aid paralyzed patients | Researchers produce insulin-making beta cells in large numbers
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October 14, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Team of experts worked with first U.S. osseointegration patient
Elizabeth Bailey-Smith, whose leg was amputated as the result of cancer, was the first person in the U.S. to have an osseointegration procedure that implants a metal stem into the bone of the residual limb to connect to the prosthesis. Throughout the process, Bailey-Smith worked with AmPro Orthotics and Prosthetics, Dr. Ronald Hillock, Australia-based Signature Orthopedics, and physical therapist Ed Dolegowski. Ten months after the surgery, she has no limp and says the feeling she gets when her foot touches the floor is the same as when she had her own limb. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (10/2014)
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ATTENTION: Pediatric Orthotists, Physical Therapists & PTAs
SureStep presents a continuing education course: Stability in Motion, Functional Solutions for the Hypotonic Gait. All courses are completely free of charge and include dinner and CEUs. For more details and a list of course locations, visit our website.
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Variety of technological advances aid paralyzed patients
A number of technological advances in the past 10 years have helped paralyzed individuals regain some mobility, according to this article. A brain-computer interface linking the brain to an external device enabled subjects to make a prosthetic arm open and close, move a cursor and take a drink by operating a prosthetic arm. Powered exoskeletons such as Ekso, Indego and Hybrid Assistive Limb aid paralysis rehabilitation, and epidural spine stimulation has restored movement to four paralyzed study participants. (10/13)
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Medical News
Researchers produce insulin-making beta cells in large numbers
Researchers developed a method that can turn human embryonic stem cells into beta cells and produce them in large quantities as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes, according to a study in the journal Cell. The method should also work with induced pluripotent stem cells, and clinical trials could begin in three years, Harvard Stem Cell Institute researcher Doug Melton said. News (10/9), National Public Radio/Shots blog (10/9), The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (10/9)
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Bariatric surgery spurs greater weight loss, diabetes remission
An analysis in JAMA Surgery revealed bariatric surgery was associated with greater weight loss and type 2 diabetes remission in patients than nonsurgical methods such as dieting and behavioral therapy. However, researchers said the findings warrant further assessment on the duration of diabetes remission, the frequency of related complications and long-term health outcomes. Reuters (10/9)
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Legislative and Regulatory
HHS considers 2015 ACA enrollment target
HHS is still analyzing 2014 health insurance enrollment figures and has not set an enrollment target for 2015, though the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 13 million people will enroll in a plan through a publicly run exchange, and California aims for 1.7 million enrollees. The department is testing the federal exchange, more plans are being offered through the exchanges and premiums are expected to remain relatively stable. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Wonkblog (10/9)
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Open enrollment period brings new options, deadlines, prices
The open enrollment period for health plans sold through Affordable Care Act exchanges begins Nov. 15 and will be marked by a streamlined enrollment process for many families, a shorter open enrollment period than last year, more plans available, and in some cases, changes in premiums. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/11)
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Trend Watch
Technology summit highlights orthotics & prosthetics
The Mesquite, Nev., Innovation and Technology Summit taking place this week focuses on the orthotic and prosthetic industry, featuring speakers and demonstrations of O&P devices. The summit accompanies the ParaLong Drive world championships, a competition for amputee and other disabled golfers. The Spectrum & Daily News (St. George, Utah) (tiered subscription model) (10/13)
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Organization offers amputees opportunity to box
The National Amputee Boxing Association, launched in 2013, plans to hold three or four matches a year and hopes to provide training as well, even for those who are not competing. The organization was founded by Air Force veteran and athletic trainer Shaman R. Owensby and Rachel Quintero. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/11)
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Amputee group offers activities, support
Amputee Advocates, in Federal Way, Wash., is a support group for those with missing limbs. Members attend such events as an annual amputee golf tournament, tai chi and yoga classes, and scuba diving lessons, and some also volunteer for prosthetics research at the University of Washington and the Veterans Affairs hospital. "We feel as though we're contributing to future amputee's quality of life by helping with this type of research," said the group's founder, Jay Weil. Federal Way Mirror (Wash.) (10/12)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, working with AOPA, reaches out to the new White House liaison on disabilities urging assistance for the O&P profession. Read about her efforts and partnership with AOPA. The Amputee Coalition has announced a new CEO and executive director. 2015 Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and deductibles have been announced -- get the update! AOPA can now provide disability, life, dental, vision, critical illness and accident insurance. The $10 million Orthotics & Prosthetics Outcomes Research Award and funding has been announced by the Department of Defense -- read more about the opportunity and funding available for this award! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Oct. 20-21: Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, St. Louis, Mo. Learn more or register online.
Nov. 12: Gifts: Showing Appreciation without Violating the Law, webinar conference Learn more or register online.
Dec. 10: New Codes & Changes for 2015, webinar conference Learn more and register online.
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The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it -- basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them."
-- Charles Bukowski,
German-born American writer
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