Ekso's new wearable robotic prototype has first patient test | Artificial knee is built for extreme athletes | Porcine skin graft prevents leg amputation in N.Y. case
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July 18, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Ekso's new wearable robotic prototype has first patient test
A new prototype of a wearable robotic device by Ekso Bionics that allows paralyzed people to walk has been tested successfully for the first time at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. The prototype Ekso 1.2 exoskeleton, which is strapped to the user, features a new software program that can be adjusted for patients with different kinds and degrees of paralysis, such as spinal injury, multiple sclerosis and stroke. "When we hit the market with the personal device, it is going to be for ramps, stairs, be compatible with somebody's daily activities," said Darrell Musick, clinical director for Ekso Bionics. The San Francisco Appeal (7/15)
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Science and TechnologySponsored By
Artificial knee is built for extreme athletes
Several competitors in ESPN's Summer X Games will be wearing a prosthetic knee made by Biodapt in Minnesota designed to meet the demands of such sporting events as mountain biking and motocross races. The Moto Knee features mountain-bike-style shock absorbers and can be flexed to as much as 135 degrees, compared with 90 degrees for other artificial legs. The company has sold about 75 of the prostheses to athletes and veterans. SmartPlanet.com (7/16), Bloomberg Businessweek (7/11)
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Medical News
Porcine skin graft prevents leg amputation in N.Y. case
Hooman Khorasani, a dermatalogical surgeon at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital, successfully treated a man's 18-inch-long squamous cell carcinoma using a tissue graft made from the bladder of a pig. Khorasani excised the cancer, poured a powdered form of the tissue onto the wound, then attached three layers of the graft to the wound, which stimulated the patient's own cells to grow normal tissue. Daily News (New York) (7/16)
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Researchers develop insulin-delivering, glucose-sensing sponge
Researchers have created and are evaluating a chitosan-based, glucose-sensing sponge designed to release insulin into the bloodstream when needed. The technology also shows promise for treating other diseases, but more research is needed to assess safety and efficacy, researchers said. MedGadget.com (7/17)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
Health groups criticize delay in UDI rule
Delays by the FDA in issuing a final rule on unique device identifiers for medical devices will impair the agency’s ability "to conduct important safety surveillance of medical devices to improve patient safety and the quality of care," according to the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Premier health alliance, which represents more than 2,700 hospitals. The FDA failed to meet a June 19 deadline, but expressed the hope that the UDI rule would be released shortly. Clinica (7/16)
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CMS reports milestones in Pioneer ACO program
CMS has announced developments and first-year performance for the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization initiative. More than 40% of participating ACOs produced savings that were shared with CMS, but nine of the 32 programs will leave the initiative due to lack of savings during the year, with seven going to a new ACO model and two leaving altogether. Healthcare IT News (7/16), Healthcare Informatics online (7/16)
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Business and Finance
Noncompete clauses must be reasonable to be enforceable
To be valid, noncompete clauses must offer the employee something in return for his or her cooperation such as a job or a perk of some kind, Aditi Mukherji writes. The clause also must be considered reasonable, with terms that don't go beyond what is required to preserve the company's interests. "Remember, preventing honest competition is not a legitimate business interest," Mukherji writes. FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (7/16)
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Why providing employee benefits is good for business
Providing benefits for your employees -- even if you aren't legally required to do so -- can help you attract skilled workers and maximize their productivity, experts say. "If people have health insurance and they can take care of themselves, they're better employees," says Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group. My Back Office (7/16)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Get AOPA's insight on new changes to HIPAA as well as information on two mandatory seminars: a free webinar being offered on HIPAA & the HITECH Final Rule alongside the CMS Open Door Forum Call regarding the Proposed Physician Documentation Template for Lower Limb Prostheses. Learn about DME MAC's reminder on custom addition codes not being allowed with prefabricated base codes. Be sure to complete the 2013 Operating Performance & Compensation/Benefits Report today, as well as welcoming Pat Cannon to ABC. Plus the litigation fund, AOPA jobs and upcoming events—all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Aug. 14: Don't Get Stuck with the Bill: Medicare Inpatient Billing (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online
Sept. 11: Read Between the Lines: The Medicare Lower Limb Prosthetic Policy (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online
Sept. 18-21: O&P World Congress, Orlando, Fla.
Learn more or register online
Oct. 22-23: Mastering Medicare: Advanced Coding and Billing Techniques, Las Vegas
Learn more or register online
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Editor's Note
Your SmartBrief has a new look
Noticed a change? AOPA in Advance SmartBrief has the same valuable content, but with a reworked design to make reading and sharing stories easier, especially on mobile devices. Have feedback on the change? Send it our way!
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There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice."
-- Joseph Addison,
British essayist, poet, playwright and politician
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