Fan in prosthetic socket helps cool residual limb | 9-year-old designs his own prosthetic arm at tech camp | Bebionic hand life-changing for amputee
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November 13, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Fan in prosthetic socket helps cool residual limb
Gary Walters, a military veteran who lost his leg below the knee after being wounded in Iraq in 2005, has designed a prosthetic socket equipped with a fan to prevent heat buildup and sweat that can contribute to blisters and skin infections. Walters formed a company, Leto Solutions, to bring the device to market, initially targeting military medical centers. National Public Radio (11/11)
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Science and Technology
9-year-old designs his own prosthetic arm at tech camp
Aidan Robinson, a 9-year-old who was born without a left hand and forearm, designed his own prosthetic arm at the week-long Superhero Cyborg Camp for children with upper-limb loss. Aidan can screw on such devices as a fork, his Wii remote and a life-sized LEGO hand to the arm, made of a threaded metal rod. Prosthetist Erik Tompkins helped Aidan develop the device, which caught the interest of a 3D software design professional who created a working version of the prototype. The Atlantic online (11/13)
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Bebionic hand life-changing for amputee
Nigel Ackland, who lost his right hand after an industrial accident, was one of the first to test RSL Steeper's Bebionic myoelectric hand. He recently described his experience at the Exponential Medicine conference. "I'm just an ordinary guy fortunate enough to wear an extraordinary piece of technology," Ackland said. Singularity Hub (11/12)
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Medical News
Cheaper diabetic neuropathy drugs work as well as newer ones
Older and cheaper generic diabetic neuropathy drugs worked just as well as their newer and more costly counterparts in relieving pain in patients, according to an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers also found using cheaper medications -- such as gabapentin, amitriptyline and nortriptyline -- instead of the commonly prescribed neuropathy drug pregabalin may help save patients $2,000 in a year. American News Report (11/11)
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Israeli wound-healing serum in Phase III trials
Israeli company Macrocure says its serum containing hyperactivated immune cells has been able to reduce diabetic foot ulcers and other wounds by 90%. Treatment involves three injections a month to the wound site. CureXcell, which is approved in Israel, is being tested in two Phase III clinical trials, and the company hopes to gain FDA approval. (11/12)
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Study: Compound found in coffee could reduce type 2 diabetes risk
Researchers at the University of Georgia have found that chlorogenic acid, a chemical compound in coffee, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and mitigate the effects of obesity. The compound is also found in such fruits as apples, pears and blueberries. The animal study was published in the journal Pharmaceutical Research. (U.K.) (11/11)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
Year-end chores make for a better 2015
Accomplishing certain year-end tasks can help O&P practices prepare for a less hectic and more successful new year, according to Devon Bernard, AOPA’s assistant director of coding, reimbursement, programming and education. He advises facilities to review their Medicare participation status, be sure that every office has submitted a Medicare claim at least once this year and follow up with patients in person, by phone or with a postcard. Other suggestions are to thank patients and referrers, and update fee schedules and policy and procedures manuals. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (11/2014)
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Ensuring compliance with HIPAA technical safeguards
When complying with HIPAA regulations that safeguard and control access to protected electronic health information, health care organizations must determine what security measures are reasonable and appropriate, which may differ depending on their size. Technological tools can enable practices to authenticate data and encrypt records during transmission. Covered entities must also document audit control procedures and communicate them to employees. Health IT Security (11/11)
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Large companies prepare for ACA mandate
The Affordable Care Act requires companies with 100 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance next year, and those with 50 to 99 employees must offer health benefits in 2016. Some employers are increasing cost-sharing, negotiating directly with specific health care providers for lower prices and making use of privately run insurance exchanges. Kaiser Health News (11/11)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Announcing the first AOPA Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Seminar of 2015 -- in Savannah, Ga.! Get the details. 2015 HCPCS codes are released. Read about the changes today to make sure you are coding correctly, and register for the Dec. 10 webinar on the new codes for 2015. Medicare has now saved more than $200 million by providing O&P care -- just this year! Read about how we calculated that amount. Call for Papers: Become a presenter at the 2015 AOPA National Assembly. And exhibit space is NOW AVAILABLE! All this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Dec. 10: New Codes & Changes for 2015, webinar conference Learn more and register online.
Jan. 14: Fill In the Blanks: VA Contracting and the New Template, webinar conference Learn more or register online.
Feb. 9-10: Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding & Billing Seminar, Savannah, Ga. Learn more and register online.
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It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
-- Edmund Hillary,
New Zealand mountaineer
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