3D printing is transforming prosthetic design and manufacturing | German designers create lifelike prostheses | Miss. man receives advanced bionic hand
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July 17, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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3D printing is transforming prosthetic design and manufacturing
3D printing technology is rapidly changing the O&P field by allowing practitioners to lower costs and customize prosthetic design at the same time. 3D printing can be especially important for fitting children, who are growing and need to change their prostheses frequently, says John Rieffel, assistant professor of computer science at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. One of his students developed a 3D-printed prosthesis that could grow along with the child using it. U.S. News & World Report (7/16)
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Science and Technology
German designers create lifelike prostheses
Alex Stamos and Christoph Braun, who operate Stamos and Braun Prosthesenwerk in Dresden, Germany, fabricate custom-tailored prostheses from silicone, with nails made from acrylic, that are almost indistinguishable from life. "For every person ... his or her needs are unique, and so are the restorations," said Braun, who noted that their creations are not as functional as those with bionic capabilities. The Daily Mail (London) (7/16)
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Miss. man receives advanced bionic hand
Roy Eavenson, 74, has regained some fine-motor skills after being fitted with an i-limb ultra revolution prosthetic hand from Methodist Orthotics and Prosthetics in Flowood, Miss. Eavenson had a mid-forearm amputation of his left hand after an industrial accident. His new hand has individually motorized fingers and 24 pre-programmed movements that can be controlled from an iPod. The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) (tiered subscription model) (7/16)
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Medical News
Protein injections shown to control type 2 diabetes
A single injection of the protein FGF1 into obese mice suffering from type 2 diabetes reduced their blood sugar to normal levels for more than two days in tests conducted at the Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory in La Jolla, Calif. Continued injections also reversed insulin insensitivity. FGF1 controls glucose “in a powerful and unexpected way,” said lead researcher Ronald Evans. The study was published in the journal Nature. The New Zealand Herald/The Press Association (U.K.) (7/17)
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U.S. sees decline in stroke rate in past 2 decades
The overall first-time stroke rate among Americans dropped 24% from 1987 to 2011, with a greater drop seen among people aged 65 and older, according to an analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found a 20% overall decline in stroke-related deaths per decade. HealthDay News (7/15), DailyRx.com (7/15)
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Preventive mastectomy may do little for women with breast cancer
Prophylactic mastectomy may offer little survival benefit to women with breast cancer, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that analyzed 20 years' worth of data for more than 100,000 women. Younger women with stage 1 estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer whose healthy breast was removed had a 1% improvement in survival over 20 years compared with women who did not have preventive mastectomy. HealthDay News (7/16)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Feds order states to resolve Medicaid backlogs
The CMS sent letters to Alaska, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee telling them to fix their Medicaid enrollment systems and clear pending applications. The letters, dated June 27, gave the states 10 days to develop plans for clearing the backlogs. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (7/14)
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Trend Watch
Retailers include amputees in catalog, store windows
Nordstrom's summer catalog continues a tradition it began in 1997 by including several models with disabilities, including a man with a prosthetic leg modeling footwear. J.C. Penney's newest mannequins in its Manhattan store windows include one modeled after an Army veteran with prosthetic legs. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content)/The Associated Press (7/17), WDBO-AM (Orlando, Fla.) (7/17)
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Business and Finance
Ark. family-owned O&P practice opens 5th location
Horton's Orthotics & Prosthetics, headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., opened a fifth location in the state. The facility is owned by pediatric orthotics specialist Gary Horton and includes his children: orthotist/prosthetist Mike Horton, head of prosthetics at two locations; marketing director and mastectomy fitter Tonya Horton, who manages one location; and orthotist/prosthetist Chris Horton, who manages one location and develops orthotic devices with his father. Gary Horton says a big advantage of a family business is "the commitment of the family to pull together. It's a team." Arkansas Business (7/17)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Brace yourself -- the AOPA 2014 National Assembly is coming. Prepare to be WOWed with high-level prosthetic education and register today! New Dobson-DaVanzo Study shows that people with limb loss treated in in-patient rehabilitation hospitals and units had better long-term clinical outcomes than those treated in nursing homes. Read the report today! Send your comments to the CMS and sign up for the final FREE AOPA webinar on Prior Authorization before the July 28 deadline! The deadline to turn in your AOPA Survey for a free Operating Performance Report is tomorrow -- get yours in today!  All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
July 22: AOPA Prior Authorization Webinar, Webinar conference Learn more or register online.
Aug. 13:
AFO/KAFO Policy: Understanding the Rules, Webinar conference  Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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