RAC audits recovered more than $3B in FY 2013 | Man tests TMR and prosthetic arm in hopes of becoming police officer | DARPA's lightweight suit may aid those with mobility problems
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October 2, 2014
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RAC audits recovered more than $3B in FY 2013
The Medicare recovery audit program collected more than $3 billion in fiscal 2013, according to the CMS' annual Recovery Audit Contractors report to Congress. While the CMS said that only 18.1% of appealed claims were overturned in favor of providers, the American Hospital Association cites self-reported statistics from hospitals that show hospitals appealed half of RAC denials in the first quarter of 2014 and won 66% of the cases. Part of the discrepancy lies in how the appeals are counted, according to attorney Elizabeth Elias, who represents providers in RAC issues. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (9/29)
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Science and Technology
Man tests TMR and prosthetic arm in hopes of becoming police officer
Nathan West, who was born without a left forearm, is testing the Bebionic prosthesis at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Targeted Muscle Reinnervation program. Electrodes attached to nerve endings in the residual limb receive signals from the brain to control the device. West wants to become a police officer, but needs to be able to operate a handgun with his left hand to qualify. Columbia Missourian (10/2)
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DARPA's lightweight suit may aid those with mobility problems
A lightweight exoskeleton suit being developed through DARPA's Warrior Web program could be used to help patients with limited mobility in addition to improving soldiers' battlefield performance, according to Conor Walsh, a faculty member at Harvard University's Wyss Institute. Walsh and other Wyss faculty are working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to create the suit. FedTech magazine online (10/1)
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Relief Knee intended for developing countries
The Relief Knee, developed by students at the University of Texas at El Paso, is a low-cost, durable prosthetic knee joint intended for manufacture and use in developing countries. "The knee can be easily repaired in the field with materials available at a local hardware store and with the skill sets available in the developing world, many times by the patients themselves," said UTEP professor Roger Gonzalez, who founded the nonprofit LIMBS International. ASME.org (10/2014)
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Medical News
Higher vitamin D levels may not reduce diabetes risk
Research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology found no genetic correlation between increased vitamin D intake and lower type 2 diabetes risk. HealthDay News (9/30)
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Bacterial solution may hold promise for treatment of diabetic ulcers
Research presented at the American Society for Microbiology conference showed that a solution containing ammonia-oxidizing bacteria improved skin conditions, suggesting the approach could help heal diabetic ulcers and acne. Scientists plan to follow up the three-week study of 24 volunteers with tests on people who have diabetic ulcers or acne. Medical News Today (9/30)
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Review examines efficacy, cost of long-acting insulin
An analysis revealed type 1 diabetes patients on long-acting insulin attained better A1C, gained less weight and had a reduced risk of severe hypoglycemia than those on immediate-acting insulin. Long-acting insulin was more costly but significantly more effective than immediate-acting insulin, researchers wrote in The BMJ. DailyRx.com (10/1)
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Legislative and Regulatory
HHS aims to reach more uninsured, retain this year's enrollees
Health insurers, the federal government and Affordable Care Act advocacy groups aim to attract millions of new consumers to the health insurance marketplace and retain those who enrolled in a plan for 2014. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/28)
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Federal judge in Okla. rules ACA tax credits via federal marketplace illegal
U.S. District Judge Ronald White ruled that Internal Revenue Service rules implementing the Affordable Care Act's tax credits are invalid. The judge ruled that tax credits for people who buy a health insurance plan through the federally run exchange are counter to the law. The ruling is on hold pending appeal. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/1), Reuters (9/30)
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Business and Finance
Collect this information before applying for a loan
Borrowers should have certain information at their fingertips when they approach a lender. Fundera editor-in-chief Meredith Wood lists the documents and information you should have on hand when applying for a loan. Items include balance sheets, proof of ownership and Employer Identification Number. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (9/29)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Save the date for the 2015 AOPA Assembly in San Antonio, Texas -- remember AOPA! The 2015 amounts in controversy thresholds to obtain appeal rights at the ALJ and Judicial Review levels have been released -- get the update! Sign up for next week's October Webinar Conference: Medicare Enrollment, Revalidation, and Participation to get your monthly business CEs. Ottobock promotes Matt Swiggum to sales VP of North America, and Fillauer's Hosmer Hook is featured on NBC's "Blacklist" -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Oct. 8: Medicare Enrollment, Revalidation, and Participation, webinar conference Learn more or register online.
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.
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You're going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it's always their actions you should judge them by."
-- Nicholas Sparks,
American novelist
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