Final DME rule doesn't address noncertified orthotist training | Neuroprosthetics advances goal of linking to brain | Ground-running birds could help scientists develop better prostheses
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November 4, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Final DME rule doesn't address noncertified orthotist training
CMS's final rule for Durable Medical Equipment payment adjustments differs little from the proposed rule issued July 11, with provisions on regional fee adjustments and fee schedule amounts for noncontiguous areas. However, it does not offer finalized guidance on the training required by noncertified orthotists to provide custom-fitted devices. HME News (11/3)
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Neuroprosthetics advances goal of linking to brain
A number of different methods are being explored to link the human brain to computers for better and more natural control of prosthetic devices, marking great progress since the field of neuroprosthetics and research took form in the 1970s. Some systems are now so advanced that they allow feedback to the brain for limb-like perception, according to this article. The Scientist (free registration) (11/2014)
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Ground-running birds could help scientists develop better prostheses
Researchers at Oregon State University are using ground-running bird species as models for creating robots and powered prosthetic legs that could run faster and with more agility on rugged terrain. Scientists discovered that unsteady movements, rather than a stable gait, can be more energy efficient. The birds' running behavior involved 70% vaulting and 30% crouching, which minimized both the likelihood of injury and energy expenditure. The Christian Science Monitor (11/3)
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Medical News
Study: Lower diabetes risk seen after bariatric surgery
Risk of type 2 diabetes was 80% lower in obese patients who had bariatric surgery than among those who did not, according to a study. The findings appear in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. HealthDay News (11/3)
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Report: Millions of Americans require intervention for obesity
According to a report by The Obesity Society, 140 million American adults were recommended to undergo behavioral weight-loss treatment, and 116 million of them also were candidates for pharmacotherapy. Data showed 32 million people were recommended for both behavioral treatment and pharmacotherapy, and those patients also may require bariatric surgery. The report, based on medical guidelines released last year, will be presented at the society's annual meeting. Drug Store News (11/3)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Industry stakeholders: OMHA meeting didn't address audit backlog
A recent hearing held by the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals on the backlog of audits did little to address the problem, according to two industry stakeholders who attended. "They seem to think the providers need to be educated on documentation. The audit process is broken," said Seth Johnson, Pride Mobility's vice president of government relations. "Pilot programs are all well and good, but these are years away and I have providers going out of business every day," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. HME News (10/31)
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Increased patient satisfaction seen with ACOs
Patients who received medical care from accountable care organizations reported improvements in timely health care access and coordination at one year compared with those who received care from other providers, a study indicated. The findings appear in The New England Journal of Medicine. Healthcare Informatics online (10/30), (10/30)
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Trend Watch
German athletic federation to allow disabled athletes to compete
The athletic federation in Germany will allow disabled athletes to compete in German competitions, but their results will be kept separate. Amputee and Paralympic champion Markus Rehm used a carbon-fiber prosthesis when he won the national long jump competition, causing some to claim he had an unfair advantage. Rehm will be allowed to retain his title. The Associated Press (11/3)
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Breaking news from AOPA
CMS releases final rule on off-the-shelf orthotics -- learn what it means for your business. Become a presenter at the 2015 AOPA National Assembly -- submit your paper today. Jurisdiction A publishes pre-payment review results for lower limb prostheses and spinal codes. See the results here. Exclusive for all 2014 National Assembly exhibitors -- you can sign up for the 2015 Assembly now before open registration. All this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News!
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