RAC requests for additional documentation on "pause" | For more: | Above-knee amputees now being fitted with bionic ankle
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February 20, 2014
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AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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RAC requests for additional documentation on "pause"
The CMS will put a hold on requests for additional documentation by Recovery Audit Contractors for post-payment reviews effective Friday and for pre-payment reviews effective Feb. 28. The pause in requests will continue until new RAC contracts are in place. The CMS is also making five changes in the RAC program that address administrative procedures and will go into effect with the new contracts. The American Hospital Association says it will continue to urge the CMS to address delays in the appeals process and inappropriate denials. AHA News Now (2/19)
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  • For more:
    Read AOPA's analysis of the CMS announcement about the pause in RAC activities.
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Pediatric Orthotic Interventions
Review patient assessment product selection and fitting for: MultiMotion, joint system for contracture mgt: KiddieGAIT and KiddieROCKER, dynamic response for AFOs for ankle/foot instability; and SWASH, the Sitting-Walking-And-Standing-Hip orthosis. This course qualifies for an Allard SWASH Certificate. See you at AAOP in Chicago, Workshop #19.
 
Science and Technology
Above-knee amputees now being fitted with bionic ankle
Afghanistan veteran and bilateral amputee Jesse Murphree is one of only three individuals with above-knee amputations using the BiOm bionic ankle. The device's battery power and computer technology allow him to walk more naturally and use less energy. "[I]t gives him the ability to normalize his gate by using the up and down functions that the computerized ankle has," said Allison Franklin of the Denver Clinic For Extremities at Risk at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver. KCNC-TV (Denver) (2/19)
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Paralyzed woman walks using 3D-printed exoskeleton
Amanda Boxtel, paralyzed from the waist down after a skiing accident, walked in a 3D-printed exoskeleton created through a collaboration between 3D Systems and Ekso Bionics. 3D Systems scanned Boxtel's legs and spine to make a model that could be 3D printed, and Ekso provided the mechanical actuators and controls. Boxtel demonstrated the Ekso-Suit at an event in Budapest, Hungary. Gizmag (2/19), Zacks (2/19)
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REX exoskeleton brings man with severed spinal cord to his feet
Eight years after his spinal cord was severed in an automobile accident, Mitch Brogan of Canada was able to stand upright and walk a few steps with the help of the REX exoskeleton, developed by a New Zealand company. Brogan used a joystick to control the suit, which has 29 computer processors; newer models allow users to walk up steps or down slopes. Brogan and physiotherapist Sari Shatil are opening what is said to be the first clinic in North America to offer bionic rehabilitation for those with paralysis. CTV.ca (Canada) (2/19)
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Monkey can use thoughts to control movements of a second, paralyzed monkey
Scientists at Cornell University and Harvard Medical School used electrodes to connect the brain of one monkey to the spinal cord of another with paralysis, enabling the first monkey to control the movements of the paralyzed animal. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, was “very important research [with profound implications] especially for controlling limbs in spinal cord injury, or controlling prosthetic limbs with limb amputees,” said Christopher James of the University of Warwick. RedOrbit (2/19)
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Medical News
U.S. has 180 diabetes-related drugs under development
Research and development of 180 drugs and medications for treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are underway in the United States, either in clinical trials or under review by the FDA, according to a new report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Thirty new medications target type 1 diabetes, 100 drugs focus on type 2 and 52 are intended to treat diabetes-related conditions. Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.) (2/19)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Amount of older enrollees under ACA was expected, officials say
Nearly one-third of enrollees under the Affordable Care Act are 55 to 64, according to government data. Federal officials say that was not unexpected. "We have always anticipated that those with more health needs would sign up early on and that young and healthy people would wait until the end," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (2/17)
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Trend Watch
Student creates improved 3D-printed prosthetic sockets for Sierra Leone
David Sengeh, born in Sierra Leone and now a doctoral student at MIT, is using 3D printing technology to create more comfortable and better-fitting sockets for prosthetic limbs that can be used by victims of his country's past civil war. He scans the patient's residual limb and tailors the limb to be stiff only in certain areas to reduce strain on soft tissue. Sengeh is also creating a compendium of every replacement part for amputees that has receive FDA approval. FastCoExist (2/19)
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Md. man creates low-cost prosthetic finger
After an accident left Brian Jordan missing half of his index finger, he created a prosthesis made of small clips and pads. Jordan's Maryland-based company, Robiotech, hopes to secure funding to improve and manufacture the device. Jordan's goal is to create a not-for-profit operation that would provide the prosthetic fingers to children and anyone worldwide who could not afford them. Southern Maryland Online (2/19)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
The CMS announced that due to the upcoming transition of contractors responsible for performing Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) duties, providers may see a pause in RAC activities -- get the full update here. Will you be at the AAOP meeting next week in Chicago? Be sure to visit the AOPA booth and win big! AOPA hosted the 2014 Research Funding Update today with Catriona Macdonald on the recently passed appropriations bill that instructed DOD to invest $10 million in O&P clinical outcomes research. Learn more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
March 12: The ABC's of Audits: What to Expect and How to Respond (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online.
April 2 - 4: 2014 AOPA Policy Forum, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C. Learn more or register online.
April 7 - 8: Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Seminar, Las Vegas Learn more or register online.
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SmartQuote
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."
-- Carl Sagan,
American astronomer
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