CMS reports improper payments for DMEPOS of $6.4B | User of i-limb demonstrates programming grip patterns | Kenya tries a different approach to wound therapy: Maggots
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October 8, 2013
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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CMS reports improper payments for DMEPOS of $6.4B
CMS has issued a report stating that the improper payment rate for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies was $6.4 billion, or 66%, in 2012. In addition, 94.2% of the improper payments identified within DMEPOS were due to insufficient documentation. HME News (10/3)
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User of i-limb demonstrates programming grip patterns
Double arm amputee Jason Koger traveled to Advanced Arm Dynamics in Cleveland to demonstrate the i-limb ultra revolution prosthesis to Holly Maxwell, who lost her left arm when she was 10. Koger uses a smartphone application to program the hand, which offers 24 grip patterns and customizable options. Being able to adjust the grip at home is a valuable feature, said prosthetist Brian Waryck, clinical manager of the facility. "[T]here are differences in the home environment that we just can't duplicate here, and that can affect how this works." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (10/7)
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Medical News
Kenya tries a different approach to wound therapy: Maggots
To reduce the burden of wound care caused by diabetes and accidents, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute's Trypanosomiasis Research Center in Kenya is testing maggot debridement therapy, which entails the use of live disinfected maggots, or fly larvae, in soft tissue wounds to clean out dead tissue. The treatment would reduce wound-cleaning time to prepare for grafting, said Dr. Phoebe Mukiria. The Standard (Kenya) (10/5)
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Poor glucose control linked to wound surgery complications
A study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery revealed diabetes patients with high blood glucose and those with a history of poor diabetes control faced more than triple the risk of complications associated with surgery to treat chronic skin ulcers. The results highlight the need for better blood glucose control in such patients prior to surgery, researchers said. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (10/4)
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Nobel discoveries reveal how diabetes, other diseases function
The three winners of this year's Nobel Prize in medicine discovered the mechanism for how hormones, enzymes and other cellular materials are transported and used throughout the body, helping to reveal the operation of diabetes and other immune-related diseases. The three are James E. Rothman of Yale University, Randy W. Schekman of the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas C. Sudhof of Stanford University. St. Louis Post-Dispatch/The Associated Press (10/7)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Software crash blamed for delays in health exchange enrollment
Federal officials said the failure of a major software component developed by private contractors caused technical problems that curbed last week's enrollment in the health insurance marketplaces. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said part of the website where people create user accounts crashed, stopping many individuals from obtaining access to data on federal subsidies and from viewing insurance options. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/7)
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Trend Watch
Boston Marathon amputees attend running clinic
Boston Marathon bombing victims attended a clinic at Harvard's athletic fields last weekend to learn how to run or to run better, an event organized by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. The Knights of Columbus have helped secure running and other types of prostheses for the amputees who were injured at the April marathon. One participant was Heather Abbott, who wore a running leg donated by Ossur. Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics has provided her with three other prosthetic legs to help her return to the activities she loved before the bombing. The Associated Press (10/6)
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Business and Finance
Orthocare closing Oklahoma City operations, moving to Seattle
Orthocare Innovations is moving its headquarters from Oklahoma City to Seattle. "[W]e have entered into a significant strategic relationship with a leading company in the orthotic and prosthetic industry," said CEO Doug McCormack, who said details would be released next year. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) (10/6)
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What to do when debts, tax obligations are bearing down on you
If you are being squeezed by debts and tax obligations, you can make your life easier "by gaining an understanding of all applicable rates, deductions, and tax reduction strategies," Keith Tully writes. You can decrease your tax burden by increasing the amount you spend on your company during the year, writes Tully, who also explains how to apply for an extension. and Running Blog (10/2)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA members are initiating petition efforts to fight RAC unfairness – support the cause! The government shutdown forces cancellation of an amputee youth event - read all about it! Strike while the iron is hot and take action on the Medicare O&P Improvements Act - send a letter to your representatives today! Get your health care reform update during tomorrow's AOPAversity Audio Conference – register today! All of this in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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