Study: Statins lower amputation risk after revascularization | Bionic arm among year's top innovations | Regenerative products prove effective in treating diabetic foot ulcers
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December 17, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Study: Statins lower amputation risk after revascularization
A study of almost 23,000 Medicare patients found that statin users were less likely to face amputation for up to a year after lower-extremity revascularization, compared with those who did not use the drugs. The study, which was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, also found that only half of the patients were taking statins for atherosclerosis before the revascularization procedure. "Our study suggests severe underuse of statin therapy in a population where there is sufficient evidence to suggest that compliance with therapy improves outcomes," the investigators wrote. (12/12)
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Bionic arm among year's top innovations
The touch-sensitive bionic arm developed by researchers at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University is among the top 10 innovations of the year selected by Innovation Excellence. The device features a new type of interface that provides a sense of touch by interacting with nerves in the patient's arm. Two people have received the device so far, and the nerve interfaces continue to work after 18 months. (12/14)
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Medical News
Regenerative products prove effective in treating diabetic foot ulcers
Physicians have been successfully treating diabetic foot wounds with cells extracted and cultured from the foreskins of circumcised babies. The products, sold under the brand names Dermagraft and Apligraf, have proven effective in healing diabetic foot injuries compared with conventional treatments. Medicare reimbursement is a problem for some clinics and patients, as the products are expensive. Omaha World-Herald (Neb.) (12/17)
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Data show rise in diabetes among privately insured patients
Data from the Health Care Cost Institute revealed the rate of diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes among privately insured Americans increased from 6.4% in 2008 to 8.8% in 2012. Researchers also found almost 10% of patients in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic and East South Central regions had one of the conditions, while the Mountain, Pacific and New England regions had the lowest diabetes prevalence. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (12/16)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Violation cost outranks data exposure as driver for HIPAA compliance
Data from eFax Corporate's Healthcare IT Pulse survey revealed 54% of responding employees of health facilities and physician practices agreed that of all document-related concerns, it is most important to focus on HIPAA compliance. However, 37.1% of respondents cited violation cost as the top reason for compliance, compared with 17.5% who cited data exposure. Health IT Security (12/13)
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Expert offers tips for organizations seeking IT advisers
Hiring the right IT consulting firm can help organizations better comply with HITECH, HIPAA and other regulations, according to this article. Paranet Solutions CEO David Boone offers four tips for doing so, including asking whether the firm's consultants and engineers have the proper certifications, whether the company has a proven track record in the industry and whether guaranteed response times will be provided. Government Health IT online (12/16)
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Trend Watch
Amputee veteran continues cross-country bike trip
Marine veteran and double-leg amputee Rob Jones has ridden more than 1,600 miles on his prosthetic legs, and needs 3,770 more to complete his cross-country trip by bicycle to raise money for veterans charities. "You come to this part of your life where you can go either way -- you can either let something destroy you, or let it make you stronger," he said. Jones, who lost his legs in Afghanistan, has raised more than $50,000 so far and will complete his ride in San Diego in the spring. WYMT-TV (Hazard, Ky.) (12/15)
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Ottobock sees growing role in Paralympic movement
In 1988, Ottobock sent a team of four technicians to the Paralympic Games; in 2012, it had 80 technicians in 20 locations, and Ottobock President and CEO Hans Georg Näder has pledged that his company will support the games for the next 25 years. Today, many Paralympic athletes are competing close to Olympic levels, said Christin Gunkel, Ottobock's chief marketing officer. "We are losing the idea that Paralympics is about what people can't do. People are now looking at what people can do," she said. Inside The Games (U.K.) (12/15)
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Business and Finance
What to do before signing a commercial lease
Read full story
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Don't rush to sign the lease that your landlord gives you, Ron Consolino writes. "[T]he 'standard form lease' represents the landlord's wish list and, if it's not appropriately modified, it may not serve your interests when issues arise," Consolino writes. In addition, it's important to understand that there are different types of leases, each of which means a different financial responsibility. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (12/14)
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Breaking news from AOPA
The 2014 Medicare DMEPOS fee schedule has been released--get the latest! AOPA has the 2014 Coding Update Audio Conference Encore available--stay up to date on all these coding changes and get your copy now! AOPA's government affairs representatives are available to speak at your meetings--if you have a state or regional meeting coming up soon, schedule now! Become a presenter at the Las Vegas 2014 AOPA National Assembly--the place to be! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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