German amputee long jumper dropped from national team | Exoskeleton allows stroke patient to contribute her own strength to walking process | Imbed Biosciences receives $1.5M grant for wound dressing
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July 31, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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German amputee long jumper dropped from national team
The German athletics federation announced that it is dropping long jumper and Paralympic athlete Markus Rehm from the team competing in the upcoming European Championships, citing a potential unfair advantage from his carbon-fiber blade prosthesis. Rehm, a below-knee amputee who won the German national trials with a leap of 27 feet, 1/2 inch, said he would not appeal the decision. The Associated Press (7/30), The Associated Press (7/31)
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Exoskeleton allows stroke patient to contribute her own strength to walking process
Lori Wallhausser is learning how to walk again after a stroke affected her right arm and leg. She uses Variable Assist, the latest version of the Ekso exoskeleton, which enables patients to use their own power from either leg. "With Variable Assist, they are able to use their strength, and Ekso will pick up where they are unable to. So Ekso kind of adjusts itself to the patient," said Lisa Kelly, a physical therapist at the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care in Cincinnati. WCPO-TV (Cincinnati) (7/31)
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Medical News
Imbed Biosciences receives $1.5M grant for wound dressing
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has awarded Imbed Biosciences a $1.5 million grant to further its development of a biologic dressing for wounds. The company is working on a dressing that contains silver nanoparticles that would help close difficult-to-heal wounds. The company plans to start testing the dressings on pigs. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (7/28)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Number of candidates surges for bundled Medicare payment contracts
The CMS has added 4,100 additional health care providers eligible to enter into bundled-payment contracts under Medicare, which nearly triples the number of medical groups and hospitals that are candidates for the initiative. Bundling contracts may reduce waste, but may also lead to a reduction in necessary care, health care experts say. Since the initiation of the program in January 2013, CMS has bundled payment contracts with 243 providers. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (7/31)
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ACOs are new frontier of health care management
Accountable care organizations created through the Affordable Care Act are attracting the attention of large companies like Intel and Boeing with their promise of controlling costs through integrated services and quality of care, instead of the old fee-for-service model. Andrew Croshaw of the consulting firm Leavitt Partners estimates there are about 600 ACOs in the U.S. covering 20 million individuals. Employee Benefit Adviser (7/30)
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Some patients are wary of EHR privacy, security
Thirteen percent of patients say they have withheld personal data from physicians using EHRs because of privacy and security concerns, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. A Morning Consult survey also found that while 83% of respondents expect EHRs to be in use at hospitals, only 53% indicated they trust the technology. The authors of the new study suggested that providers talk with patients about privacy and security of data. (7/30)
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Trend Watch
Double amputee Amy Purdy to join Oprah Winfrey tour
Double amputee Amy Purdy, the Paralympian snowboarder who attracted a national following on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars," will join the Toyota-sponsored "Standing O-Vation" national motivational tour for women. The tour will feature Oprah Winfrey along with authors Elizabeth Gilbert and Deepak Chopra. Purdy, who lost both legs to meningitis, founded the nonprofit Adaptive Actions Sports, which Toyota has also supported. Forbes (7/30)
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Pro golfer tests prosthetic legs
Professional golfer and five-time PGA tour winner Ken Green, who lost his right leg below the knee in an accident, has tried out a variety of prosthetic legs to restore his competitive edge and allow him to play again in the Champions Tour. He plans to visit Stan Patterson of Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates in Orlando, Fla., to test a new model that has more spring action in the ankle. The Hartford Courant (Conn.) (7/30)
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Breaking news from AOPA
We've got you covered -- compliance, coding and documentation will be covered in the Advanced Coding & Billing Techniques Seminar with AOPA in St. Louis. Register now to go to the Arch and step up your coding game! "This Just In" is a new AOPA National Assembly session you can't afford to miss, a session so important that for the first time ever AOPA will repeat it during the conference -- get registered today and stay on top of the profession! FORE! -- get to the National Assembly early and tee off with fellow practitioners and colleagues at the Thranhardt Golf Classic! AOPA members and patients sent a strong message on Prior Authorization to the CMS -- thank you to all who participated in the effort! All of this and more in today's AOPA breaking news.
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Upcoming events
Aug. 13: AFO/KAFO Policy: Understanding the Rules, Webinar conference Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more or register online.
Oct. 20-21: Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, St. Louis, Mo. Learn more or register online.
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