Scientists at Stanford University are working on developing a sense of touch for artificial skin. Researcher Zhenan Bao and her colleagues have created a transistor made of a flexible polymer semiconductor, which transmits the signal from a sensitive pressure sensor. "To actually make artificial skin, we still need to be able to connect the sensors with neurosystems, so that the sensor signal can be transmitted to the human brain," Bao said. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
AOPA has filed suit against the CMS over auditing activities it called "unfair," claiming the Office of Inspector General falsely alleged fraud in the O&P industry. AOPA claims an OIG report disregarded technological advances in the field and misunderstood the relationship between the prosthetist and the patient. "[W]e will not stand by when government acts inappropriately to threaten either the quality of care we provide to our patients or the economic viability of the small businesses and providers that comprise the orthotics and prosthetics profession," said AOPA President Thomas Kirk.
The final rule on transparency between device manufacturers and physicians is expected to require manufacturers to report any payments or transfers of value to doctors and teaching hospitals. HHS would publish the annual disclosures on a public website. “[T]ransparency can shed light on the nature and extent of relationships, and may dissuade inappropriate conflicts of interest from developing,” according to the CMS.
HHS's Office of the Inspector General released its work plan for 2013, announcing dozens of new initiatives and the continuation of others. Among the initiatives outlined are a review of how suppliers are complying with payment requirements for lower-limb protheses, a study of the reasonableness of Medicare payment for back orthoses and a mandatory review of the competitive bidding program. OIG investigators will also examine how the Recovery Audit Contractors are supervised by the CMS.