A Las Vegas woman is learning to use a prosthetic leg that is attached to an implant in her right femur and features a prosthetic knee controlled by a programmable microprocessor. Elizabeth Bailey-Smith, who is working with a therapist to become accustomed to her new device, was the first American reported to have osseointegration surgery, according to this article.
The Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment proposed rule for fiscal year 2015 has been published by the CMS. The agency has invited stakeholders to comment on the proposed rule, including making suggestions for any additional services that should be excluded from consolidated billing within the customized prosthetic devices service category. Comments will be accepted by the CMS through June 30.
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.
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.