Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Critics Condemn Medicare Artificial Limb Coverage Changes
Medicare’s proposed new coverage requirements for artificial legs and feet are facing strong opposition.
The proposals include closer medical supervision of the independent technicians who sell and fit artificial limbs, and stricter rules about who qualifies for the devices, which can cost as much as a car, the Associated Press reported.
Critics say the new rules will lead to a lower quality of life for amputees if they are denied the most advanced artificial limbs.
The campaign against the proposed Medicare changes is spearheaded by an industry group called the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association and a coalition of amputees, the AP reported.
A statement released by Medicare states the agency believes “beneficiaries will continue to have access to lower-limb prosthetics that are appropriate” and adds that the payment overhaul “is not meant to restrict any medically necessary prosthesis.”
First Child to Have Double Hand Transplant Goes Home
The first child to receive a double hand transplant is making good progress and has returned home, doctors say.
Zion Harvey, 8, lost his arms and legs to a severe infection at age 2. He received his new hands during an 11-hour operation in early July at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and since has been doing physical and occupational therapy several times a day, NBC News reported.
He has made significant progress and went home from the hospital on Wednesday.
“He’s just a remarkable lad. Today he was playing with his action figures and baking cookies with a whisk, doing all sorts of things with his hands we never dreamed he would be able to do within a few weeks of surgery,” transplant team lead surgeon Dr. Scott Levin told NBC News.
“The challenges facing Zion are new, but his determination should overcome them. He’s already done so many amazing things,” Zion’s mother Pattie Ray said in a statement.
Since the announcement of Zion’s transplant, the hospital has received nearly 200 inquires from around the world, and the transplant team has already screened another child candidate for a double hand transplant, NBC News reported.