Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #518 -- January 7, 2010

CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cdha/caar.html

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I. Data:

1. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS: "Update NHIS Linked Social Security Files." "The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to announce that NCHS has updated the linkage of the 1994-2005 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to benefit history data from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The updated NHIS Linked SSA Files provide SSA benefit data through December 31, 2007.†The linked files combine health and socio-demographic information from NHIS surveys with benefit information from SSA's Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit programs, resulting in unique population-based information resources that can be used to support a wide array of epidemiological, health services, and health policy research.

Due to confidentiality requirements, access to†the NHIS Linked SSA Files†is available only through the NCHS Research Data Center (RDC).† For more information on the updated NHIS Linked SSA files, please visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/data_linkage/ssa.htm

The NCHS RDC offers on-site and remote access capabilities. Interested researchers must submit an application to the NCHS RDC. For more information on the NCHS RDC please visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/rdc/

To assist researchers interested in accessing the restricted-use NHIS Linked SSA files, NCHS has created publicly available NHIS Linked SSA Feasibility Study data files that can be downloaded directly from the following website:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/data_linkage/ssa/ssa_feasibility.htm

The NHIS Linked SSA Feasibility Study data files provides information about which survey respondents have been successfully linked to SSA data and which types of benefit records will be available for each linked survey respondent.  This file should serve as a tool for researchers interested in assessing potential sample sizes and feasibility of pursuing a RDC application. It is important to note that the feasibility study files do not contain any specific information about SSA benefits.

For more information on NCHS data linkage activities, visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/data_linkage_activities.htm

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2. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT SURVEY DATA UPDATE: HRS at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan announced on Jan. 6, 2010: "Researchers are reminded that changes have been made to the way Restricted Data Products derived from Social Security Administration data are distributed." For more information see:

http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/index.php?p=showchange

Under Jan. 6, 2010.

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II. Reports and articles:

3. US AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY, HEALTHCARE COST AND UTILIZATION PROJECT STATISTICAL BRIEF: "Potentially Preventable Hospitalization Rates Declined for Older Adults, 2003-2007," by Elizabeth Stranges and Bernard Friedman (Statistical Brief No. 83, December 2009, .pdf and HTML format, 9p.).

HTML:

http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb83.jsp

.pdf:

http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb83.pdf

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4. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORTS:

A. "Midyear Formulary Changes in Medicare Prescription Drug Plans" (OEI-01-08-00540), December 2009, .pdf format, 34p.).

Abstract:

All sponsors of Medicare prescription drug plans made formulary changes in 2008.†The majority of formulary changes (64 percent) were positive and enhanced formularies by adding new drugs, reducing cost sharing, or removing utilization controls.†Of the negative changes-which require CMS approval and restrict the formulary by removing drugs, increasing cost sharing, or adding utilization controls-62 percent promoted generic drug substitution.

Sponsors identify the complete list of drugs they cover in their formularies. CMS sets guidelines for when and how sponsors may make changes to their formularies.†Sponsors must provide written notice to beneficiaries currently taking affected drugs before implementing negative changes.†CMS also requires sponsors to post updated formularies on their Web sites at least monthly and to list formulary changes 60 days before they take effect.

We found that with few exceptions, sponsors met beneficiary notification requirements for formulary changes.†In addition, we found that CMS's monitoring processes detected most, though not all, noncompliance.

We concluded that sponsors and CMS are managing midyear formulary changes without major problems.†Part D regulations require sponsors to promote cost-effective use of prescription drugs where medically appropriate, and it appears that sponsors adhered to these rules.† We made no recommendations to CMS.†CMS generally agreed with our findings.

http://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-01-08-00540.pdf

B. "Medicare Power Wheelchair Claims Frequently Did Not Meet Documentation Requirement" (OEI-04-07-00401, December 2009, .pdf format, 42p.).

Abstract:

Three out of five claims for standard and complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs did not meet Medicare documentation requirements during the first half of 2007. Power wheelchair claims that did not meet all documentation requirements accounted for $112 million in improper Medicare payments, out of $189 million total allowed by Medicare during the 6-month period.¬ Beneficiaries were responsible for paying $22 million of this amount.

For any item to be covered by Medicare, it must meet all applicable Medicare statutory and regulatory requirements. Medicare requires power wheelchair suppliers to maintain specific documentation to support the beneficiary's need for, and the appropriateness of, the power wheelchair. We selected a random sample of 375 claims for standard and complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs supplied to Medicare beneficiaries in the first half of 2007. We then collected documents required by Medicare from the power wheelchair suppliers, determined the extent to which claims met documentation requirements, and projected our results nationally.

We found that 60 percent of Medicare claims for standard and complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs in the first half of 2007 did not meet one or more documentation requirements. Two out of five power wheelchair claims had multiple errors. In addition, suppliers submitted incomplete documents almost three times as often as they failed to submit required documents.

The specialty evaluation report was one of the documents most often not submitted by complex rehabilitation power wheelchair suppliers. We also found that Medicare documentation error rates varied by power wheelchair type and supplier volume. Complex rehabilitation power wheelchair claims had a higher documentation error rate than standard power wheelchair claims. Standard power wheelchair claims submitted by low-volume suppliers had a higher documentation error rate than those submitted by high-volume suppliers.

Based on the results of our review, we recommended that CMS improve compliance with Medicare's power wheelchair documentation requirements and suggested the following methods for improving compliance:†(1) conduct additional reviews of standard and complex rehabilitation power wheelchair claims, (2) recover overpayments and consider further actions against suppliers that do not meet documentation requirements, and (3) increase education for suppliers and prescribing physicians about documentation requirements.

We also recommended that CMS take appropriate action on sampled claims found to be in error. CMS concurred with both of our recommendations. CMS noted that it has multiple efforts underway or planned that align with each suggested method to improve compliance with Medicare's power wheelchair documentation requirements. CMS will also forward the sampled claims we found to be in error to the appropriate contractors to identify and recover overpayments. We will forward information on these claims to CMS under separate cover.

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-04-07-00401.pdf

C. "Vulnerabilities in Medicare Payments for Pressure Reducing Support Surfaces" (OEI-02-07-00421, December 2009, .pdf format, 9p.).

We found that in 2007, Medicare paid for 72 percent of all pressure reducing support surface (support surface) claims with GA or GZ modifiers. Suppliers use these modifiers when they expect that Medicare will deny the claim as not reasonable and necessary. Medicare potentially inappropriately paid $4.4 million for these claims. Support surfaces are used for the care or prevention of pressure ulcers and are covered under the Medicare Part B benefit.

Suppliers also use GA and GZ modifiers when they are providing an upgrade. An upgrade is an item of durable medical equipment that contains a component, such as an equipment feature, that is in excess of the beneficiary's medical needs. We found that suppliers submitted only four claims for upgrades for support surfaces in 2007, indicating that they may not be using the appropriate modifiers when providing upgrades.

Further, for a number of other claims, Medicare inappropriately paid for more than one support surface for the same beneficiary on the same service date. In total, these claims amounted to $68,785 in inappropriate payments in 2007. In several other instances, Medicare paid for a higher priced support surface, as opposed to a lower priced support surface. These claims amounted to an additional $73,022 in potentially inappropriate payments.

Taken together, these results indicate that Medicare contractors may not have appropriate safeguards in place to pay for Part B claims with GA or GZ modifiers. They also show that Medicare contractors do not have controls in place to flag claims for multiple support surfaces for the same beneficiary on the same service date. Further, the results demonstrate that suppliers may need further instructions on the appropriate use of these modifiers when they provide upgraded items to beneficiaries.

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-07-00421.pdf

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5. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION REPORT: "Illicit Drug Use among Older Adults," (December 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).

http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/168/168OlderAdults.cfm

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6. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORTS, CORRESPONDENCE:

A. "Medicare Managed Care: Observations about Medicare Cost Plans" (GAO-10-185, December 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 29p.).

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-185

B. "Nursing Homes: Addressing the Factors Underlying Understatement of Serious Care Problems Requires Sustained CMS and State Commitment" (GAO-10-70, November 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 72p.).

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-70

C. "State and Local Government Retiree Health Benefits: Liabilities Are Largely Unfunded, but Some Governments Are Taking Action" (GAO-10-61, November 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 44p.).

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-61

D. "Nursing Homes: Opportunities Exist to Facilitate the Use of the Temporary Management Sanction" (GAO-10-37R, November 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 28p.).

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-37R

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7. US SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "SSI Monthly Statistics, November 2009 (December 2009, HTML and .pdf format).

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_monthly/2009-11/index.html

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8. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "12 Million Dollars Boost for Older South Australians" (Dec. 21, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/mr-yr09-je-je139.htm

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9. STATISTICS DENMARK FOCUS: "Focus on Early Retirement Pay" (December 2009).

http://www.dst.dk/HomeUK/Statistics/focus_on/focus_on_show.aspx?sci=1104

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10. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS WEB MAGAZINE ARTICLE: "Lower income brackets have shorter healthy life expectancy," by Marion van den Brakel and Kim Knoops (December 2009).

http://www.cbs.nl/en-GB/menu/themas/gezondheid-welzijn/publicaties/artikelen/archief/2009/2009-3007-wm.htm

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11. NEW ZEALAND MINISTRY OF HEALTH/MANATU HAUORA REPORT: "Gap Analysis of Specialist Palliative Care in New Zealand: providing a national overview of hospice and hospital-based services" (December 2009, .pdf and Microsoft Word format, 58p.).

http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/gap-analysis-of-specialist-palliative-care-in-nz

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12. SINGAPORE MINSTRY OF HEALTH PRESS RELEASE: "More Subventions for Nursing Homes" (Dec. 16, 2009).

http://www.moh.gov.sg/mohcorp/pressreleases.aspx?id=23520

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13. ALZHEIMER SOCIETY OF CANADA REPORT: "Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society" (RiskAnalytica, 2009, .pdf format, 344p.).

http://www.alzheimer.ca/english/rising_tide/rising_tide_report.htm

More information about ASC:

http://www.alzheimer.ca/english/society/intro.htm

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14. ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH INSURERS REPORT: "Time for change: Seven proposals to improve DC pension benefits in retirement" (January 2010, .pdf format, 22p.).

http://www.abi.org.uk/Retirementpolicypaper10

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15. ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ACTUARIES [UK] REPORT: "Statistical Analysis: 2009 pension trends survey results," (December 2009, .pdf format, 10p.).

http://www.aca.org.uk/files/ACA_pension_trends_survey_statistics-29_December_2009-20091224101342.pdf

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16. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEFS:

A. "Pension Coverage and Retirement Security," by Alicia H. Munnell and Laura Quinby (IB#9-26, December 2009, .pdf format, 8p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/pension_coverage_and_retirement_security.html

B. "Is Pension Inequality Growing?" by Nadia Karamcheva and Geoffrey Sanzenbacher (IB#10-1, January 2010, .pdf format, 5p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/is_pension_inequality_growing_.html

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17. EUROPEAN TRADE UNION INSTITUTE BRIEF: "Public and private pensions: lessons from the crisis," (Issue 6, December 2009, .pdf format, 6p.).

http://www.etui.org/research/Media/Files/EEEPB/2009/6-2009

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18. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION MEDICARE DATA SPOTLIGHTS (December 2009, .pdf format). "The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued a collection of analyses related to the Part D Medicare stand-alone drug plan options available to seniors for calendar year 2010.

Each of these spotlights focuses on a key aspect of the drug plans that will be available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 and examine relevant trends since the Medicare drug benefit took effect in 2006. They were prepared by a team of researchers at Georgetown University, NORC and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

http://www.kff.org/medicare/med110909pkg.cfm

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19. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU ARTICLE: "Retirement States in U.S. See Slower Growth," by Mark Mather (December 2009).

http://www.prb.org/Articles/2009/retirementstates.aspx

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20. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORTS:

A. "Will Automatic Enrollment Reduce Employer Contributions to 401(k) Plans?" by Mauricio Soto and Barbara Butrica (Discussion Paper 09-04, December 2009, .pdf format, 32p.).

http://www.urban.org/publications/411995.html

B. ""Does Autoenrollment Affect Employer Contributions?" by Barbara Butrica and Mauricio Soto (December 2009, .pdf format, 2p.).

http://www.urban.org/publications/411996.html

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21. PUBLIC LBRARY OF SCIENCE (PLoS) ONE ARTICLE: "Dominant Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lineages in Elderly Patients Born in Norway," by Wibeke Kinander, Torbjorn Bruvik, and Ulf R. Dahle (PLoS ONE 4(12): e8373. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008373, Vol. 4, No. 12, December 2009, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 7p.).

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0008373

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22. NATURE LETTER ABSTRACT: "Amino-acid imbalance explains extension of lifespan by dietary restriction in Drosophila," by Richard C. Grandison, Matthew D. W. Piper, and Linda Partridge (Vol. 462, No. 7276, Dec. 24, 2009, p. 1061-1064).

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7276/abs/nature08619.html

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23. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Ginkgo biloba for Preventing Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: A Randomized Trial," by Beth E. Snitz, Ellen S. O'Meara, Michelle C. Carlson, Alice M. Arnold, Diane G. Ives, Stephen R. Rapp, Judith Saxton, Oscar L. Lopez, Leslie O. Dunn, Kaycee M. Sink, Steven T. DeKosky (Vol. 302, No. 24, December 23/30, 2009, p. 2663-2670).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/302/24/2663

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24. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE SPECIAL ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Public Reporting of Discharge Planning and Rates of Readmissions," by Ashish K. Jha, E. John Orav, and Arnold M. Epstein (Vol. 361, No. 27, December 31, 2009, p. 2637-2645).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/361/27/2637

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25. LANCET ARTICLE SUMMARY: Note: Lancet requires free registration before providing content: "Adjuvant chemotherapy and timing of tamoxifen in postmenopausal patients with endocrine-responsive, node-positive breast cancer: a phase 3, open-label, randomised controlled trial," by Kathy S. Albain, et. al. for The Breast Cancer Intergroup of North America (Vol. 374, No. 9707, Dec. 19, 2009, p. 2055-2063).

http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61523-3/abstract

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III. Working Papers:

26. CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR POPULATION RESEARCH [UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES]: "Urban Neighborhoods and Depressive Symptoms in Late Middle Age," by Richard G. Wright, Michelle J. Ko, and Carol Aneshensei (CCPR-2009-034, December 2009, .pdf format, 36p.).

Abstract:

This study examines associations between multiple urban neighborhood characteristics (socioeconomic disadvantage, affluence, and racial/ethnic composition) and depressive symptoms among late middle-aged persons and compares findings to those previously obtained for persons aged 70 years and above. Survey data are from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a U.S. national probability sample of noninstitutionalized persons aged 51 to 61 years in 1992. Neighborhoods are 1990 U.S. Census tracts. Hierarchical linear regression is used to estimate multilevel models. Depressive symptoms vary significantly across urban neighborhoods among late middle age persons. Neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage is significantly associated with depressive symptoms, net of both individual-level sociodemographic and health variables. However, this association is contingent upon individual-level wealth in that persons with low wealth in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods report the most depressive symptoms. Unlike findings for older adults for whom neighborhood effects appear to be entirely compositional in nature, neighborhood context matters to subgroups of late middle age adults.

http://papers.ccpr.ucla.edu/papers/PWP-CCPR-2009-034/PWP-CCPR-2009-034.pdf

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27. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "US Mortality in an International Context: Age Variations," by Jessica Y. Ho and Samuel H. Preston (WP 09-04, December 2009, .pdf format, 23p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

http://repository.upenn.edu/psc_working_papers/14/

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28. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH:

A. "The (Dis)saving Behavior of the Aged in Japan," by Charles Y. Horioka (w15601, December 2009, .pdf format, 24p.).

Abstract:

In this paper, I survey the previous literature on the saving behavior of the aged in Japan and then present some survey data on the saving behavior of the aged in Japan that became available recently. To summarize the main findings of this paper, virtually all previous studies as well as the newly available data I analyze find that the retired aged dissave and that even the working aged dissave, at least at advanced ages. Moreover, there has been a sharp increase in the dissaving of the retired aged since 2000, with the increase being due primarily to reductions in social security benefits, increases in consumption expenditures, and increases in taxes and social insurance premiums. These findings are consistent with the life-cycle model and suggest that this model is highly applicable (and becoming increasingly applicable over time) in the case of Japan.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w15601

B. "Integrating Retirement Models," by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas Steinmeier (w15607, December 2009, .pdf format, 69p.).

Abstract:

This paper advances the specification and estimation of models of retirement and saving in two earner families. The complications introduced by the interaction of retirement decisions by husbands and wives have led researchers to adopt a number of simplifications to increase the feasibility of estimating family retirement models. Our model relaxes these restrictions. It includes the extended choice set created when each spouse makes an independent retirement decision. It also includes the full range of complexity found in dynamic-stochastic models of retirement decision making, so far analyzed only in the context of single earner households. Retirement outcomes include full retirement, partial retirement and full-time work. Reverse flows from states of lesser to greater work are also included. The preference structure incorporates heterogeneity in time preference, varying taste parameters for full-time and part-time work, and the possibility of changes in preferences after retirement. The opportunity set reflects the full range of nonlinearities created by pensions and Social Security. Financial returns are stochastic. Exogenous shocks such as layoffs are also included. Estimation is based on data from the Health and Retirement Study.

The solution method is based on backward induction. We show that this method is superior to a method based on a Nash equilibrium, providing plausible behavioral predictions when Nash equilibrium criteria fall silent.

In contrast to some recent studies, the findings suggest the flow of wives into the labor force in the last few decades has probably reduced the amount of husbands' work. The model also provides plausible responses to various policies. For example, we find that any effort to promote opportunities for partial retirement as a means to increase overall work is likely to be unsuccessful as any induced decline in full retirements is offset by a decrease in full-time work.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w15607

C. "How Do Retirees Value Life Annuities? Evidence from Public Employees," by John Chalmers and Jonathan Reuter (w15608, December 2009, .pdf format, 43p.).

Abstract:

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) retirees must choose between receiving all of their retirement benefits as life annuity payments and receiving lower life annuity payments coupled with a partial lump sum payout. For the median retiree, the expected present value of the incremental life annuity payments is 1.50 times the lump sum payout, and demand for lump sums is low. This pattern is consistent with value-maximizing decisions by retirees. However, when we exploit variation in the value of the incremental life annuity payments arising from how PERS calculates retirement benefits, we find robust evidence that demand for lump sum payouts is higher when the forgone life annuity payments are more valuable. We also find that demand for lump sum payouts is higher when the lump sum payout is "large," and when equity market returns over the prior 12 months are higher. Collectively, these findings suggest that retirees value incremental life annuity payments at less than their expected present value, either because they do not know how to accurately value life annuities or because they have strong demand for large lump sum payouts. In contrast, when we measure variation in the value of the incremental life annuity payments along a dimension that is easier for retirees to observe and interpret-poor health at retirement-we find evidence consistent with value-maximizing decision-making.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w15608

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29. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC STUDIES/IFO INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CESIFO) [MUNICH, BAVARIA, GERMANY]: "Population Aging and the Direction of Technical Change," by Andreas Irmen (Working Paper No. 2888, December 2009, .pdf format, 39p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/ifoHome/b-publ/b3publwp/_wp_abstract?p_file_id=17257

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30. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]:

A. "Older Women: Pushed into Retirement by the Baby Boomers?" by Diane Macunovich (Discussion Paper No. 4653, December 2009, .pdf format, 32p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=4653

B. "Older Men: Pushed into Retirement by the Baby Boomers?" by Diane Macunovich (Discussion Paper No. 4652, December 2009, .pdf format, 29p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=4652

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31. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH:

A. "Losses of expected lifetime in the US and other developed countries: methods and empirical analyses," by Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Evgueni M. Andreev, Zhen Zhang, James Oeppen, and James W. Vaupel (WP-2009-42, December 2009, .pdf format, 50p.).

Abstract:

Patterns of diversity in age at death are examined using e, a dispersion measure that also equals the average expected lifetime lost at death. We apply two methods for decomposing differences in e. The first method estimates the contributions of average levels of mortality and mortality age structures. The second (and newly developed) method returns components produced by differences between age- and cause-specific mortality rates. The US is close to England and Wales in mean life expectancy, but has higher life expectancy losses and lacks mortality compression. The difference is determined by mortality age structures whereas the role of mortality levels is minor. The difference is related to excess mortality at ages under 65 from various causes in the US. Regression on 17 country-series suggests that e correlates with income inequality across countries but not across time. This result can be attributed to dissimilarity between the age- and cause-of-death structures of temporal mortality reduction and inter-country mortality variation. It also suggests that factors affecting overall mortality decrease differ from those responsible for excess lifetime losses in the US in particular. The latter can be related to weaknesses of health system and other factors resulting in premature death including heart diseases, amenable causes, accidents and violence.

http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-042.pdf

B. "How ageing is shaped by trade-offs," by Annette Baudisch (WP-2009-043, December 2009, .pdf format, 12p.).

Abstract:

The evolution of different life history strategies and thus different ageing patterns essentially depends on the nature of the underlying trade-offs between survival and reproduction. To fully comprehend ageing, we need to understand these trade-offs.

http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-043.pdf

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32. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP) [MCMASTER UNIVERSITY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA]:

A. "Income Replacement in Retirement: Longitudinal Evidence from Income Tax Records," by Frank T. Denton, Ross Finnie, and Byron G. Spencer (SEDAP Working Paper No. 261, November 2009, .pdf format, 57p.).

Abstract:

We analyse a large longitudinal data file to determine who has retired and to assess how successful they are in maintaining their incomes after retirement. Our main conclusions are as follows. First, in the two years immediately after retirement the aftertax income replacement ratios average about two-thirds when calculated across all ages of retirement. Second, the ratios tend to increase with the age of retirement. Third, the ratios increase with years in retirement, at least in the first few years. Finally, income replacement ratios are highest in the lowest income quartile and generally decline as income increases; within each quartile the replacement ratios are higher for those who retired later than for those retired earlier.

http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap261.pdf

B. "A New Bismarckian Regime? Path Dependence and Possible Regime Shifts in Korea's Evolving Pension System," by Martin Hering (SEDAP Working Paper No. 262, November 2009, .pdf format, 57p.).

Abstract:

This paper sheds light on the current state and the likely future development of Korea's evolving pension system by analyzing it from a comparative perspective. It shows that, because of its many institutional layers, the Korean pension system could evolve into one of several different types of pension regimes: if the National Pension Scheme (NPS) were to continue to be dominant and occupational pensions continued to be marginal, a classic Bismarckian system would emerge; if the NPS were to be significantly reduced and occupational pensions were to be significantly expanded, a Bismarckian-light system would be the outcome; if other changes were to occur-such as the conversion of the basic pension into a universal, poverty-preventing pension and the partial replacement of the NPS by a mandatory personal or occupational-pension scheme-a mixed regime would emerge. The paper argues that the emergence and consolidation of a Bismarckian-style, single-pillar system is more likely than the shift to one of the variants of the multi-pillar system, such as the Bismarckian-light and the mixed regime type. Since there are many sources of path dependence that reinforce the Bismarckian path of development, a shift to a different pension regime is very difficult. For example, large accumulated entitlements and the strong redistributive role of the NPS make it difficult to reduce the public, earnings-related pension program, and significant accumulated entitlements and the important role of the severance pay scheme in company financing also make it difficult to expand occupational pensions.

http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap262.pdf

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IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

33. Age and Ageing (Vol. 39, Supplement 1, January 2010).

http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol39/suppl_1/index.dtl?etoc

34. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 171, No. 2, Jan. 15, 2009).

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol171/issue2/index.dtl?etoc

35. Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 28, No. 4, December 2009).

http://muse.uq.edu.au/content/alerts/journals/canadian_journal_on_aging/toc/cja.28.4.html

36. Journal of Aging and Health (Vol. 22, No. 1, February 2010).

http://jah.sagepub.com/content/vol22/issue1/?etoc

37. Medical Care Research and Review (Vol. 67, No. 1, February 2010).

http://mcr.sagepub.com/content/vol67/issue1/

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38. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of Dec. 28, 2009:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ost.htm

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 4, 2010:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ad.htm

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 4, 2010:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/pd.htm

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jan. 4, 2010:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/prc.htm

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Jan. 4, 2010:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/stc.htm

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of : Jan. 4, 2010:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/eye.htm

AMEDEO Literature Guide:

http://www.amedeo.com/index.htm

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V. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:

39. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:

A. "ARRAOS: Recovery Act Limited Competition: Behavioral Economics for Nudging the Implementation of Comparative Effectiveness Research: Clinical Trials (RC4)" (RFA-OD-10-001, Dec. 28, 2009, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-10-001.html

B. "ARRAOS: Recovery Act Limited Competition: Behavioral Economics for Nudging the Implementation of Comparative Effectiveness Research: Pilot Research (RC4)" (RFA-OD-10-002, Dec. 28, 2009, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-10-002.html

C. "Recovery Act Limited Competition: NIH Directors Opportunity for Research in Five Thematic Areas (RC4)" (RFA-OD-10-005, Dec. 28, 2009, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-10-005.html

D. "Recovery Act Limited Competition: Comparative Effectiveness Research on Upper Endoscopy in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Eradication Methods for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Dementia Detection and Management Strategies (RC4) (RFA-OD-10-008, Dec. 28, 2009, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-10-008.html

E. "Recovery Act Limited Competition: Methodology Development in Comparative Effectiveness Research (RC4) (RFA-OD-10-009, Dec. 28, 2009, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-10-009.html

F. "NIH Exploratory Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21)" (PA-10-069, reissue of PA-09-164. Dec. 24, 2009, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-10-069.html

G. "Academic Research Enhancement Award (Parent R15)" (PA-10-070, reissue of PA-06-042, Dec. 24, 2009, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-10-070.html

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40. Agework.com has updated its employment listings through Jan. 7, 2010.

http://agework.geron.org/c/search_results.cfm?site_id=312

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VI. Websites of Interest:

41. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION STATEHEALTFACTS.ORG UPDATE: statehealthfacts.org has recently updated the following tables:

A. "Total Number of Residents in Certified Nursing Facilities, 2008"

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=408&cat=8&sort=a

B. "Total Number of Residents in Certified Nursing Facilities, 2008"

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=408&cat=8&sort=a

statehealfacts.org:

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/index.jsp

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42. MEDICARE.GOV WEBSITE UPDATES: The following sites were updated on Dec. 23, 2009: "Helpful Contacts"; "Home Health Compare"; and "Nursing Home Compare." For all of Medicare.gov's suite of interactive web databases see:

http://www.medicare.gov/Updates.asp

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It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgement; and in these qualities old age is usually not only not poorer, but is even richer

Cicero--106-43 B.C.

===================================================

Jack Solock
Director--Data and Information Services Center
Social Sciences Research Services
3313 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9827
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu
http://www.disc.wisc.edu/
http://www.disc.wisc.edu/reports/cssrindex.html
http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cdha/pubs/caar/back_iss.html