Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #525 -- February 25, 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. Reports and articles:

1. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES DECISION MEMORANDUM: "Coverage Decision Memorandum for Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs," (Feb. 22, 2010).

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewdecisionmemo.asp?id=241

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2. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Comparison of Average Sales Prices and Average Manufacturer Prices: An Overview of 2008," (OEI-03-09-00350, February 2010, .pdf format, 30p.).

Summary:

In 2008, average sales prices (ASP) for 80 Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes exceeded average manufacturer prices (AMP) by at least 5 percent in one or more quarters. If reimbursement amounts for these 80 codes had been lowered to 103 percent of the AMPs for the applicable quarter(s), Medicare expenditures would have been reduced by an estimated $21.9 million from the third quarter of 2008 through the second quarter of 2009.

Pursuant to section 1847A(d)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act), the Office of Inspector General (OIG) must notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) if the ASP for a particular drug exceeds the drug's AMP by a threshold of 5 percent. If that threshold is met, section 1847A(d)(3) of the Act authorizes the Secretary to disregard the ASP for that drug and substitute the payment amount for the drug code with the lesser of the widely available market price for the drug (if any) or 103 percent of the AMP. This report, which summarizes data across all four quarters of 2008, is OIG's 15th report comparing ASPs to AMPs; however, CMS has yet to make any changes to reimbursement as a result of OIG's findings.

Of the 80 HCPCS codes that were eligible for price adjustment in 2008, over 40 percent met the 5-percent threshold during multiple quarters. According to manufacturers associated with drugs that met the threshold in every quarter, ASPs can exceed AMPs as a result of many factors, including the way in which AMPs are weighted, the types of sales included in ASPs and AMPs, differential pricing arrangements among purchasers, and errors in the calculation of AMPs. Because some drug products had missing or unavailable AMPs, the number of pricing comparisons performed for 2008 was reduced by 12 percent to 14 percent in each quarter. Manufacturers for almost 60 percent of drug products without AMPs had Medicaid rebate agreements in 2008 and were therefore generally required to submit AMP data.

Consistent with statutory requirements, we recommend that CMS (1) develop a process to adjust payment amounts based on the results of OIG's pricing comparisons, (2) lower Medicare reimbursement amounts for drugs that meet the 5-percent threshold, and (3) ensure that drug manufacturers are submitting the required AMP data in a timely manner. CMS concurred with our first recommendation but does not currently concur with our second recommendation. CMS outlined steps it already takes to address our third recommendation and expressed support for adequate enforcement action against noncompliant manufacturers.

http://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-03-09-00350.pdf

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3. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PRESS RELEASE: "Obama Administration Grants Relief to States on Payments to Medicare for Part D Costs," (February 18, 2010).

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/02/20100218c.html

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4. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "Medication use for arthritis and osteoporosis," (Arthritis Series No. 11, February 2010, .pdf, Rich-text, and zipped Rich-text format, 92p.).

http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/10606

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5. NORTH KOREA CENTRAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS/UNITED NATIONS STATISTICS DIVISION REPORT: "D.P.R. Korea 2008 Population Census: National Report," (February 2010, .pdf format, 273p.).

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/2010_PHC/North_Korea/Final%20national%20census%20report.pdf

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6. STATE OF ILLINOIS REPORT: "Nursing Home Safety Task Force Final Report," (February 2010, .pdf format, 52p.).

http://www2.illinois.gov/nursinghomesafety/Documents/NHSTF%20Final%20Report.pdf

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7. EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY AND RESEARCH BRIEF: "Fiscal and Pension Sustainability: Present and Future Issues in EU Countries," by Asghar Zaidi (February 2010, .pdf format, 17p.).

http://www.euro.centre.org/detail.php?xml_id=1665

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8. CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH [UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES] BRIEF: "Health and Health Care Access Among California Women Ages 50-64," by Roberta Wyn and Erin Peckham (February 2010, .pdf format, 8p.).

http://www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/Publication.aspx?pubID=400

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9. CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION/INSTITUTE CANADIEN D'INFORMATION SUR LA SANTE REPORT: "Seniors' Use of Emergency Departments in Ontario, 2004-2005 to 2008-2009," (February 2010, .pdf format, 25p.).

http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=PG_2710_E&cw_topic=2710&cw_rel=AR_3330_E

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10. CD HOWE INSTITUTE [TORONTO, CANADA] BRIEF: "Cutting Through Pension Complexity: Easy Steps Forward for the 2010 Federal Budget," by William B. P. Robson (February 2010, .pdf format, 7p.).

http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/backgrounder_126.pdf

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11. COMMONWEALTH FUND REPORT: "Long-Term Care Financing Reform: Lessons From The U.S. and Abroad," by Howard Gleckman (February 2010, .pdf format, 33p.).

http://commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2010/Feb/Long-Term-Care-Financing-Reform-Lessons-from-the-US-and-Abroad.aspx

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12. AARP REPORTS:

A. "African American Experiences in the Economy: Recession Effects More Strongly Felt," by Rebecca Perron (February 2010, .pdf format, 55p.).

http://www.aarp.org/research/surveys/money/econ/trends/articles/economyaa.html

B. "Consumer Financial Protection: Opinion of People Aged 50+," by Colette Thayer (February 2010, .pdf format, 7p.).

http://www.aarp.org/research/surveys/money/consumers/fraud/articles/finprotect_10.html

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13. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "Medicare: A Primer 2010," (February 2010, .pdf format, 22p.).

http://www.kff.org/medicare/7615.cfm

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14. PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE (PLoS) ONE ARTICLES:

A. "Selective Molecular Alterations in the Autophagy Pathway in Patients with Lewy Body Disease and in Models of {alpha}-Synucleinopathy," by Leslie Crews, Brian Spencer, Paula Desplats, Christina Patrick, Amy Paulino, Edward Rockenstein, Lawrence Hansen, Anthony Adame, Douglas Galasko, and Eliezer Masliah (PLoS ONE 5(2): e9313. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009313, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 16p.).

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009313

B. "Reduced Basal Autophagy and Impaired Mitochondrial Dynamics Due to Loss of Parkinson's Disease-Associated Protein DJ-1," by Guido Krebiehl, Sabine Ruckerbauer, Lena F. Burbulla, Nicole Kieper, Brigitte Maurer, Jens Waak, Hartwig Wolburg, Zemfira Gizatullina, Frank N. Gellerich, Dirk Woitalla, Olaf Riess, Philipp J. Kahle, Tassula Proikas-Cezanne, and Rejko Kruger (PLoS ONE 5(2): e9367. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009367, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 15p.).

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009367

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15. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "LXR modulation blocks prostaglandin E2 production and matrix degradation in cartilage and alleviates pain in a rat osteoarthritis model," by Ning Li, Moisés A. Rivéra-Bermúdez, Mei Zhang, Julio Tejada, Sonya S. Glasson, Lisa A. Collins-Racie, Edward R. LaVallie, Yihe Wang, Ken C. N. Chang, Sunil Nagpal, Elisabeth A. Morris, Carl R. Flannery, and Zhiyong Yang (Vol. 107, No. 8, February 23, 2010, p. 3734-3739).

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/8/3734.abstract

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16. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles: "Technologic Innovations for the Elderly," by K.M. Daniel, C.L. Carson, and S. Ferrell (Geriatric Nursing, Vol. 30, No. 6, 2009, p. 384-389).

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/716934

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17. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Association Between Acute Care and Critical Illness Hospitalization and Cognitive Function in Older Adults," by William J. Ehlenbach, Catherine L. Hough, Paul K. Crane, Sebastien J. P. A. Haneuse, Shannon S. Carson, J. Randall Curtis, and Eric B. Larson (Vol. 303, No. 8, February 24, 2010, p. 763-770).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/303/8/763

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18. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Lasofoxifene in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis," by Steven R. Cummings, Kristine Ensrud, Pierre D. Delmas, Andrea Z. LaCroix, Slobodan Vukicevic, David M. Reid, Steven Goldstein, Usha Sriram, Andy Lee, John Thompson,Roisin A. Armstrong, David D. Thompson, Trevor Powles, Jose Zanchetta, David Kendler, Patrick Neven, and Richard Eastell, for the PEARL Study Investigators (Vol. 362, No. 8, February 25, 2010, p. 686-696).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/362/8/686

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19. FORBES ARTICLE: "Major Changes To Posh U.S. Slopes," by Christopher Steiner (March 1, 2010).

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0301/life-ski-resorts-travel-sports-ramping-up.html

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20. NEW SCIENTIST ARTICLE: "A gene for Alzheimer's makes you smarter," by Ewen Callaway.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527474.000-a-gene-for-alzheimers-makes-you-smarter.html

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II. Working Papers:

21. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH:

A. "Old Europe ages: Reforms and Reform Backlashes," by Axel H. Boersch-Supan and Alexander Ludwig (w15744, February 2010, .pdf format, 46p.).

The extent of the demographic changes in Europe is dramatic and will deeply affect future labor, financial and goods markets. The expected strain on public budgets and especially social security has already received prominent attention, but aging poses many other economic challenges that threaten growth and living standards if they remain unaddressed.

This paper focuses on three large Continental European countries: France, Germany, and Italy. These countries have large pay-as-you-go pension systems and vulnerable labor markets. At the same time, they show remarkable resistance against pension and labor market reform. While there is no shortage of reform proposals to address population aging, most of those focused on pension and labor market reform, little is known about behavioral reactions to such reforms.

This paper therefore sheds light on the potential benefits of pension and labor market reform for growth and living standards, taking into account behavioral reactions to specific reforms. Which behavioral reactions will strengthen, which will weaken reform policies? Can Old Europe maintain its standard of living even if behavioral reactions offset some of the current reform efforts?

http://www.nber.org/papers/w15744

B. "The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance," by Jonathan Gruber (w15766, February 2010, .pdf format, 32p.).

Abstract:

This paper reviews the issues around and impacts of the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance. After reviewing the arguments for and against this policy, I present micro-simulation evidence on the federal revenue, insurance coverage, and distributional impacts of various reforms to the exclusion.

http://www.nber.org/papers/w15766

C. "Economics of estate taxation: a brief review of theory and evidence," by Wojciech Kopczuk (w15741, February 2010, .pdf format, 23p.).

Abstract:

This paper provides a non-technical overview of the economic arguments related to the desirability of transfer taxation and a summary of empirical evidence surrounding these issues. Understanding optimal transfer taxation throughout the distribution requires understanding the nature of a bequest motive, a topic on which there is little consensus. However, I argue that progress still can be made on the question of desirability and optimal level of estate taxation at the top of the distribution, because interpersonal externalities implied by the presence of bequest motive are irrelevant from the welfare point of view when the focus is on the wealthy. I also examine the role of negative externalities from wealth concentration in providing justification for considering this type of taxation.

http://www.nber.org/papers/w15741

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22. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT: "Pension Funds' Risk-management Framework: Regulation and Supervisory Oversight," by Fiona Stewart (OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions No. 40, February 2010, .pdf format, 54p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

http://www.oecd.org/LongAbstract/0,3425,en_2649_34853_44633540_119684_1_1_1,00.html

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23. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH: "How slowing senescence changes life expectancy," by Joshua R. Goldstein and Thomas Cassidy (WP-2010-006, February 2010, .pdf format, 13p.).

Abstract:

Mortality decline has historically been a result of reductions in the level of mortality at all ages. The slope of mortality increase with age has been remarkably stable. A number of leading researchers on aging, however, suggest that the next revolution of longevity increase will be the result of slowing down the rate of aging, lessening the rate at which mortality increases as we get older. In this paper, we show mathematically how varying the pace of senescence influences life expectancy. We provide a formula that holds for any baseline hazard function. Our result is analogous to Keyfitz's "entropy" relationship for changing the level of mortality. Interestingly, the influence of the shape of the baseline schedule on the effect of senescence changes is the complement of that found for level changes. We also provide a generalized formulation that mixes level and slope effects.

http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2010-006.pdf

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

A. "Age, Wage and Productivity," by Jan C. van Ours and Lenny Stoeldraijer (Discussion Paper No. 4765, February 2010, .pdf format, 48p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=4765

B. "The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline due to Adverse Events Later in Life," by Gerard J. van den Berg, Dorly J. H. Deeg, Maarten Lindeboom, and France Portrait (Discussion Paper No. 4780, February 2010, .pdf format, 29p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=4780

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25. NEP-AGE: Working papers in the Economics of Aging are available through the bibliographic database provided by Research Papers in Economics (RePEc). The latest compilation is for Feb. 13, 2010.

http://ideas.repec.org/n/nep-age

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

26. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Vol. 18, No. 3, March 2010).

http://journals.lww.com/ajgponline/pages/currenttoc.aspx

27. Journals of Gerontology (A): Biological and Medical Sciences (Vol. 65A, No. 3, March 2010).

http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol65A/issue3/index.dtl

28. Journals of Gerontology (B) Psychological and Social Sciences (Vol. 65B, No. 2, March 2010).

http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol65B/issue2/index.dtl

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29. 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 Feb. 22, 2010:

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

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Feb. 22, 2010:

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

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Feb. 22, 2010:

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

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Feb. 22, 2010:

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

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Feb. 22, 2010:

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

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Feb. 22, 2010:

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

AMEDEO Literature Guide:

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

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IV. Funding Opportunities:

30. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING:

A. "Congressional Mandates," (HHS-2010-AoA-MA-1021).

http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Grants/Funding/docs/2010/FY10_Congressional_Mandate_Application_Instructions.pdf

B. "National Alzheimer's Call Center," (HHS-2010-AoA-AC-1010).

http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Grants/Funding/docs/2010/FY10_National_Alzheimer_Call_Center_2_22_10.pdf

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31. ENCORE CAREERS: "The Purpose Prize," (Deadline for nominations is March 5, 2010).

http://www.encore.org/prize

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V. Conferences:

32. CENTER ON SOCIAL DISPARITIES AND HEALTH INSITITUTE, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH [NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY]: "C2S Summer Biomarker Institute," to be held Jun. 7-9, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois (applications deadline is April 1, 2010). For more information see:

http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/c2s/events/biomarkers.html

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VI. Websites of Interest:

33. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH NIH SENIORHEALTH UPDATE: A section on "Life after Cancer [is] now available on NIHSeniorHealth.gov."

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/lifeaftercancer/toc.html

NIHSeniorHealth:

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/

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34. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON CORRECTIONS WEBCAST: "Effectively Managing Aging and Geriatric Offenders." The date of the webcast is March 10, 2010. Registration is required (deadline is March 8, 2010). For more information:

http://www.nicic.org/Training/SIB03102010

Thanks,

Charlie

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Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Data and Information Services Center
Rm. 3329 Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400
Email: fiss@ssc.wisc.edu

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