Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #88--June 14, 2001

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/caar-index.htm

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I. Data:

1. MEPS DATA UPDATES: The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Medical Expenditure Panel Survey announced three data updates on Jun. 6, 2001. They concern the 1996 Prescribed Medicines File, 1996 Full Year Consolidated Data File, and 1997 Full Year Consolidated Data File. All can be accessed from:

http://www.meps.ahcpr.gov/whatsnew.htm

Scroll to "Data Updates" and note the access instructions given before reading the updates.
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2. NCHS: State Health Statistics by Sex and Race/Ethnicity, 1994-1998. The US National Center for Health Statistics has released state, national, and US territory mortality tables for gender, age, and cause of death by race, and ethnicity (Hispanic/non-Hispanic). Unfortunately, at present, the data is available only in Beyond 20/20 format. Click on "Using the tables" at the below listed Internet address to obtain information about Beyond 20/20, including downloading and installation instructions.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/statab/morttables.htm
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3. UKDH: "Prescription Cost Analysis: England 2000" (United Kingdom Department of Health, June 2001, .pdf and Excel format, 521 p.)."Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) provides details of the number of items and the net ingredient cost of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England. The prescription items dispensed are listed alphabetically within chemical entity (for drugs) by British National Formulary (BNF) therapeutic class."

http://www.doh.gov.uk/stats/pca2000.htm

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II. Reports and articles:

4. FAMILIES USA REPORT: "Enough to Make You Sick: Prescription Drug Prices for the Elderly," by Amanda McCloskey (Familes USA Publication No. 01-103, June 2001, .pdf format, 19p.).

Press release that links to report:

http://www.familiesusa.org/press/releases/2001/enoughtomakeyousick.htm

Click on "Actual Report (pdf version)" for full text.

For more information on Families USA see:

http://www.familiesusa.org/about.htm
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5. AIHW REPORT: "Projections of Older Immigrants: People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, 1996-2026, Australia," by Diane Gibson, Peter Braun, Christine Benham, and Frieda Mason (prepared by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare for the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, June 2001, .pdf format, 263p., appendix tables, Microsoft Excel fomat). Note: The publication can be downloaded/printed in its entirety or chapter by chapter. "[This publication] provides an up-to-date set of projections at the national, State/Territory and Commonwealth planning region levels. The report was prepared at the request of the Department of Health and Aged Care with the assistance of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The report contains detailed projections for the 50 most common countries of birth, 34 languages and 30 religions for older immigrants in Australia. The report will be particularly useful to aged care service planners, providers of aged care services and researchers in the field."

http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/age/poi/index.html

Press release:

http://www.aihw.gov.au/media/2001/mr010615.html
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6. GAO REPORT: "Medicare: Opportunities and Challenges in Contracting for Program Safeguards" (US General Accounting Office Report GAO-01-616, May 2001, .pdf format, 23p.).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01616.pdf

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports can always be found at:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml

Search on title or report number.
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7. CBO COST ESTIMATE: "Letter to the Honorable Max Baucus regarding updated estimates of the direct spending effects of four proposals from the 106th Congress for a prescription drug benefit in Medicare" (US Congressional Budget Office, Jun. 11, 2001, HTML, .pdf, PostScript, and WordPerfect format, 7p.). Note: Non-HTML format links can be found at the bottom of the HTML document.

http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=2873&sequence=0&from=7
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8. DHHS OIG AUDITS:

A. "Review of Potential Improper Payments Made by Medicare Part B for Services Covered Under Part A Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General A-01-00-00538, June 2001, .pdf format, 28p.).

Abstract:

This final report points out that Medicare is paying twice for the same service--once to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) under the Medicare Part A prospective payment system (PPS) and again to an outside supplier under Medicare Part B. Under current law a skilled nursing facility (SNF) is reimbursed a prospective payment for covered services (consolidated billing) rendered to its Medicare beneficiaries in a Part A stay. Outside providers and suppliers must bill the SNF (not Medicare Part B) for most services and supplies provided. The potential improper payments to Part B providers and suppliers totaled $47.6 million in 1999, and occurred because edits have not been established to detect and prevent supplier claims noncompliant with the consolidated billing provision. Among other things, we recommended recovery of the improper payments, and that the Health Care Financing Administration establish payment edits within its common working file and the Medicare contractors' claims processing systems to ensure outside providers and suppliers comply with the consolidated billing provision. The HCFA concurred with our recommendations.

http://www.hhs.gov/progorg/oas/reports/region1/10000538.pdf

B. "Review of Potentially Excessive Medicare Payments for Outpatient Services" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General A-01-00-00502, May 2001, .pdf format, 21p.).

Abstract:

This final report points out fundamental flaws in fiscal intermediaries systems for paying outpatient claims to institutional providers. We found, for example, that simple clerical provider billing errors generated $12 million in Medicare overpayments to institutional providers for outpatient services. For example, overpayments of $11.1 million resulted from providers entering dates of service in the "Units of Service" field on the claim form. In these cases the fiscal intermediary had inadvertently turned off edit checks designed to detect such errors. In other instances, overpayments were not precluded because edits for total charges were established at unreasonably high amounts. Although providers returned the overpayments in these instances, the Medicare trust fund lost as much as $106,000 of interest because the overpayments remained outstanding for various periods ranging from 10 to 431 days. To help assure detection of such errors, we recommended that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) implement edits in the Common Working File to reject potentially excessive Medicare claims for pre-payment review. We also recommended that HCFA identify and collect any additional overpayments made on other outpatient claims that have the potential for excessive payments and stress the importance of standard Medicare claims processing system edits to the fiscal intermediaries. The HCFA concurred with our recommendations.

http://www.hhs.gov/progorg/oas/reports/region1/10000502.pdf
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9. HCFA FR NOTICE: "Medicare Program; Five-Year Review of Work Relative Value Units Under the Physician Fee Schedule; Notice" (US Health Care Financing Administration notice in the US _Federal Register_, Vol. 66, No. 111, Jun. 8, 2001, HTML and .pdf format p. 31028-31084).

http://www.hcfa.gov/regs/pfs/rvu5yr.htm
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10. DHHS PRESS RELEASE: "HHS Awards $9.3 Million for Senior Medicare Patrol Projects" (US Department of Health and Human Services via US Administration on Aging, Jun. 11, 2001).

http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/pressroom/Pr2001/medicarepatrol.html
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11. _BMJ_ EDUCATION AND DEBATE: "Who should measure quality of life?" by Julia Addington-Hall and Lalit Kalra (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 322, No. 7299, Jun. 9, 2001, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1417-1420.)

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7299/1417
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12. _JAMA_ ARTICLES, ARTICLE ABSTRACTS, EDITORIAL:

A. "Association Between the T29[arrow]C Polymorphism in the Transforming Growth Factor [Beta]1 Gene and Breast Cancer Among Elderly White Women," by Elad Ziv, Jane Cauley, Phillip A. Morin, Robert Saiz, and Warren S. Browner (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 22, Jun. 13, 2001, HTML and .pdf format, p. 2859-2863). Note: This article is available in full text.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v285n22/rfull/joc02284.html

B. "Hormone Replacement Therapy and Prevention of Nonvertebral Fractures," by David J. Torgerson, and Sally E.M. Bell-Syer (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 22, Jun. 13, 2001, p. 2891-2897).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v285n22/abs/jma00056.html

C. "Psychological Considerations, Growth, and Transcendence at the End of Life: The Art of the Possible," by Susan D. Block (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 22, Jun. 13, 2001, p. 2898-2905).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v285n22/abs/jel00004.html

D. "Initiating End-of-Life Discussions With Seriously Ill Patients," by Steven Z. Pantilat, and Amy J. Markowitz (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 22, Jun. 13, 2001, HTML and .pdf format, p. 2906). Note: This article is available in full text.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v285n22/rfull/jeu10000.html

E. "Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy for Prevention of Fractures: How Good Is the Evidence?" by Deborah Grady and Steven R. Cummings (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 22, Jun. 13, 2001, HTML and .pdf format, p. 2909-2910). Note 1: This article is available in full text. Note 2: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v285n22/ffull/jed10034.html
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13. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Elderly Patients," by Adeel A. Butt, Kristin K. Dascomb, Karen B. Desalvo, Lydia Bazzano, Patricia J. Kissinger, and Harold M. Szerlip (_Southern Medical Journal_ via Medscape Vol. 94, No. 4, April 2001, p. 397-400).

http://www.medscape.com/38827.rhtml?srcmp=ms-060801

or

http://www.medscape.com/SMA/SMJ/2001/v94.n04/smj9404.08.butt/smj9404.08.butt-01.html
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14. _ECONOMIST_ ARTICLE: "Total age-related spending" (_Economist_, Jun. 14, 2001).

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=657443
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15. _AARP BULLETIN_ ARTICLES: The June 2001 issue of _AARP Bulletin_ contains several articles that may be of interest, including an interview with retiring AARP director Horace B. Deets, an article on the relaxed rules on IRA and 401(k) withdrawals, an article on Mr. Deets' opinion of the new Social Security panel, and an article on ageism with respect to TV writers. All can be accessed from:

http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/june01/home.html

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III. Working Papers:

16. SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY MAXWELL SCHOOL OF CITIZENSHIP AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH: "Pre-Retirement Lump-Sum Pension Distributions and Retirement Income Security: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," by Gary V. Engelhardt (Center for Policy Research Aging Studies Program Paper No. 23, June 2001, .pdf format, 49p.).

Abstract:

This paper uses data from the 1992 and 1998 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to examine the extent of retirement wealth erosion from pre-retirement lump-sum distributions. There is little evidence that spent distributions have resulted in significant pension leakage. If spent distributions had been rolled over into a tax-qualified plan instead, they would have represented in present value between 5 and 11 percent of pension and Social Security wealth for the median household that spent a distribution. However, one-quarter of the households that spent distributions---which is 2.25 percent of all households age 51 to 61---could have increased their pension and Social Security wealth by 25 percent or more had the distributions been rolled over into a tax-qualified plan. On the one hand, this suggests that policies that enforce rollovers might not raise the retirement income security of the average American household currently entering retirement or that of the typical household that spent a distribution. On the other, this study was based on a national sample of individuals 51 to 61 years old in 1992. While these data have significant advantages over those used in previous studies, the resulting policy statements are most accurately applied to individuals and households of roughly the same age. If younger individuals have lower propensities toward saving, view pension assets as less dedicated toward retirement, or have greater access to funds (say, through defined contribution plans), then this analysis may underestimate the erosion to retirement income security for younger cohorts.

http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/agpapser/age23abs.htm

Click on "Click here for the Adobe Acrobat version of Aging Studies Program Paper 23," at the bottom of the abstract, for full text.

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

17. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences (A) (Vol. 56A, No. 7, July 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/biocontents.html

18. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (A) (Vol. 56A, No. 7, July 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/medcontents.html

19. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences (B) (Vol. 56B, No. 4, July 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/psycontents.html

20. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (B) (Vol. 56B, No. 4, July 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/soccontents.html
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21. 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 Jun. 9, 2001:

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

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 9, 2001:

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

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 9, 2001:

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

AMADEO Literature Guide:

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

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V. Books:

22. NBER: _Seeking a Premier League Economy_, edited by Richard Blundell, David Card and Richard B. Freeman (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held Dec. 8-9, 2000, forthcoming from The University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Pension Reform and Economic Performance in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s," by Richard Disney, Carl Emmerson, and Sarah Smith (.pdf format, 49p.), has been updated as of March 2001).

http://www.nber.org/books/bcf/index.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "Pension Reform and Economic Performance in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s" (without the quotes).

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VI. Funding Opportunities:

23. NIH:

A. Biology of Adult Stem Cells in Aging (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging RFA-AG-01-006, Jun. 6, 2001). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AG-01-006.html

B. Functional Atlas of Orphan Nuclear Receptors (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and National Institute on Aging RFA-DK-01-026, Jun. 7, 2001). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DK-01-026.html

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VII. Conferences:

24. AOA VIDEOCONFERENCE: "Videoconference to Focus on Informing Older Underserved Populations How to Spot and Prevent Medicare and Medicaid Errors and Fraud." "The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) of the Department of Health and Human Services is convening a national videoconference on Wednesday, June 20, to highlight innovative strategies that help to identify and inform rural, geographically isolated, non-English speaking and culturally distinct populations how to identify and prevent Medicare and Medicaid billing errors and potential fraud." For more information, including information on how to view the conference, see:

http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/pressroom/MediaAdvisory2001/ortvideoconf.html

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VIII. Legislation Information Updates:

25. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH: "Rural Health Care in Medicare," a hearing held Jun. 12, 2001).

Hearing testimony:

http://www.house.gov/ways_means/health/107cong/hl-8wit.htm
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26. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: "The Vaccine Vacuum: What Can Be Done To Protect Seniors?" a hearing held in Portland, Oregon May 30, 2001.

Selected hearing testimony:

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/hr67.htm

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Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9827
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu