Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #94--July 26, 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. NCHS:

A. "National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 1999 Summary," (National Center for Health Statistics, Advance Data No. 322, .pdf format, July 2001, 36p.).

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad322.pdf

B. "National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 1999 Outpatient Department Summary," (National Center for Health Statistics, .pdf format, July 2001, 28p.).

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad321.pdf
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2. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan added four studies to its holdings on July 16, 2001. Of possible interest to researchers in aging is:

COMMUNITY TRACKING STUDY HOUSEHOLD SURVEY, 1998-1999 (#3199)

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/recadd.html

Note: This is a temporary address. ICPSR studies can always be found at:

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/search-basic.html

Search on title or study number.
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3. MEPS: The US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Health Care Research and Quality has released an "Update of MEPS HC-012: 1996 Full Year Consolidated Data File." The updated data file is in zipped SAS transport format. To read more about the update, and to download the new SAS file, go to:

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

Scroll down to the Data Update section, and click on "Update of MEPS HC-012:...".
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II. Reports and articles:

4. _PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY_ DRAFT REPORT: "Draft Report From the President's Commission on Social Security," (President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, .pdf format, July 23, 2001, 31p.). Note: "The final version of this report will be posted in about one week."

http://csss.gov/reports/

Click on "Draft Report From the ..." to access the full-text report.
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5. AARP ISSUE STATEMENT: "Statement by AARP Executive Director William D. Novelli on the Draft Interim Social Security Commission Report," (AARP, HTML format, July 19, 2001).

http://www.aarp.org/press/statements/2001/st071901.html
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6. DHHS OIG OIE REPORTS:

A. "Medicare Beneficiary Experiences with Home Health Care," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, OEI-02-00-00560, July 2001, .pdf and HTML formats, 20p.).

Report Summary:

Beneficiaries are positive about their Medicare home health care and they report a positive relationship with their home health caregivers. Most believe their caregivers treat them well and say they are not concerned for their safety. Overall, 93 percent are satisfied with their care. Just 4 percent have concerns about the quality or adequacy of their care, such as missed appointments, and only 13 of the 501 respondents report having difficulty gaining access to care. About 20 percent of beneficiaries believe they are not receiving all of the services they need; however, they may not be eligible for such services.

PDF format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/a527.pdf
HTML format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/oei-02-00-00560.htm

B. "Access to Home Health After Hospital Discharge 2001," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, OEI-02-01-00180, July 2001, .pdf and HTML formats, 20p.).

Report Summary:

This inspection describes the effects of the prospective payment system on access to home health care for Medicare beneficiaries upon discharge from a hospital. This study is a follow-up to two previous studies on this subject. The findings are identical to those in the earlier reports. The OIG found that virtually all Medicare beneficiaries discharged from the hospital have access to home health care, even though the number of home health agencies nationwide has decreased significantly in recent years. Some patients with certain medical conditions or service needs experience delays which some discharge planners attribute to the prospective payment system.

PDF format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/a528.pdf
HTML format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/oei-02-01-00180.htm

C. "Medicare Beneficiary Access to Skilled Nursing Facilities 2001," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, OEI-02-01-00160, July 2001, .pdf and HTML formats, 18p.).

Report Summary:

This report describes the effects of the prospective payment system on access to skilled nursing facilities for Medicare beneficiaries. The prospective payment system for nursing homes was implemented in January 1999. Results are similar to those reported above for home health. The OIG found that almost all Medicare beneficiaries have access to skilled nursing facilities when they need it. The number of skilled nursing facility beds nationwide continues to increase. However, some patients with certain medical conditions or service needs experience delays.

PDF format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/a530.pdf
HTML format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/oei-02-01-00160.htm

D. "Trends in the Assignment of Resource Utilization Groups by Skilled Nursing Facilities," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, OEI-02-01-00280, July 2001, .pdf and HTML formats, 19p.).

Report Summary:

This inspection examines the assignment of Resource Utilization Groups (RUGs) by skilled nursing facilities. The study was requested by Congress. The RUGs are used by nursing homes as a basis for billing Medicare. There are seven RUG categories: special rehabilitation, extensive care, special care, clinically complex, cognitively impaired, behavior problems, and reduced physical functions. The OIG found that there were no major changes in RUG assignment to patients since the implementation of the prospective payment system. Only minor shifts have occurred in the proportion of residents assigned to the RUGs within the rehabilitation category, which about 78 percent of Medicare residents are assigned to at admission. The OIG found no substantial changes in the characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries admitted to skilled nursing facilities including age, sex, race, or reason for Medicare eligibility since January 1999.

PDF format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/a529.pdf
HTML format: http://www.hhs.gov/oig/oei/reports/oei-02-01-00280.htm

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7. _LANCET_ EARLY REPORT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. "Imaging of onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease with voxel-compression mapping of serial magnetic resonance images," by Nick C Fox, William R Crum, Rachael I Scahill, John M Stevens, John C Janssen, Martin N Rossor (_The Lancet_, Vol. 358, No. 9277, .pdf and HTML formats, July 21, 2001, p. 201-205).

HTML: http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol358/iss9277/full/llan.358.9277.original_research.16946.1

PDF: http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.358.9277.original_research.16946.1&x=x.pdf
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8. _BMJ_ EDITORIAL AND ARTICLE:

A. "Drugs for Alzheimer's disease," by John T O'Brien and Clive G Ballard (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 323, No. 7305, .pdf and HTML formats, July 21, 2001, p. 123-124).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7305/123

B. "Relation between insufficient response to antihypertensive treatment and poor compliance with treatment: a prospective case-control study," by Reto Nuesch, Kerstin Schroeder, Thomas Dieterle, Benedict Martina, and Edouard Battegay (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 323, No. 7305, .pdf and HTML formats, July 21, 2001, p. 142-146).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/323/7305/142
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9. IRS SOI: "Charitable Bequests: Evidence from Federal Estate Tax Returns," by Martha Britton Eller (US Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Branch, July 2001, .pdf format, 17p, from IRS _Statistics of Income Bulletin_, Spring 2001, Publication 1136, p. 174-190).

http://ftp.fedworld.gov/pub/irs-soi/95escbar.pdf
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10. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGED CARE PRESS RELEASE: "National call for applications for new aged care places," (Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, HTML format, released July 20, 2001).

http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2001/bb/bb01065.htm
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11. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Assessing Psychiatric Illness in Geriatric Patients," by Larry Tune (_Clinical Cornerstone_ via Medscape, Vol. 3, No. 3, HTML format, 2001, p. 23-36).

http://www.medscape.com/40627.rhtml?srcmp=ms-072001

or

http://www.medscape.com/ExcerptaMed/ClinCornerstne/2000/v03.n03/clc0303.05.tune/clc0303.05.tune-01.html
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12. _JAMA_ BOOK REVIEW: "The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging," by S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce A. Carnes (WW Norton & Co: New York, 2001). Reviewed by Howard Fillit (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 4, .pdf and HTML formats, July 25, 2001).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/current/ffull/jbk0725-4.html
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13. CDC MMWR: "Heat-Related Deaths --- Los Angeles County, California, 1999--2000, and United States, 1979--1998," (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 50, No. 29, .pdf and HTML formats, July 27, 2001, p. 623-626).

The HTML version of this article can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5029a3.htm

To view the entire report in .pdf format go to:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5029.pdf
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III. Working Papers:

14. NBER: Note: Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract or submit your email address for full text.

A. "The Efficiency of Medicare," by Jonathan Skinner, Elliott Fisher, and John E. Wennberg (National Bureau of Economic Research W8395, July 2001, .pdf format, 39p.).

Abstract:

Technological advances in health care have been shown to yield large average health benefits for the U.S. elderly population. However, less is known about the marginal or incremental benefits of health care spending. We use geographical variations in health care spending to measure the marginal value of greater health care intensity among the elderly Medicare population. To correct for the reverse causation problem -- that sicker areas tend to require more health care -- we use regional averages of physician visits in the last six months of life as a natural randomization for health care intensity. Using linear and semiparametric instrumental variables, we find that a large component of Medicare expenditures -- $26 billion in 1996 dollars, or nearly 20 percent of total Medicare expenditures -- appears to provide no benefit in terms of survival, nor is it likely that this extra spending improves the quality of life. While secular trends in health care technology have delivered large health benefits, variation in health care intensity at a point in time have not.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8395

B. "Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement Flows?" by Orley Ashenfelter and David Card (National Bureau of Economic Research W8378, July 2001, .pdf format, 54p.).

Abstract:

A special exemption from the 1986 Age Discrimination Act allowed colleges and universities to enforce mandatory retirement of faculty at age 70 until 1994. We compare faculty turnover rates at a large sample of institutions before and after the federal law change, and at a set of institutions that were covered by earlier state laws prohibiting compulsory retirement. Retirement rates at institutions that enforced mandatory retirement exhibited sharp 'spikes' at ages 70 and 71. About 90 percent of professors who were still teaching at age 70 retired within two years. After the elimination of compulsory retirement the retirement rates of 70 and 71-year-olds fell to levels comparable to 69-year-olds, and over one-half of 70-year-olds were still teaching two years later. These findings indicate that U.S. colleges and universities will experience a rise in the number of older faculty over the coming years. The increase is likely to be larger at private research universities, where a higher fraction of faculty has traditionally remained at work until age 70.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8378

C. "Mortality, Inequality and Race in American Cities and States," by Angus Deaton and Darren Lubotsky (National Bureau of Economic Research W8370, July 2001, .pdf format, 44p.).

Abstract:

A number of studies have found that mortality rates are positively correlated with income inequality across the cities and states of the US. We argue that this correlation is confounded by the effects of racial composition. Across states and MSAs, the fraction of the population that is black is positively correlated with average white incomes, and negatively correlated with average black incomes. Between-group income inequality is therefore higher where the fraction black is higher, as is income inequality in general. Conditional on the fraction black, neither city nor state mortality rates are correlated with income inequality. Mortality rates are higher where the fraction black is higher, not only because of the mechanical effect of higher black mortality rates and lower black incomes, but because white mortality rates are higher in places where the fraction black is higher. This result is present within census regions, and for all age groups and both sexes (except for boys aged 1 9). It is robust to conditioning on income, education, and (in the MSA results) on state fixed effects, and cannot plausibly be attributed to variations in the local provision of health care.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8370
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IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

15. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

http://www.ingenta.com/

B. click on "Search Options"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "Publication title" search box and click
the radio button "Words in Title"
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

American Sociological Review (Vol. 66, No. 3, June 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.

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 27, No. 5, 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text via EbscoHost. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (Vol. 52, No. 4, 2001).

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16. 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 July 12, 2001, July 19, 2001, and July 27, 2001:

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

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of July 12, 2001, July 19, 2001, and July 27, 2001:

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

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of July 12, 2001, July 19, 2001, and July 27, 2001:

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

AMADEO Literature Guide:

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

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V. Funding Opportunities:

17. NIH:

A. "Clinical Centers for the Ostearthritis Initiative," (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute on Aging, NOT-AR-01-009, released July 19, 2001).

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AR-01-009.html

B. "Data Coordinating Center for the Ostearthritis Initiative," (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute on Aging, NOT-AR-01-008, released July 19, 2001).

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AR-01-008.html

C. "Gene Therapy for Neurological Disorders," (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, RFA-NS-02-007, released July 19, 2001).

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-NS-02-007.html

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VI. Conferences:

18. DHHS AOA: "The National Family Caregiver Support Program: From Enactment to Action," (Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, HTML format).

The Administration on Aging (AoA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host "The National Family Caregiver Support Program: From Enactment to Action" conference on Thursday and Friday, September 6-7, 2001. The conference will highlight a new federal program that provides grants to states to serve the family caregivers of the growing population of older persons. For information about the conference go to:

http://www.aoa.gov/carenetwork/conference09-6-7-2001.html
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VII. Legislation Information Updates:

19. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BUDGET: "Medicare: The Need for Reform," (US House Committee on Budget, .pdf format, hearing held July 25, 2001). Note: Click on the individual's name to view the statement they provided to the committee.

http://www.house.gov/budget/hearingstatements.htm

20. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: "Medicare Enforcement Actions: The Federal Government's Anti-Fraud Effects," (US Senate Special Committee on Aging, HTML format, hearing held July 26, 2001). Note: Click on the individual's name to view the statement they provided to the committee.

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/hr72.htm

21. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: "Long-Term Care: States Grapple With Increasing Demands and Costs," (US Senate Special Committee on Aging, HTML format, hearing held July 18, 2001). Note: Click on the individual's name to view the statement they provided to the committee.

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/hr71.htm

22. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON MEANS AND WAYS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SOCIAL SECURITY: "Misleading Mailings Targeted to Seniors," (US House Committee on Means and Ways, Subcommittee on Social Security, HTML format, hearing held July 26, 2001). Note: Click on the individual's name to view the statement they provided to the committee.

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/socsec/107cong/ss-7wit.htm

Thanks,

Charlie

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Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology
Rm. 4470A 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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