Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #27--March 30, 2000

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:


I. Data:

1. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research released five new studies on Mar. 23, 2000. Of interest may be:



Note: This study is freely available to the public after acceptance of the NCHS data use agreement.

2. FERRET SIPP: The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau's FERRET data extractor has released the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 1996 Panel Wave 5 Core for extraction. The Wave 5 core data (and data dictionary) can also be downloaded in their entirety (data in three different compression formats) from the FERRET ftp site. Note that Wave 5 data is available even though it is not referenced yet at the FERRET home page.


Entire Data Set:


II. Reports and articles

3. SSA OCA ANNUAL REPORT: The Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration has released _2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds" (March 2000, .pdf and HTML formats, 239p.). Note that clicking on the link "2000 OASDI Trustees Report" leads readers not only to an HTML copy of the report (via "Table of Contents"), but also leads to separate lists of 69 tables and 13 charts. There is also a link in the HTML report ("projections by single year") to 17 single year projections from 2000-2075 (many of them multiple projections based on "alternative economic and/or demographic projections"). The main OASDI Trustees Report page links to full text (mostly in .pdf format) of Trustees reports going back to 1941.

4. _BMJ_ EDUCATION AND DEBATE ARTICLE: "For and against: The male menopause: does it exist?" by Duncan C. Gould, Richard Petty, and Howard S. Jacobs (_British Medical Journal_, Mar. 25, 2000, Vol. 320, p. 858-861, HTML and .pdf formats).

>From the Abstract:

Be it "andropause" or "climacteric," do men undergo some kind of hormonal change akin to the female menopause? Adding to the growing debate about men's health, Duncan Gould and Richard Petty argue that some patients need investigation and treatment with testosterone. Howard Jacobs, however, is not convinced.

Click on "PDF of this article" for .pdf version.

5. URBAN INSTITUTE BRIEF: "Parental Care at Midlife: Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities near Retirement," by Richard W. Johnson and Anthony T. Lo Sasso (Retirement Project Brief #9, March 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, 8p.).

Click on "PDF format" for .pdf version.

6. THE JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION ARTICLE (VIA MEDSCAPE): "An Analysis of the Effect of Age on Survival After Heart Transplant," by A. Michael Borkon, Gregory F. Muehlebach, Philip G. Jones, Dennis R. Bresnahan Jr., Randall E. Genton, Michael E. Gorton, Nancy D. Long, Anthony Magalski, Charles B. Porter, William A. Reed, and Steven K. Rowe (_Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation_ 18(7), p. 668-674, 1999). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

>From the Abstract:

Background: Advances in immunosuppression and reports of improved survival after cardiac transplantation have led to a liberalization of traditional recipient eligibility criteria, especially age. While age alone is not a contraindication to transplantation, conflicting data exists regarding long-term survival of the older transplant recipient. Conclusions: In the present study, late survival was adversely influenced by advanced age. Older patients (>55 years) with pre-transplant diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy were particularly at high risk (risk ratio 4.6:1) for death. Given little prospect of expanding the number of donor hearts, careful selection of patients over the age of 55 with pre-transplant ischemic cardiomyopathy is warranted.


7. DHHS OIG OEI REPORT: The Office of Evaluations and Inspections of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has released "Medicare Payments for Services After Date of Death" (OEI-03-99-00200, March 2000, .pdf format, 23p.).

>From the Abstract:

Medicare paid an estimated $20.6 million in 1997 for services that started after a beneficiary's date of death. Medicare had not yet received beneficiary date of death information at the time the claim was processed for $12.6 million of the services paid. However, Medicare paid $8 million for services where the beneficiary's date of death was in its system at the time the claim was processed and approved for payment. Over half of the $8 million was for durable medical equipment (DME) claims. We found that HCFA's current common working file (CWF) system edit allows these DME payments to be made. We also found some payments for Part A and Part B services where the Enrollment Database and the CWF contained different dates of death and that Medicare does not have uniform procedures to identify and recover payments for deceased beneficiaries. OEI recommended several steps that could be taken to address these problems and HCFA concurred with our recommendations.

8. DHHS OIG OAS REPORTS: The Office of Audit Services of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has released:

A. "Review of Compliance with the Consolidated Billing Provision Under the Prospective Payment System," (A-01-99-00531, March 2000, .pdf format, 12p.).

From the Abstract:

Under current law a skilled nursing facility (SNF) is reimbursed a prospective payment (PPS) for all covered services (consolidated billing) rendered to its Medicare beneficiaries in a Part A stay and outside providers and suppliers must bill the SNF (not Medicare) for services rendered. A probe judgement sample of 147 Medicare Part A SNF PPS claims submitted by 18 SNFs and paid by 4 fiscal intermediaries (FI) for the 7-month period ending April 30, 1999 disclosed, however, that the FIs continue to make separate Part B payments (50 of the 147 claims) to outside providers and suppliers for services which were subject to consolidated billing. As a result, the Medicare program is paying twice for the same service--once to the SNF under Part A prospective payment and again to an outsider provider or supplier under Part B. Medicare computer edits need to be established to detect and prevent claims noncompliant with the consolidated billing provision. We recommended that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) establish such edits. We also recommended that HCFA work with the OIG in developing a computer application to identify and recover overpayments made subsequent to the implementation of the consolidated billing provision, and issue a fraud alert and memorandum to contractors of the prevalent types of payment errors and directing contractors to educate their providers with respect to compliance with the consolidated billing requirement. The HCFA concurred with our recommendations.

B. "Ten-State Review of Outpatient Psychiatric Services at Acute Care Hospitals," (A-01-99-00507, March 2000, .pdf format, 24p.).

>From the Abstract:

This final report estimates that, in the ten States reviewed, about $224.5 million of $381.9 million in 1997 outpatient psychiatric claims made by acute care hospitals did not meet Medicare's reimbursement requirements. The claims were unallowable because they were; (1) not documented in accordance with Medicare requirements, (2) not reasonable and necessary, and/or (3) rendered by unlicenced personnel. We recommended that the Health Care Financing Administration; (1) consider implementing a first claim medical review of a random sample of new outpatient psychiatric claims to ensure that Medicare program requirements are met, (2) require Medicare fiscal intermediaries to increase post-payment reviews of outpatient psychiatric service claims, (3) require the fiscal intermediaries to initiate recovery of payments found in error, and (4) further emphasize its documentation requirements for all types of outpatient psychiatric services through seminars, education sessions, and newsletters. The HCFA generally concurred with our recommendations 2 through 4, but questioned the cost effectiveness of the first recommendation.


A. "HCFA: Three Largest Medicare Overpayment Settlements Were Improper" (General Accounting Office Report OSI-00-4, February 2000, .pdf format, 60p., see also item No. 20 below).

B. "Medicare Contractors: Further Improvement Needed in Headquarters and Regional Office Oversight" (General Accounting Office Report HEHS 00-46, March 2000, .pdf format, 46p.).

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

and searching on title or report number.

10. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE RESEARCH UPDATE: "MRI May Prove Powerful Tool In Predicting Development of Alzheimers Disease" (March 2000).

11. _NEWSWEEK_ ARTICLES: The April 3, 2000 issue of _Newsweek_ magazine contains a special section on the aging of the Baby Boom generation. The section is highlighted by a lead article "A Boomer's Guide to Happiness," by Barbara Kantrowitz, along with 10 other articles (links run along the left margin) relevant to the topic.

12. CDC _MMWR_ RECOMMENDATIONS AND REPORTS ARTICLE: The Centers for Disease Control's _Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report_ Recommendations and Reports (Mar. 31, 2000, 49(RR02), p. 1-12) contains an article: "Reducing Falls and Resulting Hip Fractures Among Older Women," by Judy A. Stevens and Sarah Olson.

>From the Abstract:

Scope of the Problem: Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury deaths and disabilities among older adults (i.e., persons aged >65 years). The most serious fall injury is hip fracture; one half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fracture never regain their former level of function. In 1996, a total of 340,000 hospitalizations for hip fracture occurred among persons aged >65 years, and 80% of these admissions occurred among women. From 1988 to 1996, hip fracture hospitalization rates for women aged >65 years increased 23%. Conclusion: Persons aged >65 years constitute the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. Without effective intervention strategies, the number of hip fractures will increase as the U.S. population ages. Fall prevention programs have reduced falls and fall-related injuries among high-risk populations using multifaceted approaches that include education, exercise, environmental modifications, and medication review. These programs need to be evaluated among older adults aged >65 years who are living independently in the community. In addition, secondary prevention strategies are needed to prevent hip fractures when falls occur. Effective public health strategies need to be implemented to promote behavioral changes, improve current interventions, and develop new fall prevention strategies to reduce future morbidity and mortality associated with hip fractures among older adults.

III. Working Papers

13. CENSUS SIPP: The Survey of Income and Program Participation has released "The Wealth of U.S. Families: Analysis of Recent Census Data," by Joseph M. Anderson (Census Bureau SIPP Working Paper 233, November 1999, .pdf format, 52p.).

>From the Executive Summary:

This study describes the levels and distribution of real and financial wealth of U.S. families, and it probes factors associated with household asset holdings, focusing on debt. The report presents the results of analysis of data on the assets and liabilities of U.S. persons and families in 1995. These data were collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The SIPP provides data on the income, assets, and demographic characteristics of large representative samples of the non-institutionalized population of the United States. These are the most recent data on household and personal wealth released by the Census Bureau.


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

14. Ageing and Society (Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2000). Note: Click on titles for abstracts. Your organization may have access to full text from the abstracts. Check your organization's library.

15. CARL Uncover Journal Tables of Contents. Follow the instructions below to access tables of contents. CARL Uncover provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "Search Uncover"
C. click on "Search Uncover Now"
D. Type the Journal Name in the search box and click the radio button "Journal Title Browse"
E. click on the journal name
F. click on "journal issues"
G. click on the issues identified below

American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 151, No. 6, Mar. 15, 2000).

International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Vol. 50, No. 1, 2000).

Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2000). Note: This journal is available in full text in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database and the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of these databases and of this issue.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 48, No. 3, Mar. 2000).

V. Funding Opportunities:

16. NIA PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The National Institute on Aging released PA-00-081 "AGING, OXIDATIVE STRESS AND CELL DEATH," on Mar. 23, 2000. "The purpose of this Program Announcement (PA) is to encourage the submission of applications to support research on the relationship between oxidative stress and apoptosis, and how these biological processes are involved in aging and/or change with age. This program announcement supersedes two PAs issued earlier by the NIA: Molecular mechanisms of cell death during aging, and PA-93-017, Oxidative damage, antioxidant defense, and aging." For more information on this Program Announcement see:


VI. Legislation Information Updates

17. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING: Income Taxes: The Solution to the Social Security and Medicare Crisis?", a hearing held Mar. 27, 2000.

18. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING PUBLICATION: "Making Long-Term Care Affordable," (106-13, print availability only). This publications is available free of charge and can be ordered from the site.

19. SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING: "Inclusion of a Prescription Drug Benefit in the Medicare Program," a hearing held Mar. 29, 2000.

20. SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS: "Oversight of HCFA's Settlement Policies: Did HCFA Give Favored Providers Sweetheart Deals?" a hearing held Mar. 28, 2000.

GAO Testimony:

"Health Care Financing Administration: Three Largest Medicare Overpayment Settlements Were Improper," by Robert H. Hast, Acting Assistant Comptroller General for Special Investigations (General Accounting Office Testimony T-OSI-00-7, March 2000, .pdf format, 9p., see also item No. 9A above.)

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

and searching on title or report number.

21. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH PRINTED HEARING: "Medicare Coverage Decisions and Beneficiary Appeals, April 22, 1999 (Hearing No. 106-23, ASCII and .pdf formats, 133p.).

Scroll to "Hrg. No. 106-23" at the bottom of the page for full text in ASCII or .pdf format.


VII. Websites of Interest

22. AGING SOCIETY CHRONIC AND DISBABLING CONDITIONS PROFILES UPDATE: The Aging Society has added a new profile: "Arthritis: A Leading Cause of Disability," (Challenges for the 21st Century: Chronic and Disabling Conditions No. 5, March 2000, .pdf format, 6p.). Most of the data in this profile are taken from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD), the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

Chronic and Disabling Conditions Data Profiles:

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