Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #332--April 6, 2006


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. Reports and articles:


A. "Long-Term Care Insurance: Federal Program Compared Favorably to Other Products, and Analysis of Claims Trend Could Inform Future Decisions,"(GAO-06-401, March 2006, .pdf format, 51p.).

B. "VA Long-Term Care: Data Gaps Impede Strategic Planning for and Oversight of State Veterans' Nursing Homes," (GAO-06-264, March 2006, .pdf format, p.).

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports are always available at:


A. "Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2005," (March 2006, .pdf and HTML format, 196p.).

B. "International Update, March 2006," (March 2006, .pdf and HTML format, 4p.).

3. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE REPORT: "Long-Term Analysis of S. 2427, the Sustainable Solvency First for Social Security Act of 2006," (April 2006, .pdf format, 60p.).


A. "Medicare Reimbursement for New End Stage Renal Disease Drugs," (OEI-03-06-00200, March 2006, .pdf format, 7p.).


This report was mandated by section 623(c) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which required OIG to compare the Medicare reimbursement amount for new end stage renal disease drugs to facility acquisition costs. OIG determined that just one new drug, darbepoetin alfa, was widely used in independent dialysis facilities during the previous 2 years. OIG found that independent dialysis facilities were able to purchase darbepoetin alfa at prices that were below the Medicare reimbursement amount in 2005. At that time, the average acquisition cost for the drug was $2.59 per microgram (mcg), while Medicare reimbursement ranged from $3.01 to $3.54 per mcg. The report did not include any recommendations to CMS.

B. "Medicare Part B Payments for Ambulance Services Rendered to Beneficiaries During Inpatient Stays: 2001 Through 2003," (A-01-04-00513, March 2006, .pdf format, 18p.).


This audit follows up on a prior review of nonphysician services provided during stays at inpatient prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals in calendar years 1998-2000 (A-01-01-00502, issued August 6, 2002).

The objective of our audit was to determine whether Medicare carriers made inappropriate payments for ambulance services provided to PPS hospital inpatients. During calendar years 2001-2003, carriers inappropriately made Part B payments for 203,377 ambulance services provided to PPS hospital inpatients. As a result, Medicare potentially overpaid $21.7 million for ambulance services by paying twice: once to the hospital as part of the diagnosis-related group payment and again to the ambulance supplier under Part B. Furthermore, the Medicaid program, beneficiaries, or supplemental insurers could have paid more than $6.2 million in coinsurance and deductibles related to these potential overpayments.

We recommended that CMS: (1) instruct the Medicare carriers to recover the $21.7 million in potential overpayments, (2) establish payment controls to detect and prevent separate payments for Part B ambulance services provided to beneficiaries during inpatient stays or develop postpayment review procedures to identify suppliers that submit and receive payments for inappropriate billings, and (3) alert the carriers to the most common types of payment errors and help them to educate ambulance suppliers about such improper billings. CMS concurred with our recommendations.

C. "Review of Home Health Agencies' Billing for Services Preceded by a Hospital Discharge," (A-01-04-00527, March 2006, .pdf format, 21p.).


Previous audits identified overpayments to home health agencies that did not comply with Medicare requirements for billing services preceded by discharges from both an acute care hospital and a postacute care facility.

Our objective was to determine whether home health agencies complied with Medicare requirements in billing for fiscal years 2002 and 2003 services that were preceded by discharges from both an acute care hospital and a postacute care facility. Home health agencies did not comply with Medicare requirements in billing for services that were preceded within 14 days by discharges from both an acute care hospital and a postacute care facility. Specifically, the home health agencies improperly coded all 400 sampled claims as discharges from a postacute care facility only, rather than discharges from both an acute care hospital and a postacute care facility. Overpayments to home health agencies for these claims totaled $122,674.

We recommended that CMS: (1) instruct its regional home health intermediaries to recover the $122,674 in overpayments related to the 400 sampled claims, (2) direct the intermediaries to use our files containing the remaining 142,069 paid claims with billing errors to recover additional overpayments estimated at $48 million, (3) emphasize to home health agencies the need to strengthen billing controls by educating their staffs regarding the identification of all facilities that discharged the beneficiary within 14 days of the home health episode, (4) monitor the effectiveness of the newly established prepayment edits and postpayment controls, and (5) develop data analysis techniques to identify home health agencies with significant numbers of claims rejected or adjusted by the newly implemented payment controls and subject those home health agencies to appropriate corrective action. In its comments on our draft report, CMS concurred with the recommendations.

5. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January-September 2005 National Health Interview Survey" (March 2006, .pdf format, 107p.).

6. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY'S REPORT: "Secretary's Progress Report III on the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit," by Mike Leavitt (April 4, 2006, .pdf format, 5p.).

Related press release:

7. U.S. ADMINISTRATION ON AGING NEWSLETTER: _AOA eNews_ (March 2006, .pdf and Word format, 6p.).

8. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "Will More of Us Work Forever? The 2006 Retirement Confidence Survey," by Ruth Helman, Craig Copeland, and Jack VanDerhei (EBRI Issue Brief #292, April 2006, .pdf format, 28p.).

9. METLIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE REPORT: "Living Longer, Working Longer: The Changing Landscape of the Aging Workforce - A MetLife Study," (April 2006, .pdf format, 26p.).

10. RAND CORPORATION REPRINT: "Living Long in Fragile Health: The New Demographics Shape End of Life Care," by Joanne Lynn (RP-1200, 2006, .pdf format, 6p). Note: This article originally appeared in _Hastings Center Report Special Report_ (Vol. 35, No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2005, pp. S14-S18).

Follow link to "Full Document".

11. JOSEPH ROUNDTREE FOUNDATION REPORT: "Making the case for retirement villages," by Karen Croucher (April 2006, .pdf format, 24p.).

Press Release:

12. PENSIONS COMMISSION [UK] REPORT: "Implementing an integrated package of pension reforms: The Final Report of the Pensions Commission," (April 2006, .pdf (report) and Excel (figures) format, 45p.). Links to the final report, press release, speech, and figures from the report can be found at:

13. NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE [UK] REPORT: "Community Care Statistics 2005: Home Help and Care Services for Adults, England," (March 2006, .pdf [report] and Excel [tables] format, 62p.).


The Statistical Report and Internet tables present information provided by Councils with Social Services Responsibilities (CSSRs) relating to home care services purchased or provided during a survey week in September 2005. Details were collected on the number of home care contact hours provided by each sector and the number of households receiving services. In addition, information on the total number of hours and total number of visits received from each sector was collected.

14. CANADIAN INSTITUTE fOR HEALTH INFORMATION/INSTITUT CANADIEN D'INFORMATION SUR LA SANTE REPORT: Note: CIHI/ICIS requires free registration before providing reports "Facility Based Continuing Care Services in Canada, 2004/2005" (March 2006, .pdf format, 54p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

15. OFFICE OF NATIONAL STATISTICS [UK] REPORT: _Population Trends 123_ (Spring 2006, .pdf format). See the article by Cecilia Tomassini ("The oldest old in Great Britain: change over the last 20 years" p. 32).

16. INDIA MINISTRY OF STATISTICS AND PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION REPORT: "Morbidity, Health Care, and the Condition of the Aged" (National Sample Survey, 60th Round, January-June 2004, Report No. 507, March 2006, .pdf format, 482p.). Note 1: IMS requires free registration before providing articles. Note 2: Registration will work in Internet Explorer. It may not work in other browsers.

Scroll to or "find in page "507" (without the quotes).

17. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "Mortality over the twentieth century in Australia," (Mortality Surveillance Series No. 4, April 2006, .pdf format, 234p.).


A. "A physical model of axonal damage due to oxidative stress," by Anne E. Counterman, Terrence G. D'Onofrio, Anne Milasincic Andrews, and Paul S. Weiss (Vol. 103, No. 14, April 4, 2006, p. 5262-5266).

B. "Reelin expression and glycosylation patterns are altered in Alzheimer's disease," by Arancha Botella-López, Ferran Burgaya, Rosalina Gavín, M. Salud García-Ayllón, Estrella Gómez-Tortosa, Jordi Peña-Casanova, Jesús M. Ureña, José A. Del Río, Rafael Blesa, Eduardo Soriano, and Javier Sáez-Valero (Vol. 103, No. 14, April 4, 2006, p. 5573-5578). Note: _PNAS_ is providing free access to the full-text of this article.

19. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Hypertension in the Elderly: Optimizing Management in the Real World," by Suzanne Oparil (_Medscape Cardiology_, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2006).

20. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing articles. "Donepezil in patients with severe Alzheimer's disease: double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study," by (Vol. 367, No. 9516, April 1, 2006, p. 1057-1065).


A. "Effect of enhanced psychosocial care on antipsychotic use in nursing home residents with severe dementia: cluster randomised trial," by Jane Fossey, Clive Ballard, Edmund Juszczak, Ian James, Nicola Alder, Robin Jacoby, and Robert Howard (Vol 332, No. 7544, April 1, 2006, .pdf and HTML format, p. 756-761). Note: _BMJ_ is providing free access to the full-text of this article.

B. "Managing challenging behaviour in dementia," by Gavin J. Andrews (Vol 332, No. 7544, April 1, 2006, .pdf and HTML format, p. 741).


A. "Effect of 6-Month Calorie Restriction on Biomarkers of Longevity, Metabolic Adaptation, and Oxidative Stress in Overweight Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Leonie K. Heilbronn, Lilian de Jonge, Madlyn I. Frisard, James P. DeLany, D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Jennifer Rood, Tuong Nguyen, Corby K. Martin, Julia Volaufova, Marlene M. Most, Frank L. Greenway, Steven R. Smith, Walter A. Deutsch, Donald A. Williamson, and Eric Ravussin; for the Pennington CALERIE Team (Vol. 295, Vol. 13, April 5, 2006, p. 1539-1548).

B. "Excessive Adiposity, Calorie Restriction, and Aging," by Luigi Fontana (Vol. 295, Vol. 13, April 5, 2006, p. 1577-1578).

Related Press Release (National Institute on Aging):

23. _NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effect of Introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae," by Moe H. Kyaw, Ruth Lynfield, William Schaffner, Allen S. Craig, James Hadler, Arthur Reingold, Ann R. Thomas, Lee H. Harrison, Nancy M. Bennett, Monica M. Farley, Richard R. Facklam, James H. Jorgensen, John Besser, Elizabeth R. Zell, Anne Schuchat, and Cynthia G. Whitney (Vol. 354, No. 14, April 6, 2006, p. 1455-1463).


A. "Reactive oxygen species act through p38 MAPK to limit the lifespan of hematopoietic stem cells," by Keisuke Ito, Atsushi Hirao, Fumio Arai, Keiyo Takubo, Sahoko Matsuoka, Kana Miyamoto, Masako Ohmura, Kazuhito Naka, Kentaro Hosokawa, Yasuo Ikeda and Toshio Suda (Vol. 12, No. 4, April 2006, p. 446-451).

B. "Protein twists and turns in Alzheimer disease," by Stuart Maudsley and Mark P. Mattson (Vol. 12, No. 4, April 2006, p. 392-393).

25. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Is This Man Grayer Than He Looks?" by Jeff Israely (_Time_, Vol. 167, No. 15, April 10, 2006).,9171,1179346,00.html


II. Working Papers:

26. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Deprivation and Disease in Early Twentieth-Century America," by Karen Clay and Werner Troesken (Working Paper No. w12111, March 2006, .pdf format, 52p.).


This paper explores how early life exposure to poverty and want adversely affects later life health outcomes. In particular, it examines how exposure to crowded housing conditions and impure drinking water undermines long-term health prospects and increases the risk of age-related pathologies such as cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Exploiting city-level data from early-twentieth century America, evidence is presented that cities with unusually high rates of typhoid fever in 1900 had elevated rates of heart and kidney disease fifteen years later; also cities with unusually high rates of tuberculosis in 1900 had elevated rates of cancer and stroke fifteen years later. The estimated coefficients suggest that eradicating typhoid fever (through water purification) and tuberculosis (through improved housing and nutrition) would have reduced later death rates from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and kidney disease by 23 to 35 percent.


A. "Objective sleep duration and health in elderly Russians," by Maria Shkolnikova, Blake Aber, Maxine Weinstein, Luobov Kravtsova, Svetlana Shalnova, Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, and James W. Vaupel (WP-2006-009, March 2006, .pdf format, 20p.).


Objectives - We examine the relationship between sleep duration and health in the high mortality context of Russia.

Methods - Night and daytime sleep durations are based on self-reports and 24-hour heart rate trends (Holter monitoring). The sample of 201 individuals (Holter data for 185) is drawn from the Moscow Lipid Research Clinics cohort, followed up since 1975-77. Field-work occurred in 2002-03.

Results - Although objective and reported mean sleep are similar, there are significant intra-individual differences. Significant associations are found between objective sleep and health: longer sleep corresponds to lower grip strength, poorer self-rated health and immediate recall, and higher mortality risk score. No significant relationships are found for subjective sleep.

Conclusions - We provide the first evidence of an association between long sleep and worse health outcomes among elderly Russians. Predictive power increases if objective sleep measures are used, a consideration which is especially important in small studies.

B. "Lifetime earnings and life expectancy," by Hans-Martin von Gaudecker and Rembrandt D. Scholz (WP-2006-008, March 2006, .pdf format, 34p.).


We estimate remaining life expectancy at age 65 using a very large sample of male German pensioners. Our analysis is entirely nonparametric. Furthermore,the data enable us to compare life expectancy in eastern and western Germany conditional on a measure of socio-economic status. Our findings show a lower bound of almost fifty percent (six years) on the difference in remaining life expectancy between the lowest and the highest socio-economic group considered. Within groups, we find similar values for East and West. Our analysis contributes to the literature in several aspects. First, Germany is clearly underrepresented in differential mortality studies. Second, we are able to use a novel measure of lifetime earnings as a proxy for socio-economic status that remains valid for retired people. Third, the comparison of eastern and western Germany may provide some interesting insights for transformation countries.

28. INSTITUTE FOR FISCAL STUDIES [LONDON]: "The importance of incentives in influencing private retirement saving: known knowns and known unknowns," by Richard Blundell, Carl Emmerson and Matthew Wakefield (IFS Working Papers, W06/09, April 2006, .pdf format, 43p.). Links to the abstract and full-text are available at:

Scroll to the end of the page and follow the "Full Document" link.

29. CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON PENSIONS AND WELFARE POLICY [TURIN, ITALY]: "Public Policy and the Transition to Private Pension Provision in the United States and Europe," by Onorato Castellino and Elsa Fornero (WP CeRP No. 48/06, March 2006, .pdf format, 28p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


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

30. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 163, No. 8, Apr. 15, 2006).

31. The Gerontologist (Vol. 46, NO. 2, February 1, 2006). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and issue.

32. International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Vol. 62, No. 4, 2006).

Follow link to "Number 4 / 2006".

33. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 54, No. 3, March 2006).

34. Medical Care Research and Review (Vol. 63, No. 2, April 1, 2006). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and issue.

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

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "advanced search"
C. Type in your publication name and click "Exact title" radio button
D. Under "Show", click the "fax/ariel" radio button.
E. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Health and Social Work (Vol. 31, No. 1, 2006).

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (Vol. 62, No. 2, 2006).


36. 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 April 5, 2006:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of April 5, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of April 5, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of April 5, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of April 5, 2006:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of April 5, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


IV. Funding Opportunities:

37. NIH: "Research on the Economics of Diet, Activity, and Energy Balance (R21)," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PA-06-292, March 29, 2006).


V. Legislation Information Updates:

38. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Employment and Community Service for Low Income Seniors: Are We Getting The Job Done?" a hearing held April 6, 2006.

Hearing Testimony (.pdf format):

39. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SELECT REVENUE MEASURES, HEARING PUBLICATION: "President's Proposal for Single-Employer Pension Funding Reform," a hearing held March 8, 2005 (Serial no. 109-15, HTML format, 106p.).

Scroll down to "Hearing Transcript" to access the HTML. Scroll down to "Printed Hearing" to access .pdf and ASCII text.

40. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SOCIAL SECURITY, HEARING PUBLICATION: "Sixth in a Series of Subcommittee Hearings on Protecting and Strengthening Social Security," a hearing held June 16, 2005 (Serial No. 109-24, .pdf, ASCII text, and HTML format, 111p.).

Scroll down to "Hearing Transcript" to access the HTML. Scroll down to "Printed Hearing" to access .pdf and ASCII text.




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400