Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #336--May 4, 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. Data:


A. "Longitudinal Study of Aging II Linked Mortality File, 1994-2002," (May 2006).

- contains information based upon the results from a probabilistic match between the NCHS National Death Index (NDI) records and obtained death certificates.
- provides mortality follow-up data (fact, date, and cause of death) from the date of LSOA II survey participation (1994-2000) through December 31, 2002.
- includes all LSOA II participants aged 70 years of age and over.

B. "Trends in Health and Aging," (May 2006). "On our site you will find tables on trends in the health of older Americans showing data by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin."

2. NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE: _Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results [SEER] 1973-2003 Public Use Data_ (May 2006). For more information about major changes to the public use data file:


II. Reports and articles:

3. BOARD OF TRUSTEES, FEDERAL OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE AND FEDERAL DISABILITY INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS REPORT: "2006 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds," (May 2006, .pdf format, 218p.).

Press Release:

4. BOARDS OF TRUSTEES, FEDERAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE AND FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS REPORT: "2006 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds," (May 2006, .pdf format, 219p.).

Press Release:


A. "OASDI (Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance) Monthly Statistics, March 2006," (April 2006, .pdf and HTML format).

B. "SSI (Supplementary Security Income) Monthly Statistics, March 2006," (April 2006, .pdf and HTML format).

C. "International Update, April 2006," (April 2006, .pdf and HTML format, 4p.).


A. "Medicare Hospital Pharmaceuticals: Survey Shows Price Variations and Highlights Data Collection Lessons and Outpatient Rate-Setting Challenges for CMS," (GAO-06-372, April 2006, .pdf format, 47p.).

B. "Medicare: Communications to Beneficiaries on Prescription Drug Benefit Could Be Improved," (GAO-06-654, May 2006, .pdf format, 82p.).

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


A. "Monitoring Medicare Part B Drug Prices: A Comparison of Average Sales Prices to Average Manufacturer Prices," (OEI-03-04-00430, May 2006, .pdf format, 19p.).


In 2005, Medicare began paying for most Part B drugs using a new methodology based on average sales prices (ASP). Pursuant to section 1847A(d)(3) of the Social Security Act, OIG must notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services if the ASP for a particular drug exceeds the drug's average manufacturer price (AMP) by a threshold of 5 percent. If that threshold is met, the Secretary has the authority to lower the reimbursement amount for the drug to 103 percent of the AMP. In this inspection, OIG found that ASPs for certain payment codes exceeded AMPs by at least 5 percent; however, the payment codes that met the threshold differed depending on the method used to calculate volume-weighted ASPs and AMPs. OIG believes that the way CMS currently calculates the ASP for a payment code is incorrect, and has proposed an alternate method for calculating the ASP. For 34 payment codes, the volume-weighted ASP exceeded the volume-weighted AMP by at least 5 percent regardless of whether CMS's or OIG's calculation was used. An additional four codes met the 5-percent threshold using OIG's calculation but not CMS's calculation. Another 17 codes met the 5-percent threshold using CMS's calculation but not OIG's calculation.

OIG believes it is critical that CMS modify its ASP calculation as soon as possible, both to ensure that reimbursement amounts are calculated correctly and to ensure that future comparisons between ASPs and AMPs yield the most meaningful results. CMS indicated that the information in our report would be helpful in its continuing efforts to monitor payment adequacy under the ASP methodology. However, CMS did not address either the incorrect calculation or the impact it has on the comparison between ASPs and AMPs. Although CMS acknowledges the Secretary's authority to adjust the ASP payment limits when certain conditions are met, it believes that other issues should be considered, including the timing and frequency of pricing comparisons, stabilization of ASP reporting, the effective date and duration of rate substitution, and the accuracy of the ASP and AMP data.

B. "Physical Therapy Billed by Physicians," (OEI-09-02-00200, May 2006, .pdf format, 14p.).


OIG found that approximately 91 percent of physical therapy billed by physicians in the first 6 months of 2002 did not meet program requirements. These inappropriately paid services cost the program and its beneficiaries approximately $136 million. Because of inadequate documentation, reviewers had difficulty assessing the quality of the therapy services. In addition, we identified aberrances in physicians' billing patterns and unusually high volumes of claims that suggest physical therapy is vulnerable to abuse. Finally, physical therapy billed "incident to" physicians' professional services and rendered by unskilled and/or unlicensed personnel represent a vulnerability that could be placing beneficiaries at risk of receiving services that do not meet professionally recognized standards of care. To address these issues, we recommend CMS should consider revisions, clarifications, and further study of the "incident to" rule to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are receiving skilled services from appropriately trained and licensed staff and that the services meet professionally recognized standards of care.


A. "Decision Memo for Non-Autologous Blood Derived Products for Chronic Non-Healing Wounds (CAG-00190R)," (April 27, 2006).

B. "Medicare Provides Payment Increase, Policy Changes For Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities," (May 1, 2006).

9. STATE DATA CENTER OF IOWA/IOWA DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS REPORT: "Older Iowans: May 2006," (April 2006, .pdf format, 4p.).

Scroll down to "Older Iowan".a


A. "Physical Activity Survey, 2006," by Teresa A. Keenan (April 2006, .pdf format, 9p.).

B. "Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds: 2006 Trustees' Projections," by Laurel Beedon and Lisa Southworth (May 2006, .pdf and HTML format, 2p.). See item 1 in this report for the relevant Trustees report.

C. Prime Time Radio Webcasts (RealPlayer format, running times, between 24 and 30 minutes).

The Battle Against Alzheimer's

11. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "Social Security's Financial Outlook: The 2006 Update in Perspective," by Alicia H. Munnell (IB #46, May 2006, .pdf format, 7p.). See item 1 in this report for the relevant Trustees report.

12. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "Individual Account Retirement Plans: An Analysis of the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances," by (Issue Brief 293, May 2006, .pdf format, 32p.).


A. "Thousands of new aged-care places announced," (May 1, 2006, .pdf and HTML format).

B. "Funding for adult stem cell research announced," (May 2, 2006, .pdf and HTML format).

14. _PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Reversal of Alzheimer's-like pathology and behavior in human APP transgenic mice by mutation of Asp664," by Veronica Galvan, Olivia F. Gorostiza, Surita Banwait, Marina Ataie, Anna V. Logvinova, Sandhya Sitaraman, Elaine Carlson, Sarah A. Sagi, Nathalie Chevallier, Kunlin Jin, David A. Greenberg, and Dale E. Bredesen (Vol. 103, No. 18, May 2, 2006, p. 7130-7135).


A. "Association of Long-Distance Corridor Walk Performance With Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, Mobility Limitation, and Disability," by Anne B. Newman, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Barbara L. Naydeck, Robert M. Boudreau, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Michael C. Nevitt, Marco Pahor, Suzanne Satterfield, Jennifer S. Brach, Stephanie A. Studenski, and Tamara B. Harris (Vol. 295, No. 17, May 3, 2006, p. 2018-2026).

B. "Disease and Disadvantage in the United States and in England," by James Banks, Michael Marmot, Zoe Oldfield, and James P. Smith (Vol. 295, No. 17, May 3, 2006, p. 2037-2045).

Related NIA Press Release:

C. "Nonhormonal Therapies for Menopausal Hot Flashes: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis," by Heidi D. Nelson, Kimberly K. Vesco, Elizabeth Haney, Rongwei Fu, Anne Nedrow, Jill Miller, Christina Nicolaidis, Miranda Walker, and Linda Humphrey (Vol. 295, No. 17, May 3, 2006, p. 2057-2071).


A. "Decision Time," by Betsy Querna (May 8, 2006).

B. "Calcium and Common Sense," by Bernadine Healy (May 8, 2006).


III. Working Papers:

17. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Intensive Medical Care and Cardiovascular Disease Disability Reductions," by David M. Cutler, Mary Beth Landrum, and Kate A. Stewart (Working Paper No. w12184, May 2006, .pdf format, 55p.).


There is little empirical evidence to explain why disability declined among the elderly over the past 20 years. In this paper, we explore the role of improved medical care for cardiovascular disease on health status improvements over time. We show that the incidence of cardiovascular disease hospitalizations remained relatively constant between 1984 and 1999 at the same time that post-event survival improved and disability declined. We find that use of appropriate therapies, including pharmaceuticals such as beta-blockers, aspirin, and ace-inhibitors, and invasive procedures, explains up to 50% and 70% of the reductions in disability and death over time, respectively. Elderly patients living in regions with high use of appropriate medical therapies had better health outcomes than patients living in low-use areas. Finally, we estimate that preventing disability after an acute event can add as much as 3.7 years of quality-adjusted life expectancy, or $316,000 of value.

18. UNITED NATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT [UNRISD]: "Pensions and Pension Funds in the Making of a Nation-State and a National Economy: The Case of Finland," by Olli E. Kangas (Social Policy and Development Programme Paper No. 25, March 2006, .pdf format, 26p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

19. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC STUDIES/INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CESifo) [UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH, GERMANY]: "Social Security and Risk Sharing," by Piero Gottardi and Felix Kubler (CESifo Working Paper No. 1705, April 2006, .pdf format, 40p.).


In this paper we identify conditions under which the introduction of a pay-as-you-go social security system is ex-ante Pareto-improving in a stochastic overlapping generations economy with capital accumulation and land. We argue that these conditions are consistent with many calibrations of the model used in the literature. In our model financial markets are complete and competitive equilibria are interim Pareto efficient. Therefore, a welfare improvement can only be obtained if agents' welfare is evaluated ex ante, and arises from the possibility of inducing, through social security, an improved level of intergenerational risk sharing. We will also examine the optimal size of a given social security system as well as its optimal reform. The analysis will be carried out in a relatively simple set-up, where the various effects of social security, on the prices of long-lived assets and the stock of capital, and hence on output, wages and risky rates of returns, can be clearly identified.

20. DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS [UNIVERSITY OF AARHUS, DENMARK]: "The link between individual expectations and savings: Do nursing home expectations matter?" by Kristin J. Kleinjans and Jinkook Lee (working Paper No. 2006-05, 2006, .pdf format, 38p.).


Preparing for the end of life, especially for the prospect of needing long-term are, is an important issue facing older Americans. Those who reach age 65 have a 40% chance of going into a nursing home in their remaining lifetime, and about 10% of those who do will stay there for at least five years. The costs of a stay are high with on average US$70,000 annually for a private room. Long-term stays in nursing homes are, therefore, not likely, but very expensive. In this paper, we examine individual expectations about future nursing home entry and study the relationship between these expectations and savings behavior, using data from the Health and Retirement Study. We find a clear relation between subjective expectations and probability of future nursing home entry, and a positive effect of these expectations on savings behavior. Surprisingly, we find no difference of this effect by wealth group, so it seems that Medicaid eligibility in the context of nursing home entry plays no factor in the decision to save.

21. INSTITUTE OF ECONOMICS [HUNGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES]: "Social Security Reform in the US: Lessons from Hungary," by András Simonovits (Discussion Paper No. 2006-02, 2006, .pdf format, 28p.).


The partial privatization of the US Social Security system was clearly the top economic policy priority for the new Bush administration. While many famous economists, publicists and politicians support, others reject the partial privatization of the Social Security system. The international comparisons have been quite infrequent, concentrated on few countries (Chile, Great Britain and Sweden) and left out similar reforms introduced in similar situations, like in Hungary, Poland and other ex-communist countries. In this article I try to make up for this omission and outline the lessons from the Hungarian reform, started in 1998. The conclusion is simple: such a reform is possible but does not solve the problems of social security.


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

22. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 163, No. 10, May 15, 2006).

23. Journal of Aging and Health (Vol. 18, No. 3, June 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

24. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 54, Nos. 4,5, April, May 2006).

Follow links to the April and May editions.

25. Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 25, No. 3, June 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

26. Journal of Gerontology (B): Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences (Vol. 61, No. 3, May 1, 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

27. Medical Care Research and Review (Vol. 63, No. 3, June 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

28. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document

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.

Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect (Vol. 17, No. 1, 2005).


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 May 3, 2006:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of May 3, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of May 3, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of May 3, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of May 3, 2006:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of May 3, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32)," (PA-06-373, April 27, 2006, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies).

B. "Basic and Translational Research in Emotion (R01)," (PA-06-380, May 1, 2006, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies).


VI. Conferences:

31. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CENTRE FOR HEALTHY AGEING AND LONGEVITY: "The 3rd International Conference on Healthy Ageing and Longevity," (October 13-15, 2006, Melbourne, Australia). "The annual International Conferences on Healthy Ageing & Longevity were created to bring the best the world has to offer on healthy ageing research, policy and clinical practice, for the benefit of all Australians and for the international community, including both developing and developed countries."


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

32. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Innovation in the Aging Network: The Future of Social Services for Older Americans," a hearing held May 3, 2006.

Hearing Testimony (.pdf format):


A. "Hearing on Implementation of the Medicare Drug Benefit," a hearing held May 3, 2006.

Hearing testimony:

B. "Continuation of the Hearing on Implementation of the Medicare Drug Benefit," a hearing held May 4, 2006.

Hearing testimony:

34. US CONGRESS JOINT ECONOMICS COMMITTEE REPORT: "Costs and Consequences of the Federal Estate Tax," (May 2006, .pdf format, 38p.).

35. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Fifth In a Series of Subcommittee Hearings on Protecting and Strengthening Social Security," a hearing held June 14, 2005 (Serial No. 109-21, ASCII text and .pdf format, 78p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "109-21" (without the quotes).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

36. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION STATEHELATHFACTS.ORG UPDATE: Kaiser has recently updated this website. Items listed from Apr. 14 - Apr. 21, 2006 have been updated.

New data of interest to aging researchers:

- Medicare Beneficiaries with Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage by Type, as of 4/21/2006
- New Distribution of Medicare Beneficiaries by Age, 2004, as of 04/19/2006
- New State Activity Relating to "Individual Budget" Models of Long Term Care for the Elderly, as of January 2006, 04/18/2006.




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