Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #405--September 27, 2007

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. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan released a new dataset on Sep. 25, 2007 which may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) (study no. 20541).


2. NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS: NCHS National Health Interview Survey site has recently added the following to its historical NHIS Internet releases:

Field Representative's (Interviewer's) Manual, NHIS 1985-1996

Medical Coding Manual and Short Index, NHIS 1985-1988
Medical Coding Manual and Short Index, NHIS 1989-1991
Medical Coding Manual and Short Index, NHIS 1992-1996

AIDS Knowledge and Attitudes Notes, 1992 file
Cancer Control Notes, 1992 file
Cancer Epidemiology Notes, 1992 file
Health Insurance Notes, 1992 file
Immunization Notes, 1992 file
Youth Risk Behavior Survey Notes, 1992 file
Youth Risk Behavior Survey Field Representative's (Interviewer's) Manual,
NHIS 1992

Updates to formatting statements have been made to the following sample NHIS SAS programs on the Internet:

1969 Person : PERSONSX.SAS
1969 Condition : CONDITON.SAS
1969 Doctor Visits : DRVISITX.SAS
1969 Hospital : HOSPITAL.SAS
1974 Condition Supplement : CONDSUPP.SAS
1994 Disability Phase 1 Person : DIS1PERS.SAS
1994 Disability Phase 1 Condition: DIS1COND.SAS

All can be found at:


II. Reports and articles:

3. CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE REPORT: "Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2006," by Patrick Purcell (RL32697, September 2007, .pdf format, 21p.).


4. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Africa, 2007," (September 2007, .pdf and HTML format, 188p.).


5. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "Medicare Inpatient Hospital Payments: CMS Has Used External Data for New Technologies in Certain Instances and Medicare Remains Primary Data Source," (GAO-07-46, September 2007, .pdf format, 24p.).

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



A. "Seven Medicare PFFs Plans Are Approved Following Rigorous Marketing Review," (September 24, 2007).

B. "Decision Memo for Pulmonary Rehabilitation (CAG-00356N)," (September 25, 2007).


7. MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT ARTICLE: "Nonfatal Self-Inflicted Injuries Among Adults Aged >65 Years --- United States, 2005," (Vol. 56, No. 38, September 28, 2007, .pdf and HTML format, p. 989-993).





A. "Comparison of First-Quarter 2007 Average Sales Prices to Average Manufacturer Prices: Impact on Medicare Reimbursement for Third Quarter 2007," (OEI-03-07-00530, September 2007, .pdf format, 12p.).


Pursuant to section 1847A(d)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act), OIG must notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) if the average sales price (ASP) for a particular drug exceeds the drugs average manufacturer price (AMP) by a threshold of 5 percent. If that threshold is met, section 1847A(d)(3) of the Act grants the Secretary authority to disregard the ASP pricing methodology for that drug and substitute the payment amount for the drug code with the lesser of the widely available market price for the drug (if any) or 103 percent of the AMP. This review is the fourth such comparison conducted by OIG.

We identified 34 of 371 drug codes with ASPs that exceeded AMPs by at least 5 percent in the first quarter of 2007. Of these 34 codes, 20 also met the threshold for price adjustments in prior OIG studies comparing ASPs and AMPs. If reimbursement amounts for all 34 codes had been based on 103 percent of AMP during the third quarter of 2007, we estimate that Medicare expenditures would have been reduced by $9 million.

B. "1-800-MEDICARE: Caller Satisfaction and Experiences," (OEI-07-06-00530, September 2007, .pdf format, 24p.).


CMS uses various outreach efforts to educate and assist Medicares 42 million beneficiaries with decisions that affect their health care. The most commonly used communication channel is the telephone customer service system, which callers access by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. This report assesses callers satisfaction and experiences with Medicare telephone customer service and makes comparisons with 2004 baseline data. OIG found that 71 percent of callers who completed their calls were satisfied overall with the customer service they received, a decrease of 13 percentage points compared to the 2004 baseline data. More callers in 2007 than in 2004 reported hanging up before receiving an answer to their question and had concerns about wait times. Similar to the 2004 baseline data, 44 percent of callers in the 2007 evaluation had difficulty accessing information.

OIG recommends that CMS (1) reassess the level of resources directed toward improving the questionanswering capabilities of the Interactive Voice Response system; (2) ensure that callers receive all needed information; and (3) continue to seek ways to reduce caller wait times. In its comments to the draft report, CMS did not indicate whether it concurred with our recommendations. However, CMS described several actions that it has taken or planned that relate to our findings and recommendations.

CMS stated that it will further determine how best to simplify choices and menu options within the Interactive Voice Response system, conduct a study to help determine why callers are not receiving the information they need, and implement technological solutions to provide beneficiaries with options for obtaining answers to their questions without having to wait to talk to a customer service representative. CMS provided information on efforts underway or planned for the future aimed at improving call-center operations. We ask that, in its final management decision, CMS more clearly indicate whether it concurs with our recommendations and what steps, if any, it will take to implement them.


9. CENSUS BUREAU PRESS RELEASE: "Census Bureau Releases New Data on Residents of Adult Correctional Facilities, Nursing Homes and Other Group Quarters," (September 2007).


10. ADMINISTRATION ON AGING PRESS RELEASE: "HHS Announces $8.8 Million For New Nursing Home Diversion Programs Grants Help Seniors Maintain Independence," (September 24, 2007).


11. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AGING PRESS RELEASE: "Scientists Suggest New Pathway Causing Cell Death in Dementia," (September 26, 2007).


12. NORTH CAROLINA STATE CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Detailed Mortality Statistics, 2006," (September 2007, .pdf format).


13. EUROPEAN COMMISSION EUROSTAT REPORT: "The social situation in the European Union 2005-2006: The Balance between Generations in an Ageing Europe" (September 2007, .pdf format, 169p.).,46587259&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&p_product_code=KE-AG-06-001


14. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "Employer responses to an ageing workforce: a qualitative study," by Stephen McNair, Matt Flynn and Nina Dutton (Research Report No. 455, September 2007, .pdf format, 176p.).


15. NATIONAL SERVICES SCOTLAND REPORT: "Older People Services: Measuring Relative Need, Statistical Report 2007," (September 2007, .pdf format, 55p.).


16. STATISTICS NORWAY NEWS RELEASE: "Government Pension Fund - Norway, balance sheet, 1st half 2007: Government Pension Fund - Norway increased" (Sep. 21, 2007). The news release links to two topical tables.



A. "New kit to combat dementia among Indigenous Australians" (CP 103/07, Sep. 18, 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).

B. "Improved health services for residents of aged care homes," (CP 106/07, Sep. 24, 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).





A. "Access & Affordability of Prescription Drugs: An AARP Study of New Jersey's Hispanic Population," by Katherine Bridges (September 2007, .pdf format, 19p.).

B. "AARP Profit From Experience: Perspectives of Employers, Workers and Policymakers in the G7 Countries on the New Demographic Realities," (September 2007, .pdf format, 119p.).


20. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "Benefit Improvements for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries," (September 2007, .pdf format, 6p.).


21. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU ISSUE BRIEF: "Trends in Disability at Older Ages," (Program and Policy Implications No. 7, September 2007, .pdf format, 5p.).


22. METLIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE REPORT: "The MetLife Market Survey of Adult Day Services & Home Care Costs," (September 2007, .pdf format, 14p.).


23. PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH AND MANUFACTURERS OF AMERICA REPORT: "Medicare Part D: Assessing the Impact for Beneficiaries without Previous Drug Coverage and Dual Eligibles," (September 2007, .pdf format, 25p.).


24. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION COMMENTARY ABSTRACT: "Vulnerable Elders: When It Is No Longer Safe to Live Alone," by Carmel Bitondo Dyer, Sabrina Pickens, and Jason Burnett (Vol. 298, No. 12, September 26, 2007, p. 1448-1450).


25. INTERNATIONAL LIVING ARTICLE: "The world's top retirement havens in 2007," by Laura Sheridan (September 2007).


26. TIME ARTICLE: "GM's Get-Well Plan," by Jyoti Thottam (Vol. 170, No. 14, October 1, 2007).,9171,1663838,00.html


27. US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT ARTICLE: This week's issue contains a special section on the "Best Places to Retire." Included in the section is a list of the top 10 places to retire, as well as information on 1,000 other places that USNWR editors believed to be the best places to retire.


III. Working Papers:

28. PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL, WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Note: PRC requires free registration before providing working papers.

A. "Is Retirement Being Remade? Developments in Labor Market Patterns at Older Ages," by Sewin Chan and Ann Huff Stevens (WP2007-23, September 2007, .pdf format, 25p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

B. "Retirement Distributions and the Bequest Motive," by G. Victor Hallman (WP2007-24, September 2007, .pdf format, 43p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

C. "The Role of Individual Retirement Accounts in U.S. Retirement Planning," by Sarah Holden and Brian Reid (WP2007-25, September 2007, .pdf format, 44p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


29. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Guaranteed Trouble: The Economic Effects of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation," by Jeffrey R. Brown (w13438, September 2007, .pdf format, 34p.).


This paper examines the economic rationale for, historical experience of, and current pressures facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The PBGC is the government entity which partially insures participants in private-sector defined benefit pension plans against the loss of pension benefits in the event that the plan sponsor experiences financial distress and has an under-funded pension plan. The paper discusses three major flaws of the PBGC, namely, that the PBGC has: 1) failed to properly price insurance and thus encouraged excessive risk-taking by plan sponsors; 2) failed to promote adequate funding of pension obligations; and 3) failed to promote sufficient information disclosure to market participants. The paper then discusses potential ways to reform the PBGC so that it operates more in concert with basic economic principles.


30. URBAN INSTITUTE: "Managerial Attitudes Toward Older Workers: A Review of the Evidence," by Richard W. Johnson (Discussion Paper 07-05, September 2007, .pdf format, 34p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


31. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "The Effect of Job Displacement on the Transitions to Employment and Early Retirement for Older Workers in Four European Countries," by Konstantinos Tatsiramos (Discussion Paper No. 3069, September 2007, .pdf format, 37p.).


Despite the increased frequency of job loss for older workers in Europe, little is known on its effect on the work-retirement decision. Employing individual data from the European Community Household Panel for Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., a multivariate competing-risks hazard model is estimated in which the effect of job displacement is identified separately for transitions into re-employment and retirement. The findings suggest that in countries with institutional provisions for older unemployed which offer a pathway to early retirement such as, Germany and Spain, older displaced workers exhibit lower re-employment and higher retirement rates compared to the non-displaced. These results are robust to dynamic selection due to unobserved heterogeneity and to the endogeneity of displacement.


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

32. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 11, No. 5, 2007).

33. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 97, No. 10, October 2007). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

34. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Vol. 45, No. 3, November-December 2007).

35. Health and Social Work (Vol. 32, No. 3, August 2007). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue

36. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Vol. 62, No. 9, September 1, 2007). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue

37. Medical Care (Vol. 45, No. 10, October 2007).

38. Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 56, No. 1, 2007-2008).

39. Research in Nursing and Health (Vol. 30, No. 5, October 2007).

40. Social Work (Vol. 52, No. 3, July 2007). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.


41. 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 Sept. 26, 2007:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Sept. 26, 2007:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Sept. 26, 2007:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Sept. 26, 2007:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Sept. 26, 2007:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Sept. 26, 2007:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

42. EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY AND RESEARCH: Mainstreaming Ageing Indicators To Monitor Sustainable Policies edited by Bernd Marin and Asghar Zaidi (2007, ISBN 978-0-7546-7361-3, 844p.).


VI. Funding Opportunities:

43. AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY: "2008-2010 Geriatrics Education for Specialty Residents (GSR) Program." "We are looking forward to receiving applications from the specialties to develop, initiate and evaluate programs designed to increase education for residents in the geriatric aspect of their disciplines. The disciplines targeted by the grant are anesthesiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, physical medicine & rehabilitation, thoracic surgery, and urology." The deadline for applications is March 3, 2008.

Additional program information can be found at:


VII. Conferences:

44. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING CONFERENCES. AOA's Events Calendar has recently added several events. See under date and place for the following new listings:

Oct. 4, 2007 -- Runnemede,NJ

Oct. 6, 2007 -- Washington,DC

Oct. 10, 2007 -- Pittsburgh,PA

Oct. 11, 2007 -- Woodbridge,CT

Oct. 12, 2007 -- Modesto,CA

Oct. 18, 2007 -- Elizabethtown,PA

Oct. 27, 2007 -- Cranford,NJ

Oct. 27, 2007 -- Parsippany,NJ

Nov. 3, 2007 -- Catonsville,MD


VIII. Legislation Information Updates:

45. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING TESTIMONY: "Home and Community Based Care: Expanding Options for Long Term Care," a hearing held September 25, 2007.




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 3329 Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400