Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #411--November 8, 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. WISCONSIN LONGITUDINAL STUDY: "The WLS 12.20 data set is now available. This new release includes preliminary data from the 2005-2007 selected sibling's spouse as well as corrections to earlier data. In addition, numerous supplementary data files are now available on the website."

See Oct. 31, 2007 listing.

Data access:


2. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL STUDY: US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's MEPS released the following datasets (all, September 2007, data in .zip or self decompressing [.exe] ASCII or SAS transport format, documentation in HTML and .pdf format, with SAS and SPSS programming statements in ASCII format)

HC-094D 2005 Hospital Inpatient Stays File

MEPS HC-094A: 2005 Prescribed Medicines File


3. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research HRS has announced the following updates to their website:

A. There is now a unique page for HRS Sample Weights:

B. There is now a unique page for Sensitive Health Data information:


II. Reports and articles:


A. SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2006 (September 2007, .pdf, HTML, and Excel format, 121p.).

B. "International Update, October 2007," (October 2007).


5. US CENSUS BUREAU REPORT: "Profiles of Older Workers: 2004--Arkansas," by Cynthia Taeuber and Matthew R. Graham (Local Employment Dynamics LED-OW2007-AR, November 2007, .pdf format, 12p.).


6. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH NEWS RELEASE: "Imaging Neural Progenitor Cells in the Living Human Brain" (Nov. 8, 2007).



A. "Medicare Part D Sponsors: Estimated Reconciliation Amounts for 2006," (OEI-02-07-00460, October 2007, .pdf format, 23p.).


This report is based primarily on preliminary estimates from CMS. According to these estimates, Part D sponsors owe Medicare a net total of $4.4 billion for 2006. Eighty percent of sponsors owe money to Medicare, whereas 20 percent of sponsors will receive money from Medicare. The majority of the funds sponsors owe are profits that they must repay to Medicare as a result of risk-sharing requirements.

Additionally, CMS has no mechanisms in place to collect funds owed by sponsors until it has completed reconciliation, which is scheduled to occur more than 9 months after the 2006 plan year has ended. CMS also has no mechanism in place to adjust prospective payments prior to reconciliation. As a result, sponsors have had the use of these funds for a significant length of time.

Based on these findings, we recommend that CMS (1) ensure that sponsors bids accurately reflect the cost of providing the benefit to Medicare beneficiaries; (2) for 2007, consider implementing an interim reconciliation process to reduce the amounts owed to Medicare; (3) for 2008 and subsequent years, better align monthly prospective payments with sponsors actual costs; and (4) consider seeking legislative changes to delay the adjustments to the risk corridors as specified by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. In its comments to the draft report, CMS concurred with the recommendation that the data collected from 2006 and subsequent plan years be used in the review of future bid submissions. CMS also stated that it has the authority to change payment methodologies for the low-income cost-sharing and reinsurance subsidies and that it is carefully examining possible options. CMS did not concur with our recommendations to implement an interim reconciliation process for 2007 or to seek legislation to delay changes to the risk corridors.

B. "Growth in Advanced Imaging Paid Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule," (OEI-01-06-00260, October 2007, .pdf format, 33p.).


This report documents the nature and extent of growth in advanced imaging computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and positron emission tomography between 1995 and 2005. Advanced imaging used to be the exclusive domain of hospitals; however, in the last 10 to 15 years, use of these services under the Medicare program has proliferated in ambulatory settings. Oversight of these settings includes accreditation and certification for hospital outpatient departments, and State licensure for independent diagnostic testing facilities (IDTFs) and doctors offices. In December 2006, CMS issued final regulations with new performance standards for IDTFs. It later issued and then rescinded technical direction to the Medicare carriers regarding oversight of those standards.

By all measures, advanced imaging paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) grew significantly between 1995 and 2005: (1) Services per year grew more than fourfold, from 1.4 million to 6.2 million; (2) allowed charges grew by more than 5 times, to $3.5 billion in 2005; and (3) the utilization rate grew from 42 services per 1,000 beneficiaries in 1995 to 163 per 1,000 in 2005. In 2005, significant variation remained in utilization rates across States, from 8 services per 1,000 beneficiaries in Vermont to 326 per 1,000 in Florida. In every year from 1995 to 2005, a small number of procedure codes consistently accounted for over half of all advanced imaging billed under the MPFS.

We also found that the share of all advanced imaging services provided by IDTFs grew from 2.5 percent in 1995 to 23 percent in 2005. In our draft report, we recommended that CMS monitor the growth of advanced imaging performed in ambulatory settings. We stated that CMS should reissue technical direction to Medicare carriers regarding oversight of the new IDTF performance standards as part of such monitoring. CMS concurred with our recommendation. CMS commented that it issued technical direction to the Medicare carriers regarding the new IDTF performance standards on July 13, 2007. It also outlined other steps it is taking to improve oversight of IDTFs. We continue to recommend that CMS monitor the growth of advanced imaging performed in ambulatory settings.

C. "Review of Generic Drug Price Increases," (A-06-07-00042, October 2007, .pdf format, 14p.).


Generic drug price increases exceeded the specified statutory inflation factor applicable to brand-name drugs for 35 percent of the quarterly average manufacturer prices reviewed. If the provision for brand-name drugs were extended to generic drugs, the Medicaid program would receive additional rebates. By applying the method in the Social Security Act for calculating additional rebates on brand-name drugs to generic drugs, we calculated that the Medicaid program would have received a total of $966 million in additional rebates for the top 200 generic drugs, ranked by Medicaid reimbursement, from 1991 through 2004.

We recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) consider seeking legislative authority to extend the additional rebate provisions to generic drugs. CMS agreed to consider the recommendation when it considers future legislative proposals.



A. "Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule, and Other Part B Payment Policies for CY 2008; Revisions to the Payment Policies of Ambulance Services Under the Ambulance Fee Schedule for CY 2008; and the Amendment of the E-Prescribing Exemption for Computer-Generated Facsimile Transmissions," (November 2007, .pdf format, 1481p.).

Related Press Release:

B. Health Care Financing Review (Vol. 29, No. 1, Fall 2007, zip archive, .pdf format).

Scroll to the "Downloads" section of the page to download the zip archive with the articles.



A. "Elderly Demographics and the Need for a Community Focus," by Dr. Rathge (November 2007, PowerPoint format).

B. "Shifting Age Structure and Its Implications for North Dakota," by Dr. Rathge (November 2007, PowerPoint format).


10. STATISTICS NEW ZEALAND PRESS RELEASE: "Older workers have highest injury rate," (October 30, 2007, .pdf and HTML format). There is a link from the press release to a "Hot off the Press" report: " Injury Statistics -- Work-related Claims: 2006" (November 2007, .pdf format, 22p.).



A. "Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2006," by Craig Copeland (EBRI Issue Brief No. 311, November 2007, .pdf format, 36p.).

B. "Asset Allocation and Default Investments in 401(k) Plans," (October 2007, .pdf format, 2p.).



A. "Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap," by Jack Hoadley and Jennifer Thompson; Elizabeth Hargrave and Katie Merrell; and Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman (November 2007, .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Premiums," by Jack Hoadley and Jennifer Thompson; Elizabeth Hargrave and Katie Merrell; and Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman (November 2007, .pdf format, 2p.).

C. "Overview of Medicare Part D Organizations, Plans and Benefits By Enrollment in 2006 and 2007," (November 2007, .pdf format, 10p.).


13. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following Prime Time Radio shows (RealPlayer format, running times, between 23 and 30 minutes) have been added to the PTR site:

60 On Up (Nov. 6, 2007)

Note: this is a temporary address. When new PTR shows are released, these will be available at:


14. NATIONAL ACADEMY ON AN AGING SOCIETY NEWSLETTER: Public Policy & Aging E-Newsletter (Vol. 1, No. 6, November 2007, HTML format).



A. "Effectiveness of paramedic practitioners in attending 999 calls from elderly people in the community: cluster randomised controlled trial," by Suzanne Mason, Emma Knowles, Brigitte Colwell, Simon Dixon, Jim Wardrope, Robert Gorringe, Helen Snooks, Julie Perrin, and Jon Nicholl (Vol. 335, No. 7626, Nov. 3, 2007, .pdf and HTML format, p. 919-921).

B. "Occupational therapy for patients with problems in personal activities of daily living after stroke: systematic review of randomised trials," by Lynn Legg, Avril Drummond, Jo Leonardi-Bee, J R F Gladman, Susan Corr, Mireille Donkervoort, Judi Edmans, Louise Gilbertson, Lyn Jongbloed, Pip Logan, Catherine Sackley, Marion Walker, and Peter Langhorne (Vol. 335, No. 7626, Nov. 3, 2007, .pdf and HTML format, p. 922-924).

C. "Combined resynchronisation and implantable defibrillator therapy in left ventricular dysfunction: Bayesian network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials," by Simon K. H. Lam and Andrew Owen (Vol. 335, No. 7626, Nov. 3, 2007, .pdf and HTML format, p. 925-928).


16. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Identification of prostate cancer modifier pathways using parental strain expression mapping," by Qing Xu, Pradip K. Majumder, Kenneth Ross, Yeonju Shim, Todd R. Golub, Massimo Loda, and William R. Sellers (Vol. 104, No. 45, Nov. 6, 2007, p. 17771-17776).


17. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effects of Tezosentan on Symptoms and Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Acute Heart Failure: The VERITAS Randomized Controlled Trials," by John J. V. McMurray, John R. Teerlink, Gadi Cotter, Robert C. Bourge; John G. F. Cleland, Guillaume Jondeau, Henry Krum, Marco Metra, Christopher M. O'Connor, John D. Parker, Guillermo Torre-Amione, Dirk J. van Veldhuisen, Jim Lewsey, Aline Frey, Maurizio Rainisio, and Isaac Kobrin, for the VERITAS Investigators (Vol. 298, No. 17, Nov. 7, 2007, p. 2009-2019).


18. NATURE MEDICINE LETTER ABSTRACT: "Classification and prediction of clinical Alzheimer's diagnosis based on plasma signaling proteins," by Sandip Ray, Markus Britschgi, Charles Herbert, Yoshiko Takeda-Uchimura, Adam Boxer, Kaj Blennow, Leah F. Friedman, Douglas R. Galasko, Marek Jutel, Anna Karydas, Jeffrey A. Kaye, Jerzy Leszek, Bruce L. Miller, Lennart Minthon, Joseph F. Quinn, Gil D. Rabinovici, William H. Robinson, Marwan N. Sabbagh, Yuen T. So, D. Larry Sparks, Massimo Tabaton, Jared Tinklenberg, Jerome A. Yesavage, Robert Tibshirani, and Tony Wyss-Coray (Vol. 13, No. 11, November 2007, p. 1359-1362).


19. NATURE CELL BIOLOGY ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "The mitochondrial protease HtrA2 is regulated by Parkinson's disease-associated kinase PINK1," by Helene Plun-Favreau, Kristina Klupsch, Nicoleta Moisoi, Sonia Gandhi, Svend Kjaer, David Frith, Kirsten Harvey, Emma Deas, Robert J. Harvey, Neil McDonald, Nicholas W. Wood, L. Miguel Martins, and Julian Downward (Vol. 9, No. 11, November 2007, p. 1243-1252).


20. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE PERSPECTIVE EXTRACT: "Addressing Rising Health Care Costs - A View from the Congressional Budget Office," by Peter R. Orszag and Philip Ellis (Vol. 357, No. 19, Nov. 9, 2007, p. 1885-1887).



A. "Confronting Sadness in Seniors," by Matthew Shulman (Nov. 12, 2007).

B. "Banding Together to Stay at Home; A new community aims to extend seniors' independence," by Kerry Hannon (Nov. 12, 2007).

C. "Senior Citizens Need to Work Out, Too," by Deborah Kotz (Nov. 12, 2007).

D. "The Power of the Aging Mind," by Bernadine Healy (Nov. 12, 2007).

E. "15 Ways to Take Care of Your Elderly Parents," by Sarah Baldauf (Nov. 12, 2007).


22. FORBES ARTICLE: "Unraveling Retirement," edited by Janet Novack and Matthew Schifrin (Nov. 12, 2007). This is a series of articles about retirement related issues.


23. BUSINESS WEEK ARTICLE: "Getting Hip to the Boomers: Stryker's new orthopedic technology gives aging patients an alternative to full joint replacement" (Nov. 12, 2007).


III. Working Papers:

24. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY: "Trends in Mortality Differentials and Life Expectancy for Male Social Security-Covered Workers, by Average Relative Earnings," by Hilary Waldron (ORES Working Paper No. 108, October 2007, .pdf and HTML format, 57p.).


This study presents an analysis of trends in mortality differentials and life expectancy by average relative earnings for male Social Security-covered workers aged 60 or older. Mortality differentials, cohort life expectancies, and period life expectancies by average relative earnings are estimated. Period life expectancy estimates for the United States are also compared with those of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. In general, for birth cohorts spanning the years 1912-1941 (or deaths spanning the years 197202001 at ages 60089), the top half of the average relative earnings distribution has experienced faster mortality improvement than has the bottom half. The sample is expected to be selectively healthier than the general population because of a requirement that men included in the sample have some positive earnings from ages 45 through 55. This requirement is expected to exclude some of the most at-risk members of the U.S. population because of the strong correlation between labor force participation and health.




25. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC STUDIES/IFO INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CESifo) [MUNICH, GERMANY]: "Pension Systems, Ageing and the Stability and Growth Pact," by Roel Beetsma and Heikki Oksanen (CESifo Working Paper No. 2141, November 2007, .pdf format, 52p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Link to full text is at the bottom of the abstract.


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

26. The Gerontologist (Vol. 47, No. 5, October 2007). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.


27. 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 November 11, 2007:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of November 11, 2007:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of November 11, 2007:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of November 11, 2007:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of November 11, 2007:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of November 11, 2007:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

28. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS: Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform, by Jonathan Gruber and David A. Wise ((NBER-C) National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report, 2007, 392p., ISBN: 978-0-226-31017-6). For more information see:


VI. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Anemia of Inflammation and of Chronic Diseases (R01)," (PAS-08-019, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, Oct. 30, 2007).

B. "Predictive Multiscale Models of the Physiome in Health and Disease (R01)," (PAR-08-023, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, Nov. 5, 2007).


30. NATIONAL CENTER ON SENIOR TRANSPORTATION: "Requests for Proposals for Demonstration Grants" (proposal deadline is Dec. 17, 2007). For more information see:

More information on NCST:


VII. Conferences:

31. UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN [MALAYSIA]: "Workshop and Seminar on Human Longevity," to be held Nov. 26-27, 2007 in Selangor, Malaysia. For more information see:


VIII. Legislation Information Updates:

32. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR, HEALTH, EMPLOYMENT, LABOR AND PENSIONS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING TESTIMONY: "Securing Retirement Coverage for Future Generations," a hearing held Nov. 8, 2007 (.pdf format).


33. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SOCIAL SECURITY, PENSIONS, AND FAMILY POLICY HEARING TESTIMONY: "GPO and WEP: Policies Affecting Pensions from Work Not Covered by Social Security," a hearing held Nov. 6, 2007 (.pdf format).


IX. Websites of Interest:

34. PANEL STUDY OF INCOME DYNAMICS BIBLIOGRAPHY UPDATE: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research PSID has recently added the following item to its bibliography. The entire bibliography can be searched or browsed in various ways at:

Chojnicki, Xavier and Docquier, Frederic. Fiscal Policy and Educational Attainment in the United States: A Generational Accounting Perspective. Economica. 2007; 74(294):329-350.

Huffman, Wallace E. and Feridhanusetyawan, Tubagus. Migration, Fixed Costs, and Location-Specific Amenities: A Hazard Analysis for a Panel of Males. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2007; 89(2):368-382.

Hungerford, Thomas. The Persistence of Hardship Over the Life Course. Research on Aging. 2007; 29(6):491-511.

Tung, Joyce Chia-Hsing. Essays on Wealth Distribution and Tax Reform. Texas: Rice University; 2007178 pgs.

Ulker, Aydogan. Household Structure and Consumption Insurance of the Elderly. Journal of Population Economics. 2007; _(_):22 pgs.

Jack Solock
Director--Data and Information Services Center
Social Sciences Research Services
3313 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
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