Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #420--January 17, 2008

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. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: "Medicare Physician Services, 2007 [tables 9.1-9.9]," (January 2008, .pdf and zipped format).


II. Reports and articles:

2. US CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "End-of-Life Care: Key Components Provided by Programs in Four States [Arizona, Florida, Oregon, Wisconsin]," (GAO-08-66, December 2007, .pdf format, 23p.).


3. NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "United States Life Tables, 2004," by Elizabeth Arias (National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56, No. 9, December 2007, .pdf format, 40p.).


4. CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE REPORT: "Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969," (94-971, January 2008, .pdf format, 9p.).



A. "Review of the Relationship Between Medicare Part D Payments to Local, Community Pharmacies and the Pharmacies Drug Acquisition Costs," (A-06-07-00107, January 2008, .pdf format, 45p.).


Medicare Part D payments, excluding dispensing fees, to local, community pharmacies exceeded the pharmacies drug acquisition costs by an estimated 18.1 percent when the analysis included rebates that drug wholesalers paid to pharmacies. Excluding rebates, Part D payments exceeded drug acquisition costs by an estimated 17.3 percent. The estimated difference between Part D payments and drug acquisition costs was $9.13 per prescription including rebates and $8.78 excluding rebates.

The estimated average Medicare Part D dispensing fee paid to local, community pharmacies was $2.27 per prescription, about $2 less than the average Medicaid dispensing fee. We recommended that Congress and CMS consider the results of our review, including the data provided, in any deliberations regarding Medicare Part D reimbursement. CMS concurred with the recommendation.

B. "Physician-Owned Specialty Hospitals Ability To Manage Medical Emergencies," (OEI-02-06-00310, January 2008, .pdf format, 23p.).


This final report provides an assessment of physician-owned specialty hospitals ability to manage medical emergencies. The study was based on data from 109 physician-owned specialty hospitals and relies on a review of staffing schedules for nurses and physicians for 8 sampled days, a review of hospitals staffing policies, a review of policies for managing medical emergencies, and interviews with hospital administrators. We found that about half of all physician-owned specialty hospitals have emergency departments, the majority of which have only one emergency bed. Not all hospitals had nurses on duty and physicians on call during the 8 sampled days. Less than one-third of administrators report having physicians onsite at all times. In addition, two-thirds of hospitals use 9-1-1 as part of their emergency response procedures. Lastly, some hospitals lack basic information in their written policies about managing medical emergencies. We recommend that CMS strengthen its monitoring of physician-owned specialty hospitals. To do this, CMS should develop a system to identify and regularly track these hospitals. Also, we recommend that CMS ensure that hospitals meet the current Medicare Conditions of Participation that require a registered nurse to be on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a physician to be on call if one is not onsite. Additionally, CMS should ensure that hospitals have the ability to provide for the appraisal and initial treatment of emergencies and that they are not relying on 9-1-1 as a substitute for their own ability to provide these services. Finally, we recommend that CMS require hospitals to include necessary information in their written policies for managing a medical emergency. CMS concurred with all four of our recommendations.



A. "International Effort Finds New Genetic Variants Associated with Lipid Levels, Risk for Coronary Artery Disease," (Jan. 13, 2008).

B. "Researchers Uncover New Piece To The Puzzle Of Human Height," (Jan. 13, 2008).


7. STATISTICS CANADA/STATISTIQUE CANADA REPORT: "Deaths 2005," (January 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 87p.).


8. UK NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE REPORT: "Health expectancies at birth and at age 65 in the UK, 2004" (January 2008, Microsoft Excel format).


9. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION ISSUE BRIEF: "Financing Medicare: An Issue Brief," (January 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).


10. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE PERIODICAL: EBRI Notes (Vol. 29, No. 1, January 2008, .pdf format, 12p.). Note: This edition contains two articles: i)"Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income, Among Individuals Age 50 Over: 2006," by Ken McDonnell; and ii); and "Finances of Employee Benefits, 1950-2006 ," by Ken McDonnell.


11. THE CENTURY FOUNDATION BRIEF: "What the Public Really Wants...on Retirement Security," by Ruy Teixeira (January 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).



A. "The Impact Of Higher Energy Prices On Winter Heating Costs: Many Consumers Over Age 65 To Be Hit Hard," by Ann McLarty Jackson and Neal Walters (December 2007, .pdf and HTML format, 4p.).

B. 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:

Reverse Mortgages - Facts and Features (Jan. 15, 2008).

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



A. "Hypothesis-based RNAi screening identifies neuroprotective genes in a Parkinson's disease model," by Shusei Hamamichi, Renee N. Rivas, Adam L. Knight, Songsong Cao, Kim A. Caldwell, and Guy A. Caldwell (Vol. 105, No. 2, January 15, 2008, p. 728-733).

B. "The phosphorylation state of Ser-129 in human {alpha}-synuclein determines neurodegeneration in a rat model of Parkinson disease," by Oleg S. Gorbatyuk, Shoudong Li, Layla F. Sullivan, Weijun Chen, Galina Kondrikova, Fredric P. Manfredsson, Ronald J. Mandel, and Nicholas Muzyczka (Vol. 105, No. 2, January 15, 2008, p. 763-768).


III. Working Papers:

14. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Footnotes Aren't Enough: The Impact of Pension Accounting on Stock Values," by Julia Coronado, Olivia S. Mitchell, Steven A. Sharpe, and S. Blake Nesbitt (w13726, January 2008, .pdf format, 25p.).


Some research has suggested that companies with defined benefit (DB) pensions are sometimes significantly misvalued by the market. This is because the measures of pension cost and pension net liabilities embedded in financial statements, taken at face value, can provide very misleading picture of pension finances. The more pertinent information on pension finances is relegated to footnotes, but might not receive much attention from portfolio managers. But dramatic swings in the financial conditions of large DB plans around the turn of the decade focused widespread attention on pension accounting practices, and dissatisfaction with current accounting standards has recently prompted the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to take up a project revamp DB pension accounting. Arguably, the increased attention should have made investors wise to the informational problems, thereby eliminating systematic mispricing in recent years. We test this proposition and conclude that investors continued to misvalue DB pensions, inducing sizable valuation errors in the stock of many companies. Our findings suggest that FASB's current reform efforts could substantially aid the market's ability to value firms with DB pensions.



A. "The Actuarial Balance Sheet for Pay-As-You-Go Finance: Solvency Indicators for Spain and Sweden," by Maria del Carmen Boado-Penas, Salvador Valdés-Prieto, and Carlos Vidal-Meliá (CESifo Working Paper No. 2182, January 2008, .pdf format, 29p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing, Pensions and Endogenous Labor Supply in General Equilibrium," by Roel M. W. J. Beetsma, Ward E. Romp, and Siert J. Vos (CESifo Working Paper No. 2185, January 2008, .pdf format, 11p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


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

16. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Vol. 4, No. 1, January 2008).

Note: this is a temporary address. When the next _A&D_ is released, this TOC will be available at:

17. Experimental Aging Research (Vol. 34, No. 1, 2008). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the EbscoHost database. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

18. The Gerontologist (Vol. 47, No. 6, December 2007). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

19. Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issues.


20. 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 January 16, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of January 16, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of January 16, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of January 16, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of January 16, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of January 16, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Lab to Marketplace: Tools for Brain and Behavioral Research (SBIR [R43/R44])," (PA-08-071, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, January 11, 2008).

B. "Research on the Economics of Diet, Activity and Energy Balance (R21)," (PA-08-077, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, January 17, 2008).

C. "Research on the Economics of Diet, Activity and Energy Balance (R21)," (PA-08-078, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, January 17, 2008).

D. "Request for Information (RFI): Research Priorities in Fragile X syndrome, Fragile X Tremor Ataxia syndrome, Premature Ovarian Failure and Other Relevant Conditions Associated with FMR1 Gene Function," (NOT-HD-08-003, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, January 8, 2008).


22. CENTER ON DEMOGRAPHY AND ECONOMICS OF AGING [UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO]: "COA Postdoctoral Fellowships," (the deadline for submissions is Feb. 1, 2008).


VI. Workshop/Conferences:

23. WISCONSIN LONGITUDINAL STUDY: "WLS Training Workshop at PAA in New Orleans - April 16, 2008." For more information contact Carol Roan (


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

24. US COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SOCIAL SECURITY HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on Social Security Benefits for Economically Vulnerable Beneficiaries," a hearing held January 16, 2008 (HTML format).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

25. DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS [SRI LANKA]: The Sri Lankian Department of Pensions has this new website with information about the history of the country's pensions system, current procedures, and some statistical information about pension recipients.




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