Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #437--May 15, 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. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS: NCHS has released draft questionnaires for the 2008 National Health Interview Survey (.pdf format).


2. HUMAN MORTALITY DATABASE: Note: HMD requires free registration before providing data. The following updates have been added to the database.

May 13, 2008: Data for Czech Republic were revised and updated through 2006.

May 13, 2008: Data for Total Germany, East Germany, and West Germany were revised and updated through 2006.

Data availability:

Data access:


II. Reports and articles:

3. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "Nursing Homes: Federal Monitoring Surveys Demonstrate Continued Understatement of Serious Care Problems and CMS Oversight Weaknesses," (GAO-08-517, May 2008, .pdf format, 51p.).



A. "Intracranial Stenting and Angioplasty (CAG-00085R5)," (May 12, 2008).

B. "Microvolt T-wave Alternans (CAG-00293R)," (May 12, 2008).


5. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Duplicate Medicaid and Medicare Home Health Payments: Medical Supplies and Therapeutic Services," (OEI-07-06-00640, May 2008, .pdf format, 21p.).


The OIG found that in four of the five States reviewed, Medicaid inappropriately paid $1 million in 2005 for nonroutine medical supplies and therapeutic services that were paid by Medicare. Medicaid paid $6.6 million for routine medical supplies on the same dates as home health services. We also found that States controls to prevent duplicate payments did not eliminate all inappropriate payments. State officials reported that they lacked direct access to Medicare claims data to determine whether Medicare had already paid.

We recommend that CMS: (1) ensure that Medicaid does not pay providers for Medicare-paid nonroutine medical supplies and therapeutic services and (2) clarify CMS policy on Medicare Prospective Payment System coverage of routine medical supplies. In its written comments to the draft report, CMS did not disagree with the first recommendation and concurred with the second recommendation. CMS commented on the methodology of this review, stating that the absence of medical record review limits the findings. We acknowledged this limitation in our second finding, but our finding that Medicaid paid $6.6 million for routine supplies on the same dates as home health services is still factual. In addition, our claims analysis was sufficient to definitively identify $1 million in inappropriate Medicaid payments as well as to identify vulnerabilities that CMS should address to prevent duplicate payments.


6. US OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT REPORT: "An Analysis of Federal Employee Retirement Data Predicting Future Retirements and Examining Factors Relevant to Retiring from the Federal Service," (March 2008, .pdf format, 14p.).


7. DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS [UK] REPORT: "Understanding responses to pension forecasts: Qualitative research," by Wendy Sykes, Alan Hedges and John Kelly (Research Report No. 492, May 2008, .pdf format, 121p.).


8. STATISTICS CANADA/STATISTIQUE CANADA REPORT: "Federal Public Service Retirements: Trends in the New Millennium," by Dan Fox (May 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 15p.).



A. "Funding For Carer Respite Extended," (May 9, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "Australian Government 2008-09 Health and Ageing Portfolio Budget Statements," (May 13, 2008, .pdf and RTF format).


10. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE PERIODICAL: EBRI Notes (Vol. 29, No. 5, May 2008, .pdf format, 19p.). Note: This issue contains two articles: "Ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)-Type Plans," by Craig Copeland (p. 2); and "Facts from EBRI-The Basics of Medicare: Updated With the 2008 Board of Trustees Report," (p. 13).



A. "More Older Americans are Poor than the Official Measure Suggests," by Sheila R. Zedlewski and Barbara Butrica (Older Americans' Economic Security No. 15, May 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "Rising Health Care Costs Lead Workers to Delay Retirement," by Richard W. Johnson, Rudolph G. Penner, and Desmond Toohey (Older Americans' Economic Security No. 16, May 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).

C. "Measuring Personal Saving: A Tale of American Profligacy," by Rudolph G. Penner (Brief Series No. 21, May 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).



A. "Opportunities for Creating Livable Communities," by Mia R. Oberlink (April 2008,.pdf format, 30p.).

B. "The Economic Slowdown's Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans," by Jeffrey Love (May 2008, .pdf format, 31p.).

C. "Energy and Telephone Assistance in the States II: Public Programs that Help Low-Income Households," by Ann McLarty Jackson and Neal Walters (2008-06, May 2008, .pdf format, 266p.).

D. AARP Bulletin (May 2008).


13. AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE ARTICLE: "Saving Medicare," by Joseph Antos and Mark V. Pauly (May 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 2p.).


14. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE NEWSLETTER: Caregiving Policy Digest (Vol. 8, No. 10, May 2008, HTML format).



A. "Human ApoD, an apolipoprotein up-regulated in neurodegenerative diseases, extends lifespan and increases stress resistance in Drosophila," by Julien Muffat, David W. Walker, and Seymour Benzer (Vol. 105, No. 19, May 13, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 7088-7093). Note: PNAS is providing open access to this article.

B. "A soluble activin type IIA receptor induces bone formation and improves skeletal integrity," by R. Scott Pearsall, Ernesto Canalis, Milton Cornwall-Brady, Kathryn W. Underwood, Brendan Haigis, Jeffrey Ucran, Ravindra Kumar, Eileen Pobre, Asya Grinberg, Eric D. Werner, Vaida Glatt, Lisa Stadmeyer, Deanna Smith, Jasbir Seehra, and Mary L. Bouxsein (Vol. 105, No. 19, May 13, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 7082-7087). Note: PNAS is providing open access to this article.

C. "Proteasomal adaptation to environmental stress links resistance to proteotoxicity with longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans," by Chi Yun, Ariel Stanhill, Yun Yang, Yuhong Zhang, Cole M. Haynes, Chong-Feng Xu, Thomas A. Neubert, Adam Mor, Mark R. Philips, and David Ron (Vol. 105, No. 19, May 13, 2008, p. 7094-7099).

D. "Platinum-based inhibitors of amyloid-{beta} as therapeutic agents for Alzheimer's disease," by Kevin J. Barnham, Vijaya B. Kenche, Giuseppe D. Ciccotosto, David P. Smith, Deborah J. Tew, Xiang Liu, Keyla Perez, Greg A. Cranston, Timothy J. Johanssen, Irene Volitakis, Ashley I. Bush, Colin L. Masters, Anthony R. White, Jeffrey P. Smith, Robert A. Cherny, and Roberto Cappai (Vol. 105, No. 19, May 13, 2008, p. 6813-6818).


16. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE: "Inequity of access to investigation and effect on clinical outcomes: prognostic study of coronary angiography for suspected stable angina pectoris," by Neha Sekhri, Adam Timmis, Ruoling Chen, Cornelia Junghans, Niamh Walsh, Justin Zaman, Sandra Eldridge, Harry Hemingway, and Gene Feder (Vol. 336, No. 7652, May 10, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1058-1061).


17. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Coarse Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Hospital Admissions for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases Among Medicare Patients," by Roger D. Peng, Howard H. Chang, Michelle L. Bell, Aidan McDermott, Scott L. Zeger, Jonathan M. Samet, and Francesca Dominici (Vol. 299, No. 18, May 14, 2008, p. 2172-2179).



A. "Use of Multiple Biomarkers to Improve the Prediction of Death from Cardiovascular Causes," by Björn Zethelius, Lars Berglund, Johan Sundström, Erik Ingelsson, Samar Basu, Anders Larsson, Per Venge, and Johan Ärnlöv (Vol. 358, No. 20, May 15, 2008, p. 2107-2116).

B. "Cardiac Troponin and Outcome in Acute Heart Failure," by W. Frank Peacock, IV, Teresa De Marco, Gregg C. Fonarow, Deborah Diercks, Janet Wynne, Fred S. Apple, Alan H.B. Wu, for the ADHERE Investigators (Vol. 358, No. 20, May 15, 2008, p. 2117-2126).


19. FORBES ARTICLE: "Shift That Wealth Now," by Ashlea Ebeling (June 2, 2008).


20. TIME ARTICLE: "Memory: Forgetting Is the New Normal," by Sue Halpern (Vol. 171, No. 20, May 19, 2008).,9171,1738621,00.html


III. Working Papers:

21. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Reforming Social Security with Progressive Personal Accounts," by John Geanakoplos and Stephen P. Zeldes (w13979, April 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).


The heated debate about how to reform Social Security has come to a standstill because the view of most Democrats (that Social Security must be a defined benefits plan similar in spirit to the current system) seems irreconcilable with the proposals supported by many Republicans (to create a defined contribution system of personal accounts holding marketed assets).

We describe a system of "progressive personal accounts" that preserves the core goals of both parties, and that is self-balancing on an ongoing basis. Progressive personal accounts have two critical features: (1) accruals into the personal accounts would be exclusively in a new kind of derivative security (which we call a PAAW for Personal Annuitized Average Wage security) that pays its owner one inflation-corrected dollar during every year of life after his statutory retirement date, multiplied by the economy wide average wage at the retirement date and (2) households would buy their new PAAWs each year with their social security contributions, augmented or reduced by a government match that would add to contributions from households with low lifetime incomes by taking from households with high lifetime incomes. PAAWS define benefits and achieve risk sharing across generations, as Democrats would like, yet can be held in personal accounts with market valuations, as Republicans propose.


22. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE: "An Assessment of Life-Cycle Funds," by Mauricio Soto, Robert K. Triest, Alex Golub-Sass, and Francesca Golub-Sass (Working Paper No. 2008-10, May 2008, .pdf format, 33p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


23. URBAN INSTITUTE: "Capitalizing on the Economic Value of Older Adults' Work; An Urban Institute Roundtable," by Eric Toder, Richard W. Johnson, Gordon Mermin, and Serena Lei (Occasional Paper No. 9, May 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).


24. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS: "Opportunity Age information indicators feasibility study," by Wendy Sykes and Alan Hedges, in association with Carola Groom and Nick Coleman (Working Paper No. 47, May 2008, .pdf format, 78p.). Note: There is no abstract for this paper.


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

25. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 167, No. 10, May 15, 2008).

26. International Psychogeriatrics (Vol. 20, No. 3, 2008).

27. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 56, No. 5, May 2008).


28. 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 14, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of May 14, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of May 14, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of May 14, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of May 14, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of May 14, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Hispanic Health Services Research Grant Program," deadline for application is June 26, 2008.

B. "Real Choice Systems Change (RCSC) and Aging and Disability Resource Center/Area Agencies on Aging (ADRC) Grants for Fiscal Year 2008," deadline for application is July 17, 2008.



A. "Building A Healthy Nation-Strategic Alliance for Health," deadline for application is June 24, 2008.

B. "Pioneering Healthier Communities," deadline for application is June 23, 2008.


31. BROOKDALE FOUNDATION GROUP: "Respite Program or Early Memory Loss Proposals, 2008," deadline for application is July 2, 2008. The RFP and RFP Guidelines can be downloaded from:


VI. Conferences:

32. CONFERENCEALERTS.COM GERONTOLOGY CONFERENCES: The following new conferences have been added to the Gerontology site:

4th Annual Conference on Elder Abuse - Giving A Voice To Those Who Are Silenced 01 October 2008 Melbourne Australia

The 6th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology 16 October 2008 Lleida Spain


33. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: AoA has added the following to its conferences page. Scroll to date and place for more information:

June 23-25 -- Lexington,KY


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

34. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "The Future of Alzheimer's: Breakthroughs and Challenges," a hearing held May 14, 2008 (.pdf format).


35. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS HEARING TESTIMONY: "In the Hands of Strangers: Are Nursing Home Safeguards Working?" a hearing held May 15, 2008 (.pdf format).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

36. URBAN INSTITUTE: The Urban Institute has created a new website - - to "highlight UI's latest research on Social Security, private pensions, employment and volunteerism at older ages, medical and long-term care costs, and how all these issues affect federal budgets."




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