Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #452--August 28, 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. Reports and articles:

1. US CENSUS BUREAU REPORT: "The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers In South Carolina: 2004," by Cynthia Taeuber and Matthew R. Graham (Local Employment Dynamics LED-OW04-SC, September 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

Scroll to "South Carolina"



A. "International Update, August 2008" (August 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "SSI Monthly Statistics: July 2008 (August 2008, HTML and .pdf format).


3. US CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE REPORT: "Updated Long-Term Projections for Social Security" (August 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 32p., with tables in Microsoft Excel format).


4. US HEALTHCARE COST AND UTILIZATION PROJECT STATISTICAL BRIEF: "Hospital Stays Resulting from Excessive Heat and Cold Exposure Due to Weather Conditions in U.S. Community Hospitals, 2005," by Chaya T. Merrill, Mackenzie Miller, and Claudia Steiner (SB 55, July 2008).



A. "Medical Review of Claims for the Fiscal Year 2006 Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program" (A-01-07-00508, August 2008, .pdf format, 31p.).


In two reviews of beneficiaries' medical records, KePRO, an independent medical review contractor, identified errors in claims for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DME) that the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) contractor had not identified. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) used the results of the CERT contractor's medical review to produce a DME paid claim error rate for fiscal year (FY) 2006.

KePRO's first review, which used the same procedures and limited medical records that the CERT contractor used, found that the CERT contractor's review was adequate for 324 of the 363 sampled claims, including 23 claims that both the CERT contractor and KePRO determined to be erroneous. However, KePRO identified 39 errors that the CERT contractor had not identified. Based on the 23 errors that both contractors found and the additional 39 errors that KePRO found, we estimated that the error rate in the FY 2006 CERT DME sample was 17.3 percent. KePRO's second review, using additional medical records from physicians and other health care providers and, in some cases, information obtained from beneficiary and provider interviews, confirmed 20 of the 23 errors that the CERT contractor had found and identified 73 errors that the CERT contractor had not found. Specifically, KePRO confirmed 34 of the 39 errors identified in its initial review and determined that another 39 claims were erroneous. Based on the 20 errors that both contractors found and the additional 73 errors that KePRO found, we estimated that the error rate in the FY 2006 CERT DME sample was 28.9 percent.

We recommended that CMS (1) require the CERT contractor to review all available supplier documentation, (2) establish a written policy to address the appropriate use of clinical inference, (3) require the CERT contractor to review all medical records necessary to determine compliance with applicable requirements on medical necessity, (4) document oral guidance that conflicts with written policies, (5) instruct its Medicare contractors to provide additional training to physicians on improving their medical record documentation, and (6) require the CERT contractor to contact the beneficiaries named on high-risk claims to help determine whether the beneficiaries received the items and the items were medically necessary. CMS generally agreed with our findings and recommendations.

B."Payments Made in Error for Personal Care Services During Institutional Stays" (OEI-07-06-00620, August 2008, .pdf format, 24p.).


OIG found that in the first quarter of fiscal year 2006, the five States reviewed paid nearly $500,000 in error for personal care services (PCS) provided during periods of institutionalization. Forty-three percent of the claims paid in error were identified using data that were available in the States' own Medicaid payment systems. Billing practices in three States increase vulnerabilities that could mean nearly $11 million in that quarter may have been paid in error. Because these three State Medicaid programs allowed PCS providers to bill for services using date ranges that can include days on which no PCS were provided, we could not determine whether 93 percent of these States' overlapping PCS claims were paid in error using existing claims data. Although all five States reported having Medicaid controls to prevent payments for PCS provided during institutional stays, the controls did not prevent all erroneous payments.

OIG recommends that CMS enforce existing Federal Medicaid payment policies that prohibit Medicaid reimbursement for PCS provided over a range of dates if the range includes dates on which the beneficiary was institutionalized, and work with States to reduce erroneous Medicaid payments for PCS provided during institutional stays. CMS concurred with the OIG recommendation intended to reduce erroneous Medicaid payments for PCS provided during institutional stays. However, CMS did not concur with the OIG recommendation to prohibit Federal Medicaid reimbursement for PCS claims billed with date ranges that include days on which no PCS were provided. CMS indicated that existing Federal reimbursement policies are sufficient to prohibit such payments when States have effective controls in place. We revised the recommendation to state that CMS should enforce existing policies.

C. "Medicare Payment for Irinotecan" (OEI-03-08-00310, August 2008, .pdf format, 14p.).


Irinotecan hydrochloride (hereinafter referred to as irinotecan) is an injectable drug used to treat patients with colorectal cancer. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of irinotecan on February 20, 2008. This study examines the difference between the Medicare payment amount and manufacturer-reported sales prices during March 2008. At that time, generic versions of irinotecan were available for purchase, but not yet factored into the calculation of the Medicare payment amount because of the two-quarter lag in the payment system.

We found that the Medicare payment amount for irinotecan ($126.31) was more than double the OIG-calculated average manufacturer sales price ($51.59). In addition, had the Medicare payment amount for irinotecan been based on the average manufacturer sales price in March 2008, Medicare and its beneficiaries would have saved an estimated $6.5 million in that month alone. We recommend that CMS explore options to expedite the process to ensure that the Medicare payment amounts for drugs with newly available generic versions accurately reflect market prices. CMS concurred with our recommendation.


6. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "Medicare Part D: Some Plan Sponsors Have Not Completely Implemented Fraud and Abuse Programs, and CMS Oversight Has Been Limited" (GAO-08-760, July 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).


7. PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION REPORT: "Hard-Frozen Defined Benefit Plans: Findings for 2003-2004 and Preliminary Findings for 2005," (August 2008, .pdf format, 24p.).


8. EUROPEAN COMMISSION PERIODICAL ARTICLE: "Ageing characterises the demographic perspectives of the European societies," by Konstantinos Giannakouris (Eurostat Statistics in Focus, No. 72/2008, .pdf format, 11p.).,46587259&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&p_product_code=KS-SF-08-072



A. "Care at home and in the community boosted by more than 1.4million dollars." (Aug. 27, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "Meals on Wheels Day: 15 million meals delivered a year" (Aug. 27, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

C. "Unannounced visits" (Aug. 27, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

D. "Care for Queensland Aged and Disabled to Top $1.2 Billion" (Aug. 28, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).


10. SCOTLAND GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE REPORT: "Free Personal And Nursing Care, Scotland, 2006-07" (August 2008, .pdf format, 24p.).


11. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "Employer attitudes to risk sharing in pension schemes: a qualitative study," by Andrew Thomas and Anthony Allen (Research Report No. 528, August 2008, .pdf format, 55p.).


12. NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH REPORT: "2006 Hospice Utilization and Cost Data" (2008, .pdf format, 23p.).


13. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH RETIREMENT RESEARCH CONSORTIUM PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS, from a conference held Aug. 7-8, 2008 (.pdf format, with Adobe Flash video presentations).


14. AARP REPORT: "Is the Cost of Gas Leading Americans to Use Alternative Transportation?" by Laura Skufca (August 2008, .pdf format, 10p.).


15. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU REPORT: "2008 World Population Data Sheet" (August 2008, .pdf format, 16p.). The page also links to the latest Population Bulletin (Vol. 63, No, 3, September 2008) with the article: "World Population Highlights: Key Findings From PRBs 2008 World Population Data Sheet"; and the "2008 World Population Clock."



A. "Practical Tools and Resources for Caregivers and Professionals" (August 2008, .pdf format, 17 and 20p. respectively).

B. Caregiving PolicyDigest (Vol. 8, No. 17, Aug. 20, 2008).

More information about NCA:


17. DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH ARTICLE: "Biodemography Comes of Age," by Kenneth W. Wachter (Vol. 19, Article 40, August 2008, .pdf format, p. 1501-1512). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:



A. "The Social Security Earnings Test: The Tax That Wasn't," by Andrew G. Biggs (July 2008, in Tax Policy Online, No. 3, July 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).

B. "Entitlements: Not Just a Health Care Problem," by Andrew G. Biggs (_Health Policy Outlook_, August 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p).


19. NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA REPORT: "AdvantAGE Australia: Maximising the Potential of an Ageing Population," (August 2008, .pdf format, 17p.).

More information about NSA:


20. FRASER INSTITUTE [CANADA] REPORT: "Seniors and Drug Prices in Canada and the United States, 2008 Edition," by Brett Skinner and Mark Rovere (August 2008, .pdf format, 5p.).

More information about FI:


21. AGE CONCERN [UK] REPORT: "On the right track? A progress review of the human rights of older people in health and social care," (August 2008, .pdf format, 47p.).



A. "Targeting the stromal androgen receptor in primary prostate tumors at earlier stages," by Yuanjie Niu, Saleh Altuwaijri, Shuyuan Yeh, Kuo-Pao Lai, Shengqiang Yu, Kuang-Hsiang Chuang, Shu-Pin Huang, Henry Lardy, and Chawnshang Chang (Vol. 105, No. 34, August 26, 2008, p. 12188-12193).

B. "Androgen receptor is a tumor suppressor and proliferator in prostate cancer," by Yuanjie Niu, Saleh Altuwaijri, Kuo-Pao Lai, Chun-Te Wu, William A. Ricke, Edward M. Messing, Jorge Yao, Shuyuan Yeh, and Chawnshang Chang (Vol. 105, No. 34, August 26, 2008, p. 12182-12187).

C. "B-vitamin deficiency causes hyperhomocysteinemia and vascular cognitive impairment in mice," by Aron M. Troen, Melissa Shea-Budgell, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Donald E. Smith, Jacob Selhub, and Irwin H. Rosenberg (Vol. 105, No. 34, August 26, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 12474-12479). Note: PNAS is providing open access to the full-text of this article.


23. NATURE NEUROSCIENCE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Age-dependent epigenetic control of differentiation inhibitors is critical for remyelination efficiency," by Siming Shen, Juan Sandoval, Victoria A Swiss, Jiadong Li, Jeff Dupree, Robin J M Franklin, and Patrizia Casaccia-Bonnefil (Vol. 11, No. 9, 2008, p. 1024- 1034).


24. SCIENCE REPORT ABSTRACT: "Amyloid-{beta} Dynamics Correlate with Neurological Status in the Injured Human Brain," by David L. Brody, Sandra Magnoni, Kate E. Schwetye, Michael L. Spinner, Thomas J. Esparza, Nino Stocchetti, Gregory J. Zipfel, and David M. Holtzman (Vol. 321, No. 5893, Aug. 29, 2008, p. 1221-1224).


25. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Health related quality of life after combined hormone replacement therapy: randomised controlled trial," by Amanda J. Welton, Madge R. Vickers, Joseph Kim, Deborah Ford, Beverley A. Lawton, Alastair H. MacLennan, Sarah K. Meredith, Jeannett Martin, and Tom W. Meade (BMJ 2008;337:a1190, Aug. 21, 2008).


26. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION BOOK REVIEW EXTRACT: Medicare Prospective Payment and the Shaping of US Health Care, by Rick Mayes and Robert A. Berenson, reviewed by Prentiss Taylor (Vol. 300, No. 8, Aug. 27, 2008, p. 970).


II. Working Papers:

27. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "The Aging of the Unions in West Germany, 1980-2006," by Claus Schnabel, Joachim Wagner (Discussion Paper 3661, August 2008, .pdf format, 21p.).


Using data from the social survey ALLBUS for West Germany in the period 1980 to 2006, this paper demonstrates that union members are on average older than non-unionized employees. The probability of being unionized shows the inverted U-shaped pattern in age conjectured by Blanchflower (BJIR 2007) only in very few years. It is demonstrated that both intra-cohort change and cohort replacement effects have played a roughly equal role in the substantial fall in union density since 1980. If older cohorts with high densities continue to be replaced by young cohorts with low densities, average union density will fall further.


28. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC STUDIES/Ifo INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CESifo) [MUNICH, GERMANY: "The Role of the Annuitys Value on the Decision (Not) to Annuitize: Evidence from a Large Policy Change," by Monika Butler, Stefan Staubli, and Maria Grazia Zito (CESifo Working Paper No. 2376, August 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 39p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


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

29. Age and Ageing (Vol. 37, No. 5, September 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

30. Aging & Mental Health (Vol. 12, No. 3, 2008).

31. The Gerontologist (Vol. 48, No. 4, August 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

32. Medical Care (Vol. 46, No. 9, Sept. 2008).

33. Research on Aging (Vol. 30, No. 5, September 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.


34. 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 Aug. 27, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 27, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 27, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Aug. 27, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Aug. 27, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Aug. 27, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


IV. Books:

35. K.K. AGENCIES: The Elderly Population in Developed and Developing World : Policies, Problems and Perspectives, 2nd Edition edited by P. Krishnan and Kuttan Mahadevan (Neeraj Publishing House, Delhi, India, 510p., ISBN: 8190565036). For more information see:

Search on ISBN number.


V. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:


A. "Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Increase Diversity (R36)" (PAR-08-250, reissue of PAR-06-117, Aug. 25, 2008, National Institute on Aging). For more information see:

B. "Archiving and Development of Socialbehavioral Datasets in Aging Related Studies (R03) (PA-08-252, reissue of PA-06-102, Aug. 22, 2008, National Institute on Aging). For more information see:

C. "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Pathophysiology and Treatment (R01)" (PA-08-246, reissue of PA-07-265, Aug. 21, 2008, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

D. "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Pathophysiology and Treatment (R21)" (PA-08-247, reissue of PA-07-265, Aug. 21, 2008, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:


37. AGEWORK.COM: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Aug. 27, 2008.


VI. Websites of Interest:


A. "Helpful Contacts" (Aug. 27, 2008).

B. "Dialysis Facility Compare (Aug. 27, 2008)

C. "Nursing Home Compare" (Aug. 20, 2008).

D. "Hospital Compare" (Aug. 19, 2008).

Scroll to "Data Updates".


39. "NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AREA AGENCIES ON AGING SNAP FOR SENIORS: "The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) has introduced an online navigational tool to help older adults search for senior housing, no matter where they live. The Senior Housing Locator provides objective, nationwide information through a database of more than 60,000 senior housing listings, including all licensed senior housing in the nation. Users can search for assisted living communities, nursing homes, residential care facilities, continuing care retirement communities and a growing list of independent living communities.


40. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION STATEHEALTHFACTS.ORG UPDATE: "Qualified State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs), 2007" (August 2008).

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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