Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #478 -- March 12, 2009

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. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study announced the following data update on Mar. 9, 2009: "RAND HRS Data (Version I)."


2. UNITED NATIONS POPULATION DIVISION: "World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision" (March 2009, data available via web based extractor, in HTML and comma separated value [.csv] format).

Selected tables (.pdf format, 57p.).


II. Reports and articles:

3. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2008" (March 2009, HTML and .pdf format).



A. "Hospital Compliance With Medicare's Postacute Care Transfer Policy During Fiscal Years 2003 Through 2005" (A-04-07-03035, February 2009, .pdf format, 21p.).


In our nationwide review of hospital compliance with Medicare's postacute care transfer policy, we estimated that hospitals improperly coded 15,051 claims and that, as a result, Medicare overpaid $24.8 million to these hospitals for the 3-year period that ended September 30, 2005. Under the postacute care transfer policy, Medicare pays full prospective payments to hospitals that discharge inpatients to their homes. In contrast, for specified diagnosis-related groups, Medicare generally pays a lesser amount to hospitals that transfer inpatients to certain postacute care settings, such as skilled nursing facilities or home health care. Of the 150 claims in our sample, 92 claims totaling $137,000 were improperly coded as discharges to home rather than transfers to postacute care.

Most of the overpayments occurred because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) lacked adequate payment system controls before implementing a system edit on January 1, 2004, to detect transfers improperly coded as discharges to home. Although overpayments were significantly reduced after implementation of the edit, the edit did not detect 12 overpayments.

We recommended that CMS (1) instruct the fiscal intermediaries to recover $137,000 in overpayments identified in our sample, review the remaining claims in our sampling frame, and identify and recover additional overpayments estimated at $24.7 million and (2) determine why the system edit did not detect 12 overpayments and amend the edit as appropriate. CMS concurred with our recommendations.

B. "Effect of the Part D Coverage Gap on Medicare Beneficiaries Without Financial Assistance in 2006" (OEI-05-07-00610, March 2009, .pdf format, 40p.).


Seven percent of Part D beneficiaries entered the coverage gap and did not receive financial assistance with prescription drug costs in 2006. During the coverage gap, drug-purchasing behavior changed for almost all these beneficiaries. Medicare Part D provides an optional drug benefit to Medicare beneficiaries. During the coverage year, the financial responsibilities of beneficiaries, plan sponsors, and CMS vary during four distinct coverage phases:annual deductible, initial coverage, coverage gap, and catastrophic coverage. Some research suggests that beneficiaries who entered the Medicare Part D coverage gap may have changed their prescription drug use behaviors because they were responsible for 100 percent of their drug costs during the coverage gap.

Sixty-nine percent of beneficiaries decreased the average number of drugs they purchased during the coverage gap.This decrease could have represented a strategy that beneficiaries used to reduce their financial burden during the coverage gap, or it could have represented appropriate reductions due to changes in beneficiaries' health status. In addition, the greater the average number of drugs per month that beneficiaries purchased before entering the coverage gap, the more they reduced the average number of drugs per month that they purchased during the coverage gap. Beneficiaries who purchased an average of at least nine drugs per month had the largest decrease at 18 percent.

Based on these findings, we recommend that CMS support outreach and education activities targeted at beneficiaries who make more prescription drug purchases before entering the coverage gap. To do this, CMS could encourage plan sponsors to augment current outreach and beneficiary education efforts and supplement plans' outreach and education efforts by working directly with beneficiaries to explore cost-saving strategies. In addition, CMS should target low income subsidy outreach to beneficiaries who entered the coverage gap in previous years without financial assistance. CMS concurred with one of our two recommendations. CMS did not agree with our first recommendation. We continue to believe that targeting beneficiaries with more prescription drug purchases before the coverage gap for outreach and education will assist these beneficiaries in identifying cost-saving strategies. CMS concurred with our second recommendation. However, the actions CMS stated it would take may not fully address our recommendation to use drug utilization data to identify potential beneficiaries for the subsidy.


5. EUROPEAN COMMUNITY REPORT: "Drawing on experience: Older women workers in Europe" (Eurofound Foundation Findings, February 2009, .pdf format. 19p.).



A. "Australia's First Dental Plan for Nursing Homes" (Mar. 1, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "Happy 110th Birthday To Australias Last Remaining WW1 Serviceman Jack Ross" (Mar. 11, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).


7. STATISTICS CANADA/STATISTIQUE CANADA REPORT: "Aging of justice personnel," by Mathieu Charron, Racha Nemr and Roxan Vaillancourt" (in Juristat, Vol. 29, No. 1, March 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 25p.).


8. GERMAN FEDERAL STATISTICS OFFICE STATMAGAZIN ARTICLE: "Labour force participation of older employees" (Jan. 13, 2009).,templateId=renderPrint.psml__nnn=true


9. CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH [UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES] BRIEF: "Half a Million Older Californians Living Alone Unable to Make Ends Meet," by Steven P. Wallace and Susan E. Smith (February 2009, .pdf format, 6p.).



A. "2008 North Dakota Member Survey," by Susan L. Silberman (February 2009, .pdf format, 19p.).

B. "Health Care Reform: Whats at Stake for 50- to 64-Year-Olds?" by Gerry Smolka, Leigh Purvis, and Carlos Figueiredo (March 2009, .pdf format, 13p.).

C. "The Tier 4 Phenomenon: Shifting the High Cost of Drugs to Consumers," by Bill Walsh (March 2009, .pdf format, 12p.).

D. "A First Look at How Medicare Advantage Benefits and Premiums in Individual Enrollment Plans are Changing from 2008 to 2009," by Marsha Gold and Maria Cupples Hudson (March 2009, .pdf format, 16p.).

E. "Medicare Advantage Benefit Design: What Does It Provide, What Doesn't It Provide, and Should Standards Apply?" by Marsha Gold and Maria Cupples Hudson (March 2009, .pdf format, 34p.).


11. BOSTON COLLEGE SLOAN CENTER ON AGING AND WORK STATE FACT SHEET: "State population aged 55+ with college degree (2006)" (Fact Sheet 4, March 2009, .pdf format, 2p.).


12. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "Use of Target-Date Funds in 401(k) Plans, 2007," by Craig Copeland (Issue Brief No. 327, March 2009, .pdf format, 31p.).



A. "Choosing a Medicare Part D Plan: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Choosing Low-Cost Plans?" by Jonathan Gruber (March 2009, .pdf format, 7p.).

B. "Retiree Health VEBAs: A New Twist On An Old Paradigm," by Phyllis C. Borzi (March 2009, .pdf format, 23p.).


14. NEWSWEEK ARTICLE: "Where Death Comes Cheap: Many families want to cut burial costs. One funeral director stands ready," by Matthew Philips (Mar. 16, 2009).


15. PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE (PLoS) MEDICINE ARTICLE: "Advanced Paternal Age Is Associated with Impaired Neurocognitive Outcomes during Infancy and Childhood," by Sukanta Saha, Adrian G. Barnett, Claire Foldi, Thomas H. Burne1,, Darryl W. Eyles, Stephen L. Buka, and John J. McGrath (PLoS Medicine Vol. 6, No. 3, e40 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000040, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 9p.).



A. "Coordination of PGC-1 {_beta_} and iron uptake in mitochondrial biogenesis and osteoclast activation," by Kiyo-aki Ishii, Toshio Fumoto, Kazuhiro Iwai, Sunao Takeshita, Masako Ito, Nobuyuki Shimohata, Hiroyuki Aburatani, Shigeru Taketani, Christopher J. Lelliott, Antonio Vidal-Puig, and Kyoji Ikeda (Vol. 15, No. 3, March 2009, p. 259-266).

B. "Neuroprotective effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rodent and primate models of Alzheimer's disease," by Alan H. Nagahara, David A. Merrill, Giovanni Coppola, Shingo Tsukada, Brock E. Schroeder, Gideon M. Shaked, Ling Wang, Armin Blesch, Albert Kim, James M. Conner, Edward Rockenstein, Moses V. Chao, Edward H. Koo, Daniel Geschwind, Eliezer Masliah, Andrea A. Chiba, and Mark H. Tuszynski (Vol. 15, No. 3, March 2009, p. 331 - 337).



A. "Antidiabetic drug metformin (Glucophage {super R} increases biogenesis of Alzheimer's amyloid peptides via up-regulating BACE1 transcription," by Yaomin Chena, Kun Zhou,Ruishan Wang, Yun Liu, Young-Don Kwak, Tao Ma, Robert C. Thompson, Yongbo Zhao, Layton Smith, Laura Gasparini, Zhijun Luo, Huaxi Xu, and Francesca-Fang Liao (Vol. 106, No. 10, Mar. 10, 2009, p. 3907-3912).

B. "Oligomeric amyloid {beta} associates with postsynaptic densities and correlates with excitatory synapse loss near senile plaques," by Robert M. Koffie, Melanie Meyer-Luehmann, Tadafumi Hashimoto, Kenneth W. Adams, Matthew L. Mielke, Monica Garcia-Alloza, Kristina D. Micheva, Stephen J. Smith, M. Leo Kim, Virginia M. Lee, Bradley T. Hyman, and Tara L. Spires-Jones. (Vol. 106, No. 10, Mar. 10, 2009, p. 4012-4017).

C. "Elevated CO2 levels affect development, motility, and fertility and extend life span in _Caenorhabditis elegans_," by Kfir Sharabi, Anat Hurwitz, Amos J. Simon, Greg J. Beitel, Richard I. Morimoto, Gideon Rechavi, Jacob I. Sznajderm and Yosef Gruenbaum (Vol. 106, No. 10, Mar. 10, 2009, p. 4024-4029).



A. "Abuse of people with dementia by family carers: representative cross sectional survey," by Claudia Cooper, Amber Selwood, Martin Blanchard, Zuzana Walker, Robert Blizard, and Gill Livingston (BMJ 2009;338:b155, Mar. 7, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, p. 577-592). This article is available free of charge.

B. "Lets not turn elderly people into patients," by Michael Oliver (BMJ 2009;338:b873, Mar 3, 2009, p. 603-606).

C. "GMC is to reconsider guidance on end of life care," by Clare Dyer (BMJ 2009;338:b875, Mar. 3, 2009, p. 559).


19. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Palliative Care for Latino Patients and Their Families," by Alexander K. Smith, Rebecca L. Sudore, and Eliseo J. Perez-Stable (Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life, Vol. 301, No. 10, Mar. 11, 2009, p. 1047-1057).


20. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE SPECIAL ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Growth in the Care of Older Patients by Hospitalists in the United States," by Yong-Fang Kuo, Gulshan Sharma, Jean L. Freeman, and James S. Goodwin (Vol. 360, No. 11, Mar. 12, 2009, p. 1102-1112).


III. Working Papers:

21. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH: The following papers have recently been released. Each is in .pdf format. Links to an abstract and full text are available at each URL listed below.

A. "Accounting for the Heterogeneity in Retirement Wealth," by Fang Yang (WP #2009-6).

B. Rising Tides and Retirement: The Aggregate and Distributional Effects of Differential Wage Growth on Social Security," by Melissa M. Favreault (WP #2009-7).

C. "Financial Hardship Before and After Social Security's Early Eligibility Age," by Richard W. Johnson and Gordon B.T. Mermin (WP #2009-8).

D. "Sources of Support for Pension Reform: A Cross-National Perspective," by Michelle Dion and Andrew Roberts (WP #2008-23).

E. "Economic Restructuring and Retirement in Urban China," by John Giles (WP #2008-24).

F. "Elderly Immigrants' Labor Supply Response to Supplemental Security Income," by Neeraj Kaushal (WP #2008-25).


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

22. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 99, No. 4, April 2009). 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.

23. Experimental Aging Research (Vol. 35, No. 2, 2009).

24. Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 28, No. 2, April 2009). 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.


25. 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 Mar. 11, 2009:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2009

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2009:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2009:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2009:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Mar. 11, 2009:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

26. WORLD SCIENTIFIC BOOK: Elderly Entrepreneurship In An Aging US Economy: It's Never Too Late, by Ting Zhang (2008, 284p., ISBN: 978-981-281-449-4). For more information see:


VI. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:

27. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: "Recovery Act Limited Competition: NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research (RC1)" (RFA-OD-09-003, Mar. 4, 2009). For more information see:

This opportunity is part of a larger suite of opportunities: "Grant Funding Opportunities Supported by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)":


28. METLIFE FOUNDATION/NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CAREGIVING: "National Family Caregiving Awards Request for Applications." Deadline for submissions is Apr. 24, 2009. For more information see:


29: AGEWORK.COM: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Mar. 12, 2009.


VII. Conferences:

30. CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: "Demographics, Development, and Retirement Policy in an Aging Latin America," to be held Mar. 24, 2009 in Washington, D.C. For more information see:,com_csis_events/task,view/id,1964/


31. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING CONFERENCE UPDATES. The following conferences have been added to the AoA conference page:

National Association for Home Care and Hospice 28th Annual Meeting and Exposition, to be held in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 10-14, 2009.

2009 Iowa Governor's Conference on Aging, to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, May 13-16, 2009.

15th Annual SHIP Directors Conference, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, May 26-29, 2009.



Frontiers in Epigenetics: Challenges for Chemistry, Biology and Medicine, to be held in London, UK, May 8, 2009

2009 Aging & Mental Health Conference Topic: Integrated Health Care for Older Adults, to be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jun. 18, 2009

Summer Series on Aging, to be held in Lexington, Kentucky, Jun. 22, 2009 Gerontology Conferences:


VIII. Websites of Interest:

33. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION STATEHEALTHFACTS.ORG UPDATES. has issued the following updates, which may be of interest to researchers in aging.

"Distribution of Medicaid Spending for Dual Eligibles by Service (in millions), 2005"

"Medicare Beneficiaries with Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage by Type, as of February 2009"

"LIS-Eligible Medicare Beneficiaries with Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, as of February 2009"



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:

Blundell, Richard; Pistaferri, Luigi, and Preston, Ian. Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance. The American Economic Review. 2008; 98(5):1887.

Whittington, Frank J. and Henretta, John C., (Eds.). Book Review: The Potential of Retirement: Functioning and Well-Being in the Third Age: 1986-2001. Grafova, Irina; McGonagle, Katherine A., and Stafford, Frank P. The Gerontologist. 2008; 48(_):401-404.


It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgement; and in these qualities old age is usually not only not poorer, but is even richer

Cicero--106-43 B.C.


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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