Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #555--September 23, 2010

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

Data for Canada were revised and updated through 2007.

Data for New Zealand national population, Maori, and non-Maori were revised and updated through 2008.

Data availability:

Data access:


2. INTER UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan has recently released the following dataset, which may be of interest to researchers in aging. "Cornell Study of Occupational Retirement, 1952-1958 [United States]" (#29223).


II. Reports and articles:

3. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING PERIODICAL: Enews, (September 2010, .pdf format, 11p.).


4. US AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY, HEALTHCARE COST AND UTILIZATION PROJECT STATISTICAL BRIEF: "Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations among Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibles, 2008," by H. Joanna Jiang, Lauren M. Wier, D.E.B. Potter, and Jacqueline Burgess (Statistical Brief No. 96, September 2010, pdf format, 11p.).


5. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES PRESS RELEASE: "Medicare Advantage Premiums Fall, Enrollment Rises, Benefits Similar Compared To 2010" (Sep. 21, 2010).


6. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NEWS RELEASE: "Medicare beneficiaries in donut hole will see 50-percent discount on brand name drugs in 2011" (Sep. 23, 2010).



A. "End Stage Renal Disease Drugs: Facility Acquisition Costs and Future Medicare Payment Concerns" (OEI-03-09-00280, September 2010, .pdf format, 28p.).


We found that 7 out of the 11 separately billable end stage renal disease (ESRD) drugs under review (including the 2 drugs accounting for the majority of expenditures) have seen a decrease in their average acquisition costs over the last several years. During this same period, the index on which CMS will soon base payment changes for ESRD drugs increased by 39 percent.

Medicare currently pays ESRD dialysis facilities based on a prospective payment system, known as the composite rate. Drugs not covered under the composite rate, such as epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa, must be billed separately and are referred to as separately billable drugs. Medicare pays for most separately billable drugs furnished by independent and hospital-based dialysis facilities at 106 percent of their average sales prices (ASP).

On January 1, 2011, Federal law will require CMS to begin implementation of a new system that combines composite rate payments with payments for items and services that are currently separately billable (including separately billable drugs) to create a single, bundled payment. Federal law will require that once the base rate for ESRD bundled payments takes effect, it be annually updated to reflect the changes over time in the prices of goods and services used to provide ESRD care. CMS has decided to base these price updates on wage and price proxy data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the ESRD drugs portion of the new bundled rate, CMS plans to use the Producer Price Index (PPI) for Prescription Drugs to estimate price changes.

This report (1) compares Medicare payment amounts for selected separately billable ESRD drugs to average acquisition costs for these drugs at dialysis facilities in the first quarter of 2009, (2) examines how facility acquisition costs for selected separately billable ESRD drugs have changed over the past several years, and (3) determines whether the method that CMS plans to use to update payments for separately billable ESRD drugs after 2011 is an accurate predictor of changes in facility acquisition costs. We sent requests for cost information to the three largest independent dialysis companies, a random sample of independent facilities not owned by the three largest dialysis companies, and all hospital-based dialysis facilities. Using acquisition cost data from previous OIG reports, we compared the changes in acquisition costs for separately billable drugs in independent facilities to changes in the PPI from 2003 to the first quarter of 2009.

We found that aggregate acquisition costs for ESRD drugs at both types of dialysis facilities were below ASP-based Medicare payment amounts. We also found that if CMS had used the PPI for Prescription Drugs to update payment amounts for epoetin alfa since 2003, total program payments to all independent dialysis facilities for the drug in the first quarter of 2009 alone would have been $113 million higher than actual payments under the current ASP-based system.

We recommend that CMS develop a more accurate method for estimating changes in the prices of ESRD drugs. CMS did not concur with our recommendation, stating that it believes that future ESRD drug price growth will more closely reflect market-based price drivers, such as those measured by the PPI for Prescription Drugs.

B. "Review of Jurisdiction A Medicare Payments for Selected Durable Medical Equipment Claims With the KX Modifier for Calendar Year 2007" (A-01-09-00528, September 2010, .pdf format, 25p.).


For certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS), suppliers must use the KX modifier on their Medicare claims to indicate that the claims meet Medicare coverage criteria and that the suppliers have the required documentation on file. Our review found that the KX modifier was not effective in ensuring that suppliers of DMEPOS that submitted claims to National Heritage Insurance Company (NHIC), the durable medical equipment contractor for Jurisdiction A, had the required supporting documentation on file. Based on our sample results, we estimated that NHIC paid approximately $54 million to suppliers that did not have the required documentation on file to support DMEPOS items with dates of service in 2007. The missing documentation included proof of delivery, physicians' orders, use or compliant use follow-up documentation, sleep studies, and physicians' statements.

We recommended that NHIC (1) recover $5,000 in payments for sampled DMEPOS items claimed for which the suppliers did not have the required documentation, (2) review other payments for DMEPOS related to our unallowable sampled items and recover any additional unallowable payments, (3) notify CMS of 24 suppliers that did not meet the supplier standard for maintaining proof of delivery so that CMS can take appropriate action, and (4) develop a corrective action plan to improve supplier compliance with the KX modifier and potentially save an estimated $54 million. NHIC concurred with our first three recommendations but did not concur with the fourth recommendation.

C. "Review of Jurisdiction B Medicare Payments for Selected Durable Medical Equipment Claims With the KX Modifier for Calendar Year 2007 Executive Summary" (A-05-09-00094, August 2010, .pdf format, 24p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

D. "Questionable Billing for Physician Services for Hospice Beneficiaries" (OEI-02-06-00224, September 2010, .pdf format, 8p.).

E. "Review of Medicare Parts A and B Services Billed With Dates of Service After Beneficiaries' Deaths" (A-01-09-00519, September 2010, .pdf format, 20p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


8. US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY NEWSLETTER: "Aging Initiative List Serve September 2010:"


9. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "State and Local Government Pension Plans: Governance Practices and Long-term Investment Strategies Have Evolved Gradually as Plans Take On Increased Investment Risk" (GAO-10-754, August 2010, HTML and .pdf format, 41p.).


10. MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT QUICKSTATS: "Life Expectancy at Birth, by Race and Sex --- United States, 1970--2007" (Vol. 59, No. 36, Sep. 17, 2010, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1185).



A. "International Update, September 2010" (September 2010, HTML and .pdf format, 3p.).

B. "Monthly Statistical Snapshot, August 2010" (September 2010).

C. "SSI Monthly Statistics, August 2010" (September 2010, HTML and .pdf format).


12. WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES REPORT: "Wisconsin's Annual Elder Abuse and Neglect Report:2009. A statewide summary of reports submitted by Wisconsin counties" (September 2010, .pdf format, 35p.).


13. ALZHEIMER'S AUSTRALIA REPORT: "Consumer Involvement in Dementia Research: Alzheimer's Australias Consumer Dementia Research Network" (September 2010, .pdf format, 19p.).

More information about AA:


14. ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE INTERNATIONAL [UK] REPORT: "World Alzheimer Report 2010" (September 2010, .pdf format, 52p.).

More information about ADI:


15. STATISTICS CANADA/STATISTIQUE CANADA ARTICLE: "Income replacement during the retirement years," by Sébastien LaRochelle-Cote, Garnett Picot and John Myles (_Perspectives on Labour and Income_, Vol. 11, No. 8, August 2010, HTML and .pdf format, p. 5-12).


16. EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY AND RESEARCH REPORT: "Sustainability and adequacy of pensions in EU countries: A cross-national perspective," by Asghar Zaidi (September 2010, .pdf format, 17p.).


17. JAPAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH, LABOUR, AND WELFARE, PENSION BUREAU REPORT: "The Point of the Pension Plan 2009" (2010, .pdf format, 52p.).


18. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS WEB MAGAZINE ARTICLE: "More male centenarians," by Joop Garssen and Carel Harmsen (Sep. 16, 2010).



A. "Measuring the satisfaction of partners and stakeholders on behalf of the Pension, Disability and Carers Service," by Caroline Lawes, Jonathan Rider and Nick Barratt (RR 692, September 2010, .pdf format, 56p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Employers' Pension Provision Survey 2009," by John Forth and Lucy Stokes (RR 687, September 2010, .pdf format, 147p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


20. UK HEALTH PROTECTION AGENCY REPORT: "A report on the management of diarrhoea in care homes," by Liz Maddock, Sue Andrews, Hazel J. Henderson, Peter Trail, Nancy Loades, Bernadette Purcell, Angela Iversen, and Jackie A. Cassell (August 2010, .pdf format, 15p.).



A. "A Portrait of Older Underbanked and Unbanked Consumers: Findings from a National Survey," by Ann McLarty Jackson, Donna V.S. Ortega, Elizabeth Costle, George Gaberlavage, Naomi Karp, Neal Walters, and Vivian Vasallo (September 2010, .pdf format, 107p.).

B. "Social Security: A Key Retirement Income Source for Minorities," by Selena Caldera (September 2010, .pdf format, 11p.).

C. "The Employment Situation, August 2010: Sharp Rise in Unemployment among Older Men," by Sara E. Rix (September 2010, .pdf format, 5p.).


22. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS RESEARCH INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "IRA Balances and Contributions: An Overview of the EBRI IRA Database," by Craig Copeland, (Issue Brief 346, September 2010, .pdf format, 17p.).


23. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE PERIODICAL: Caregiving Policy Digest (Vol. 10, No. 17, Sep. 22, 2010).


24. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION ISSUE BRIEF: "Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans: Key Changes in the Health Reform Law and 2010 Enrollment Data" (September 2010, .pdf format, 12p.).


25. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER NEWSLETTER (Vol. 11, No. 3, September 2010, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).


26. SLOAN CENTER FOR AGING AND WORK (BOSTON COLLEGE) FACTSHEET: "Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the US Older Adult Labor Force," by Betty Cohen (September 2010, .pdf format, 2p.).


27. URBAN INSTITUTE ARTICLE: "Can Budget Offices Help Us Address Demographic Pressure?" by C. Eugene Steuerle (The Government We Deserve, September 2010, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).


28. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Physician-assisted Suicide Attitudes of Older Mexican-American and Non-Hispanic White Adults: Does Ethnicity Make a Difference?" by David V. Espino, R. Lillianne Macias, Robert C. Wood, Johanna Becho, Melissa Talamantes, M. Rosina Finley, Arthur E. Hernandez, and Ruben Martinez (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 58, No. 7, 2010, p. 1370-1375, via Medscape).



A. "Gene Expression Profiles of Colonic Mucosa in Healthy Young Adult and Senior Dogs," by Dong Yong Kil, Brittany M. Vester Boler, Carolyn J. Apanavicius, Lawrence B. Schook, and Kelly S. Swanson (PLoS ONE 5(9): e12882. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012882, Vol. 5, No. 9, 2010, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 12p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Dysregulation of the mTOR Pathway Mediates Impairment of Synaptic Plasticity in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease," by Tao Ma, Charles A. Hoeffer, Estibaliz Capetillo-Zarate, Fangmin Yu, Helen Wong, Michael T. Lin, Davide Tampellini, Eric Klann, Robert D. Blitzer, and Gunnar K. Gouras (PLoS ONE 5(9): e12845. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012845, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 2010, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 10p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

C. "NO-Donating Aspirin and Aspirin Partially Inhibit Age-Related Atherosclerosis but Not Radiation-Induced Atherosclerosis in ApoE Null Mice," by Saske Hoving, Sylvia Heeneman, Marion J.J. Gijbels, Johannes A.M. te Poele, Manlio Bolla, Jeffrey F.C. Pol, Michelle Y. Simons, Nicola S. Russell, Mat J. Daemen, and Fiona A. Stewart (PLoS ONE 5(9): e12874. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012874, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 2010, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 10p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


30. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Phosphorylation by the c-Abl protein tyrosine kinase inhibits parkin's ubiquitination and protective function," by Han Seok Ko, Yunjong Lee, Joo-Ho Shin, Senthilkumar S. Karuppagounder, Bharathi Shrikanth Gadad, Anthony J. Koleske, Olga Pletnikova, Juan C. Troncoso, Valina L. Dawson, and Ted M. Dawson (Vol. 107, No. 38, Sep. 21, 2010, p. 16691-16696).



A. "Screening for prostate cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials," by Mia Djulbegovic, Rebecca J. Beyth, Molly M. Neuberger, Taryn L. Stoffs, Johannes Vieweg, Benjamin Djulbegovic, and Philipp Dahm (BMJ 2010; 341:c4543, Sep. 18, 2010, HTML and .pdf format, 9p.). This article is available free of charge.

B. "Prostate specific antigen concentration at age 60 and death or metastasis from prostate cancer: case-control study," by Andrew J. Vickers, Angel M. Cronin, Thomas Bjork, Jonas Manjer, Peter M. Nilsson, Anders Dahlin, Anders Bjartell, Peter T. Scardino, David Ulmert, and Hans Lilja (BMJ 2010; 341:c4521, Sep. 18, 2010, HTML and .pdf format, 8p.). This article is available free of charge.


32. LANCET NEUROLOGY ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Lancet may require free registration before providing articles. "Memantine for patients with Parkinson's disease dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial," by Murat Emre, Magda Tsolaki, Ubaldo Bonuccelli, Alain Destee, Eduardo Tolosa, Alexandra Kutzelnigg, Andres Ceballos-Baumann, Slobodan Zdravkovic, Anna Bladstrom, and Roy Jones (Vol. 9, No. 10, October 2010, p. 969-977).


III. Working Papers:

33. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER: "Financial Knowledge and Financial Literacy at the Household Level," by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier and Nahid Tabatabai (WP 2010-223, September 2010, .pdf format, 49p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


34. WHARTON SCHOOL (UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA) PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL: Note: PRC requires free registration before providing working papers.

A. "Annuities and their Derivatives: The Recent Canadian Experience," by Moshe A. Milevsky and Ling-wu Shao (WP2010-16, September 2010, .pdf format, 24p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "The United States Longevity Insurance Market," by Anthony Webb (WP2010-17, September 2010, .pdf format, 29p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

C. "Too Much Risk to Insure? The Australian (non-) Market for Annuities," by Hazel Bateman and John Piggott (WP2010-18, September 2010, .pdf format, 40p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

D. "Pension Payouts in Chile: Past, Present, and Future Prospects," by Jose Ruiz and Olivia S. Mitchell (WP2010-19, September 2010, .pdf format, 44p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


35. LONDON [UK] SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS CENTER FOR ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION (CASE): "Assessing the sustainability of pension reforms in Europe," by Aaron George Grech (CASE/140, September 2010, .pdf format, 36p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


36. NEP-AGE: Working papers in the Economics of Aging are available through the bibliographic database provided by Research Papers in Economics (RePEc). The latest compilations are for Sep. 11, 2010.


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

37. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 172, No. 6, Sep. 15, 2010).

38. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 100, No. 10, October 2010).

39. Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 29, No. 3, September 2010).

40. Journal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts (Vol. 4, No. 3 2010).

41. Research in Nursing and Health (Vol. 33, No. 5, October 2010).


42. 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 Sep. 20, 2010:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 20, 2010:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 20, 2010:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Sep. 20, 2010:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Sep. 20, 2010:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Sep. 20, 2010:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

43. SPRINGER PUBLISHING GERONTOLOGY TEXTBOOKS: Information about a selection of new gerontology textbooks is available at:


VI. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:


A. "NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) Short-term Interdisciplinary Training Program for New and Early-Stage Investigators (R25)" (RFA-NR-11-002, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, application deadline, Jan. 6, 2011). For more information see:

B. "Limited Competition for the Global Research Initiative Program, Basic/Biomedical Sciences (R01)" (PAR-10-278, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, multiple application deadlines). For more information see:

C. "Robotics Technology Development and Deployment [RTD2] (R43)" (PAR-10-279, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, application deadline, Dec. 20, 2010). For more information see:

D. "Limited Competition for the Global Research Initiative Program, Behavioral/Social Sciences (R01)" (PAR-10-280, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, multiple application deadlines). For more information see:

E. "Revision Requests for Active Program Projects (P01)" (PAR-10-284, National Institute on Aging, multiple application deadlines). For more information see:


45. AGEWORK.COM: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Sep. 22, 2010.


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

46. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING TESTIMONY: "Cutting Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Medicare and Medicaid," a hearing held Sep. 22, 2010 (.pdf format.). In addition to the print testimony, a video transcript of the hearing (running time: 2 hours, 16 minutes, 37 seconds).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

47. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION STATEHEALTHFACTS.ORG UPDATE: has updated the following data, which may be of interest to researchers in aging. "Share of Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries with Access to and Share Enrolled In a 4+ Star Plan, 2010" (September 2010).


48. MEDICARE.GOV WEBSITE UPDATES: The following site was updated Sep. 17-23, 2010: "Supplier Directory," and "Helpful Contacts." For all of's suite of interactive web databases see:


IX. Bibliography Updates:


Sanderson, W. and S. Scherbov. 2010. Remeasuring aging. Science 329(5997):1287-1288 (September 2010), doi: 10.1126/science.1193647

Skirbekk, V., Telle, K., Nymoen, E., and H. Brunborg. 2010. Retirement and mortality in Norway - Is there a real connection? Pages 201-222 in T. Salzmann, V. Skirbekk, and M. Weiberg (eds.), Wirtschaftspolitische Herausforderungen des demografischen Wandels. Wiesbaden, Germany: VS Verlag fuer Sozialwissenschaften.

More complete bibliography:


50. PANEL STUDY OF INCOME DYNAMICS: 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:

Banks, James; Kapteyn, Arie; Smith, James P., and vanSoest, Arthur. Work Disability is a Pain in the ****, Especially in England, the Netherlands, and the United States. Cutler, David M. and Wise, David A., (eds). Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability. Illinois: University of Chicago Press; 2009; pp251-.

Chatterjee, Swarn. Retirement Savings of Private and Public Sector Employees: A Comparative Study. Journal of Applied Business Research. 2010; 26(6):_.

Fletcher, Jason M.; Sindelar, Jody L., and Yamaguchi, Shintai. Cumulative Effects of Job Characteristics on Health. Health Economics. 2010; DOI:10.1002/hec.1616.

Gregory, Christian A. Three Essays on the Economics of Obesity. North Carolina: University of North Carolina - Greensboro; 2010 146 pp.

James, Wesley Lynn. Has the Education and Health Relationship Changed Over Time? A Panel Analysis of Age, Period, and Cohort Effects. Mississippi: Mississippi State University; 2009 163 pp.

Mayer, A. The Evolution of Wages Over the Life Cycle: Insights from Intergenerational Connections. Applied Economics. 2010; 42(22):2817-2833.

Nesbit, Rebecca. A Comparison of Volunteering Data in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Current Population Study. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 2010; 39(4):753-761.

Way, Megan McDonald. Essays in Intergenerational Transfers. Massachusetts: Boston College; 2009 125 pp.

Wu, Yanyuan. The Economic Well-Being of the Elderly and Public Policy. Illinois: University of Chicago; 2010 129 pp.

Zajacova, A. Consistency and Accuracy of Cancer Reporting in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Gerontologist. 2009; 49(Supp. 2):405.


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