Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #577 -- March 3, 2011

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. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH PUBLIC PLANS DATABASE: "The Public Plans Database (PPD) contains comprehensive financial, governance, and plan design information for 126 state and local defined benefit plans. At the state level, the PPD covers 107 plans, which represent more than 90 percent of all state government pension assets and members. At the local level, the PPD covers 19 plans, which represent more than 20 percent of all local government pension assets and members. On a combined basis, the PPD represents more than 85 percent of total state and local government pension assets and members." Various extraction/download options are available at the site.


2. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: "ICPSR announced the release of the following new dataset that may be of interest to researchers of aging on Feb. 27, 2011. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

- Age Discrimination, an Audit Study: 2002-2003 in Boston, Massachusetts, and St. Petersburg, Florida (#23980):


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

- Data for Belgium were revised and updated through 2009 (March 2, 2011).

Data Availability:

Data Access:


4. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES MEDICARE & MEDICAID STATISTICAL SUPPLEMENT UPDATE: "Medicare Managed Care" (2010, tables 12.1-12.11, .zip compressed .pdf and Microsoft Excel format).


II. Reports and articles:

5. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING PERIODICAL: AoA eNews (March 2011, .pdf format, 10p.).



A. "Nursing Facilities' Employment of Individuals With Criminal Convictions" (OEI-07-09-00110, March 2011, .pdf format, 27p.).


Our analysis of criminal history records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that 92 percent of nursing facilities employed at least one individual with at least one criminal conviction. Overall, 5 percent of nursing facility employees had at least one criminal conviction.

Federal regulation prohibits Medicare and Medicaid nursing facilities from employing individuals found guilty of abusing, neglecting, or mistreating residents by a court of law, or who have had a finding entered into the State nurse aide registry concerning abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of residents or misappropriation of their property. Interpretive guidelines from CMS for this regulation state that "[nursing] facilities must be thorough in their investigations of the past histories of individuals they are considering hiring." Despite this guidance, Federal law does not require that nursing facilities conduct FBI or statewide criminal background checks. Although FBI maintained criminal history records provide a comprehensive source of criminal histories, the records do not contain information on whether the victim of a crime was a nursing facility resident and therefore cannot be used by themselves to determine whether a conviction disqualifies an individual from nursing facility employment.

Most often, criminal convictions were for crimes against property (e.g., burglary, shoplifting, and writing bad checks) and occurred prior to employment. We also found that despite the lack of a Federal requirement for nursing facilities to conduct criminal background checks, most States required, and/or nursing facilities reported conducting, some type of background check.

In light of the National Background Check Program that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created, we recommended that CMS develop background check procedures. In developing those procedures, CMS should (1) clearly define the employee classifications that are direct patient access employees and (2) work with participating States to develop a list of convictions that disqualify an individual from nursing facility employment under the Federal regulation and timeframes in which each conviction bars the individual from employment.

In its written comments on the report, CMS agreed with our recommendation. CMS stated that in its solicitation to States for the National Background Check Program, the definition of "direct patient access employee" is broad and outcome based, which in nursing facilities should include all staff. CMS stated that it will work with the States through the National Background Check Program to assist them in developing lists of convictions that disqualify individuals from employment, as well as defining whether any of those conviction types can be assumed to be mitigated because of the passage of time and which convictions should never be considered mitigated or rehabilitated.

B. "Review of Medicare Contractor Information Security Program Evaluations for Fiscal Year 2008" (A-18-09-30200, February 2011, .pdf format, 37p.).


The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 added information security requirements for Medicare contractors to the Social Security Act (the Act). Each Medicare contractor must have its information security program evaluated annually by an independent entity. To comply with this provision, CMS contracted with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to evaluate information security programs at the contractors using a set of agreed-upon procedures. The Act also requires evaluations of the information security controls for a subset of systems. To satisfy this requirement, CMS developed an information security assessment methodology and contracted with JANUS Associates, Inc. (JANUS), to perform technical assessments at Medicare data centers using the methodology.

OIG must submit to Congress annual reports on the results of these evaluations, to include assessments of their scope and sufficiency. This report fulfills that responsibility for fiscal year 2008.

PwC's evaluations of the contractor information security programs were adequate in scope and sufficiency. We could not determine the scope and sufficiency of the JANUS work for all of the data center technical assessments because of several issues with its working papers. PwC reported a total of 161 gaps at 26 Medicare contractors. JANUS reported a total of 48 gaps at 8 data centers.

We recommended that CMS review all contractor documentation related to future data center technical assessments and ensure that the work performed complies with CMS contractual requirements. At a minimum, this should include a review of test plans to ensure that the contractor has completed all required testing procedures and a review of contractor working papers to verify that reported gaps have been adequately supported, identified, and included in the technical assessment reports. CMS concurred with our recommendation and stated that it would take the appropriate actions to address the identified issues.



A. "Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Leadership Could Enhance National Response to Elder Abuse" (GAO-11-208, March 2011, HTML and .pdf format, 58p.).

B. "401(K) Plans: Improved Regulation Could Better Protect Participants from Conflicts of Interest" (GAO-11-119, January 2011, HTML and .pdf format, 74p.).

C. "Medicare: Private Sector Initiatives to Bundle Hospital and Physician Payments for an Episode of Care" (GAO-11-126R, January 2011, HTML and .pdf format, 15p.).


8. NEW ZEALAND MINISTRY OF HEALTH/MANATU HAUORA REPORT: "Tatau Kura Tangata: Health of Older Maori Chart Book 2011" (March 2011, .pdf format, 67p.).


9. UK DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "The use of vesting rules and default options in occupational pension schemes," by Andrew Wood, Peggy Young and Dominika Wintersgill (RR725, March 2011, .pdf format, 74p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


10. UK OFFICE OF NATIONAL STATISTICS REPORT: "Older People in the Labour Market: 2010" (March 2011, HTML and Microsoft Excel format).



A. "How Recent Changes in Reverse Mortgages Impact Older Homeowners," by Donald L. Redfoot (February 2011, .pdf format, 4p.).

B. "Adult Protective Services: Increased Demand and Decreased Funds," by Wendy Fox-Grage (March 2011, .pdf format, 2p.).

C. "New Health Care Law Helps Protect 18 Million Medicare Beneficiaries from High Drug Costs," by Leigh Purvis (March 2011, .pdf format, 4p.).

D. "Alzheimer's Caregivers: Number of unpaid Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers in each state and D.C., in 2009" (from _AARP Bulletin_, Mar. 3, 2011).


12. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "How Can Customized Information Change Financial Plans?" by Norma B. Coe and Kelly Haverstick (IB#11-4, March 2011, .pdf format, 5p.).


13. INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON PUBLIC POLICY [MONTREAL, QUEBEC] REPORT: "Labour-Force Participation of Older Displaced Workers in Canada: Canada Should I Stay or Should I Go?" by Ross Finnie and David Gray (February 2011, .pdf format,32p.).

More information about IRPP:


14. ALZHEIMER'S SOCIETY [UK] REPORT: "Dementia prevalence and diagnosis rates," (March 2011).


15. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU PERIODICAL: Population Bulletin (Vol. 66, No. 1, January 2011, .pdf format, 16p.). The title of this issue is "America's Aging Population," by Linda A. Jacobsen, Mary Kent, Marlene Lee, and Mark Mather.


16. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE PERIODICAL: Caregiving Policy Digest (Vol. 11, No. 4, Feb. 23, 2011).


17. _PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) reduce prostate size in experimental benign prostatic hyperplasia," by Ferenc G. Rick, Andrew V. Schally, Norman L. Block, Mehrdad Nadji, Karoly Szepeshazi, Marta Zarandi, Irving Vidaurre, Roberto Perez, Gabor Halmos, and Luca Szalontay (Vol. 108, No. 9, Mar. 1, 2011, p. 3755-3760).



A. "Dementia and Depression with Ischemic Heart Disease: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study Comparing Interventional Approaches to Medical Management," by W. Alan C. Mutch, Randall R. Fransoo, Barry I. Campbell, Dan G. Chateau, Monica Sirski, and R. Keith Warrian (PLoS ONE 6(2): e17457. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017457, Vol. 6, No. 2, Febrary 2011, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 7p.).

B. "Phosphorylation-Dependent 14-3-3 Binding to LRRK2 Is Impaired by Common Mutations of Familial Parkinson's Disease," by Xianting Li, Qing Jun Wang, Nina Pan, Sangkyu Lee, Yingming Zhao, Brian T. Chait, and Zhenyu Yue (PLoS ONE 6(3): e17153. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017153, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 13p.).



A. "Diuretic Strategies in Patients with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure," by G. Michael Felker, Kerry L. Lee, David A. Bull, Margaret M. Redfield, Lynne W. Stevenson, Steven R. Goldsmith, Martin M. LeWinter, Anita Deswal, Jean L. Rouleau, Elizabeth O. Ofili, Kevin J. Anstrom, Adrian F. Hernandez, Steven E. McNulty, Eric J. Velazquez, Abdallah G. Kfoury, Horng H. Chen, Michael M. Givertz, Marc J. Semigran, Bradley A. Bart, Alice M. Mascette, Eugene Braunwald, and Christopher M. O'Connor, M.D. for the NHLBI Heart Failure Clinical Research Network (Vol. 364, No. 9, March 3, 2011, p. 797-805).

B. "Diabetes Mellitus, Fasting Glucose, and Risk of Cause-Specific Death," by The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (Vol. 364, No. 9, March 3, 2011, p. 829-841).


III. Working Papers:

20. 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 Feb. 19, 2011.


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

21. 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 February 28, 2011:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of February 28, 2011:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of February 28, 2011:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of February 28, 2011:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of February 28, 2011:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of February 28, 2011:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding/Employment Opportunities:


A. "Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context (R01)" (PA-11-128, earliest submission date May 5, 2011, National Institute on Aging). For more information see:

B. "Lab to Marketplace: Tools for Brain and Behavioral Research (SBIR [R43/R44]) (PA-11-134, reissue of PA-08-071, earliest submission data Mar. 5, 2011, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

C. "Competing Renewal Awards of SBIR Phase IIB Grants for Brain and Behavior Tools (R44)," (PA-11-135, reissue of PA-08-056, earliest submission data Mar. 5, 2011, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:


23. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: "National Center on Elder Abuse," (HHS-2011-AoA-AB-1108, .pdf and Word format, 57p.). The deadline for applications is May 9, 2011.




24. AGEWORK.COM: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through March 2, 2011.


VI. Conferences:

25. CONFERENCEALERTS.COM PALLIATIVE CARE CONFERENCES: "Prevention of Age-Related Disorders and Main Geriatrics Syndromes," to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (April 6-9, 2011).

- "One Vision, One Voice," to be held in Richmond Hill, Canada (April 10-12, 2011).

Conferencealerts.Com Palliative Care:


26. CANADIAN ASSOCIATION ON GERONTOLOGY: "New Directions for Aging: 40th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting," to be held Oct. 21-23, 2011, in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

27. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Justice for All: Ending Elder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation," a hearing held Mar. 2, 2011 (.pdf format). In addition to the print testimony, a video transcript (running time: approximately 85 minutes).


28. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS HEARING TESTIMONY: "Waste, Fraud, and Abuse: A Continuing Threat to Medicare and Medicaid," a hearing held Mar. 2, 2011 (.pdf format). In addition to the print testimony, a video transcript (running time: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 46 seconds).


29. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EMPLOYMENT, LABOR, AND PENSIONS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Creating Greater Transparency for Pensioners," a hearing held July 20, 2010 (Serial No. 111-73, .pdf and ASCII text format, 47p.).







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