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October 22, 2004, Issue No. 151


AHRQ News and Numbers

The average annual health insurance premiums in the United States in 2002 were $3,189 for single coverage, $6,043 for employee-plus-one coverage, and $8,469 for family coverage. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #51: State Differences in the Cost of Job-Related Health Insurance, 2002 (PDF File, 142 KB; PDF Help).]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ's Carolyn Clancy participates in eHealth Initiative's Health Information Technology Summit
  2. Web Conference on Surge Capacity and Health System Preparedness Set for October 26
  3. Obesity: Latest Evidence on Prevention and Treatment-Register Now for October 29 Web Conference
  4. AHRQ's Carolyn Clancy Elected New Member of the Institute of Medicine
  5. Research in Action on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Available
  6. Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?
  7. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ's Carolyn Clancy Participates in eHealth Initiative's Health Information Technology Summit

On October 21, AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D., spoke to attendees at the eHealth Initiative's Health Information Technology Summit about the role of health IT in improving health care quality and patient safety. She described AHRQ's health IT involvement through its $139 million health IT portfolio of grants and contracts announced by Secretary Thompson last week. The portfolio includes over 100 grants to communities, hospitals, providers, and health care systems in 38 states for planning, implementing, and demonstrating the value of health IT, contracts with five states to develop secure statewide and regional networks to share health information, and AHRQ's National Health Information Technology Resource Center to provide technical assistance and consulting services to these projects. At a press conference during the summit, Dr. Clancy reiterated how important information technology is to the nation's health care system. Select to read the health IT fact sheet for information on the individual grants and contracts.

2.  Web Conference on Surge Capacity and Health System Preparedness Set for October 26

Last chance to register! Sign up now for AHRQ's free bioterrorism Web conference on Surge Capacity and Health System Preparedness. Surge capacity is a health care system's ability to rapidly expand beyond normal services to meet the increased demand for qualified personnel, medical care, and public health in the event of bioterrorism or other large-scale public health emergencies or disasters. The Web conference, scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., EDT, will focus on "Addressing Surge Capacity in a Mass Casualty Event." This 90-minute Web conference is designed to share the latest health services research findings, promising practices, and other important information with State and local health officials and key health systems decisionmakers.

3.  Obesity: Latest Evidence on Prevention and Treatment-Register Now for October 29 Web Conference

AHRQ is sponsoring a free, interactive Web conference on October 29 focusing on "Obesity: Latest Evidence on Prevention and Treatment," from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. The Web conference follows in the wake of the publication of AHRQ's new evidence report, Pharmacological and Surgical Treatment of Obesity, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's December 2003 recommendations for screening adults to prevent and detect overweight and obesity. Objectives of the Web conference include helping participants better understand coverage issues related to obesity and the process used by CMS to make coverage decisions; differentiate among various approaches for the prevention and treatment of obesity and identify their strengths and limitations; and understand the value of the emerging evidence base for the pharmacological and surgical treatment of obesity and its use in policy development.

4.  AHRQ's Carolyn Clancy Elected New Member of the Institute of Medicine

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., AHRQ Director is one of 65 new members elected to the Institute of Medicine this week. The members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. Current active members elect new members from candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. The new members volunteer to serve on IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues. Select to read the IOM press release.

5.  Research in Action on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Available

AHRQ released a new synthesis called Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Trends in Cost and Access. This report highlights data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey about health insurance obtained through an employer for the period 1996 through the first half of 2003. U.S. employers provide health insurance to nearly two-thirds of the population under age 65. In general, the higher the employee contribution is, the less likely employees are to enroll. Employment-related insurance coverage among Hispanic men declined 13 percent between 1987 and 1996, and by 2003, 38.5 percent of Hispanic men under age 65 were uninsured, compared with 16.2 percent of white men. In general, the percentage of full-time employees who worked where health insurance was offered to retirees fell between 1998 and 2000. Select to read the synthesis. A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

6. Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?

We are always looking for ways in which AHRQ-funded research, products, and tools have changed people's lives, influenced clinical practice, improved policies, and affected patient outcomes. Impact case studies describe AHRQ research findings in action. These case studies are used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches. We would like to know if you are aware of any impact your AHRQ-funded research has had on health care policy, clinical practice, or patient outcomes. Contact AHRQ's Impact Case Studies Program at (301) 427-1243 with your impact stories.

7.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Morimoto T, Gandhi TK, Fiskio JM, et al. Development and validation of a clinical prediction rule for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-induced cough. J Gen Intern Med 2004 Jun;19(6):684-91. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Murray ME, Henriques JB. A test of mental health parity: comparisons of outcomes of hospital concurrent utilization review. J Behav Health Serv Res 2004 Apr-Jun;31(4):266-78. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Maroney CL, Litke A, Fischberg D, et al. Acceptability of severe pain among hospitalized adults. J Palliat Med 2004 Jun;7(3):443-50. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Deshefy-Longhi T, Dixon JK, Olsen D, et al. Privacy and confidentiality issues in primary care: views of advanced practice nurses and their patients. Nurs Ethics 2004;11(4):378-93. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kuppermann M, Nease RF, Gates E, et al. How do women of diverse backgrounds value prenatal testing outcomes? Prenat Diagn 2004 Jun;24(6):424-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Scott JG, Cohen D, DiCicco-Bloom B, et al. Speaking of weight: how patients and primary care clinicians initiate weight loss counseling. Prev Med 2004 Jun;38(6):819-27. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of October 2004

 

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