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June 29, 2000, Issue No. 10

AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. 1. AHRQ's Newly Redesigned Web Site
  2. 2. New Tobacco Cessation Guideline
  3. 3. Canto Article in JAMA
  4. 4. JAMA Article on Prostate Cancer
  5. 5. New Resource for Ambulatory Surgery Data
  6. 6. Announcement of AHRQ Research Priorities
  7. 7. HCUP Fact Book
  8. 8. AHRQ Small Research Grant Program Notice
  9. 9. New AHRQ Publications
  10. 10. AHRQ in the News
  11. 11. Previous Issues of this Newsletter
  12. 12. Factoid

1.  AHRQ's Newly Redesigned Web Site

AHRQ has launched a newly redesigned Web Site. We hope you will find the information more accessible and readable. The subdirectories will take you directly to relevant content within the site from the Home Page. Select to access the redesigned site.

2.  New Tobacco Cessation Guideline

The Surgeon General released the new PHS Tobacco Cessation Guideline at a press conference on June 27. The guideline was developed by an independent panel of experts and by a consortium of organizations including:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
  • National Cancer Institute.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  • The University of Wisconsin Medical School.
  • AHRQ.

Select to access the press release and guideline products. The panel chair, Dr. Michael Fiore, has an article in the June 28 issue of JAMA summarizing the recommendations of the guideline. Select to access the article. Exit Disclaimer

3.  Canto Article in JAMA

Dr. John G. Canto and researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham published a study entitled: "Prevalence, Clinical Characteristics, and Mortality Among Patients with Myocardial Infarction (MI) Presenting Without Chest Pain" in the June 28 issue of the JAMA. The AHRQ-funded study found that MI patients without chest pain were more likely to receive delayed treatment and less aggressive treatment, and they had an increased chance for in-hospital death, compared to MI patients with chest pain. Thirty-three percent of those patients diagnosed as having myocardial infarction did not have chest pain . Select to access the article. Exit Disclaimer

4.  JAMA Article on Prostate Cancer

Dr. Michael J. Barry of the Medical Practices Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital published a study entitled: "Comparison of Recommendations by Urologists and Radiation Oncologists for Treatment of Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer" in the June 28 issue of the JAMA. The AHRQ-funded study surveyed 559 radiation oncologists and 504 urologists from across the nation. The two groups of specialists largely agree that radical prostate surgery, external beam radiotherapy, and brachytherapy are potentially life-saving treatments for localized prostate cancer in men whose normal life expectancy is 10 years or longer. The study also found that almost all the urologists and radiation oncologists agreed that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing should be included as part of primary care physicians' routine physical examination of men between 50 and 75 years of age. Select to access the article. Exit Disclaimer

5.  New Resource for Ambulatory Surgery Data

On June 26, AHRQ announced the availability of a new set of databases from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). This new resource—the State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD)—provides data on ambulatory surgery encounters from data organizations in five participating States:

  • Colorado.
  • Florida.
  • New Jersey.
  • New York.
  • Utah.

All SASD files contain abstracts from hospital-affiliated ambulatory surgery sites; some include records from freestanding surgery centers as well. SASD files are available for purchase in CD-ROM format from the HCUP Central Distributor at (805) 681-5876; fax: (805)681-5888; E-mail:

6.  Announcement of AHRQ Research Priorities

On June 26, AHRQ issued a program announcement (PA), outlining AHRQ's priority interests for research, demonstration, dissemination, and evaluation projects. Researchers should use these priorities to guide their development of investigator-initiated grant applications. AHRQ seeks research on a wide range of topics organized under the Agency's priority program areas:

  • Supporting improvements in health outcomes.
  • Strengthening quality measurement and improvement.
  • Identifying strategies to improve access, foster appropriate use, and reduce unnecessary expenditures.

Select to access the program announcement.

7.  HCUP Fact Book No. 1

On June 22, AHRQ released a new report that shows that over a third of all hospital patients are initially seen in the emergency department before being admitted. This first HCUP Fact Book Hospitalization in the United States, 1997 summarizes data on hospital inpatient care, including diagnoses, charges, length of stay, insurance coverage, discharge status and in-hospital deaths. Copies of the Fact Book are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295.

8.  AHRQ Small Research Grant Program Notice

On June 23, AHRQ released a notice to inform potential applicants that the budget limit on small project grant applications has been increased from $50,000 in total direct costs to $100,000 in total costs (direct costs plus facilities and administrative costs).

9.  New AHRQ Publications

  1. CERTS Fact Sheet.
  2. Grant Awards Relevant to Minority Health, Fiscal Year 1999.

10.  AHRQ in the News

Eisenberg JM. Quality research for quality healthcare: the data connection. Health Serv Res 2000 June; 35(2):xii-xvii.

Hallstrom A, Cobb L, Johnson E, et al. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation by chest compression alone or with mouth-to-mouth ventilation. N Engl J Med 2000 May 25; 342(21):1546-1553.

Kapur K, Joyce JF, Van Vorst KA, et al. Expenditures for physician services under alternative models of managed care. Med Care Res Rev 2000 June; 57(2):161-181.

McCarthy T and White KL. Origins of health services research. Health Serv Res 2000 June; 35(2):375-387.

Q&A: Staying true to roots while branching out. A conversation with John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A. [interview]. Managed Care 2000 May; 9(5):33-40

Shortell SM, Clancy CM, Luft HS, et al. Annual report to our readers and the field: September 1, 1998-August 31, 1999 [editorial]. Health Serv Res 2000 June; 35(2):367-373.

11.  Previous Issues of this Newsletter

Select to access the nine previous issues.

12.  Factoid

Fewer than half of all children under 18 saw a dentist in 1996. [McCormick, M.C., et al. "Annual report on access to and utilization of health care for children and youth in the United States-1999." Pediatrics 105, no. 1 pt. 3 (2000): 219-30.]

Contact Information

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Current as of June 2000


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