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February 27, 2004, Issue No. 125

AHRQ News and Numbers

From 1996 through 2000, there was a significant decline in the percentage of all working people ages 16 through 64 who reported missing work due to their own illness, injury, or mental or emotional problems. The percentage of people reporting work loss days declined from 47.6 percent in 1996 to 33.8 percent in 2000 for ages 16 to 24, from 55.4 percent to 39.9 percent for ages 25 to 54, and from 45.9 percent to 35.1 percent for ages 55 to 64. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #31: Work Loss Days in the United States: 1996-2000—Estimates for the Employed Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, Age 16 to 64 (PDF File, 82 KB; PDF Help).]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ director to testify before House Appropriations subcommittee on FY '05 budget request
  2. New AHRQ fact book examines care of children and adolescents in U.S. hospitals
  3. Call for nominations of topics for Evidence-based Practice Centers
  4. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Web seminar set for April 20
  5. New MS Word downloads at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  6. Job openings at AHRQ
  7. Highlights from AHRQ's most recent monthly newsletter
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ Director to Testify Before House Appropriations Subcommittee on FY '05 Budget Request

AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., is scheduled to testify before the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on March 10 on the Agency's FY 2005 budget request. AHRQ is slated to receive $304 million in FY 2005 under President Bush's budget request, the same amount the Agency received in FY 2004. This includes $84 million for patient safety, an increase of $4.5 million over the FY 2004 level. The budget request will allow AHRQ to continue funding the $50 million for Patient Safety Health Care Information Technology Program. The budget request also maintains the FY 2004 budget level of $55.3 million for the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Select to access AHRQ's Budget Request (PDF File, 1.91 MB; PDF Help), which begins on page 44.

2.  New AHRQ Fact Book Examines Care of Children and Adolescents in U.S. Hospitals

A new Fact Book from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project includes 2000 data on children's hospitalizations drawn from the newest version of the Kids' Inpatient Database. The Fact Book, Care of Children and Adolescents in U.S. Hospitals, provides an overview of hospital care for children, including the types of conditions for which children are hospitalized, the types of procedures they receive, the resource use associated with children's hospital stays, who is billed for the stays, and how children are discharged from the hospital. Select to access the Fact Book. A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to

3.  Call for Nominations of Topics for Evidence-based Practice Centers

AHRQ invites nominations of topics for evidence reports and technology assessments relating to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of common diseases and clinical conditions, as well as topics relating to the organization and financing of health care. Nominations of topics are due by April 16. Select to access the February 25 Federal Register announcement.

4.  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Web Seminar Set for April 20

Register now for a 2-hour Web-assisted audio conference on AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) on Tuesday, April 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., EST. The seminar, "MEPS: The Fundamentals," is an introductory course providing a technical orientation to the survey. Learn how to access and use MEPS data and documentation, distinguish among different levels of files, identify variables of interest, and gain an understanding of basic concepts needed for merging and pooling MEPS data files. Select to access the Web site for complete program and registration information.

5.  New MS Word Downloads at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™

A new MS Word® download feature is now available on the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) Web site—an online public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. The complete summary for each guideline represented in the NGC database can be downloaded and viewed on all computers that use Microsoft Word. NGC content may also be downloaded to Personal Digital Assistants that can read Microsoft Word documents. For more information on this new view of NGC content, select the MS Word® download page available on the NGC Web site.

6.  Job Openings at AHRQ

AHRQ is seeking applicants for the position of Senior Advisor for Priority Populations in the Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations. Select to read this and other vacancy announcements.

7.  Highlights From AHRQ's Most Recent Monthly Newsletter

Among the key articles in the online issue of Research Activities are:

  • Studies reveal disparities in cardiac care related to race, sex, and socioeconomic status.

More than 1 million people in the United States undergo coronary revascularization with coronary artery bypass graft surgery or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty each year, and slightly more than half of these procedures are performed in elderly patients. Many studies have documented large and persistent differences in use of these procedures by race and sex.

Other articles include:

  • Researchers examine kidney disease progression and dialysis.
  • Researchers explore parents' influence on the care of seriously ill children.
  • Providing rehabilitation to newly admitted nursing home residents increases the likelihood of community discharge and lengthens survival.
  • Recent HCSUS studies focus on HIV infection in older individuals and women, use of complementary and alternative therapies, and insurance status.

Select to access Research Activities to read these articles and others.

8.  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.

Polverejan E, Gardiner JC, Bradley CJ, et al. Estimating mean hospital cost as a function of length of stay and patient characteristics. Health Econ 2003 Nov; 12(1):935-47. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Peterson ED, Kaul P, Kaczmarek RG, et al. From controlled trials to clinical practice: monitoring transmyocardial revascularization use and outcomes. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003 Nov 5;42(9):1611-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Talcott JA, Manola J, Clark JA, et al. Time course and predictors of symptoms after primary prostate cancer therapy. J Clin Oncol 2003 Nov 1;21(21):3979-86. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Flores G, Abreu M, Chaisson CE, et al. Keeping children out of hospitals: parents' perspectives on how pediatric hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions can be avoided. Pediatrics 2003 Nov;112(5):1021-30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Richards CF, Lowe RA. Researching racial and ethnic disparities in emergency medicine. Acad Emerg Med 2003 Nov;10(11):1169-75. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bradley EH, Holmboe ES, Mattera JA, et al. Data feedback efforts in quality improvement: lessons learned from US hospitals. Qual Saf Health Care 2004 Feb;13(1):26-31. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

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Current as of February 2004


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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