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March 21, 2001, Issue No. 24

AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. IOM new patient safety report
  2. AHRQ catalog of state and national hospital databases
  3. Nominations for the Child Health Services Research Award
  4. Three AHRQ articles in Health Affairs on comparisons of health care services
  5. Article in the New England Journal of Medicine on expenditures for HIV care
  6. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) uninsured highlights
  7. New research-based online child health toolbox
  8. Dr. Eisenberg quoted in Good Housekeeping magazine
  9. Highlights from the most recent edition of our monthly newsletter
  10. AHRQ in the professional literature
  11. Factoid

1.  IOM New Patient Safety Report

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released on March 1 a new report on the quality of health care in America, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. The report calls for immediate action to improve the quality of health care and offers a comprehensive strategy to do so. In particular, it calls on the Department of Health and Human Services and AHRQ to take a number of specific actions and makes other recommendations that address AHRQ and its programs. Select to download or order a print copy of the report.

2.  AHRQ Catalog of State and National Hospital Databases

AHRQ issued a press release on March 8 announcing the release of a new catalog, Databases and Related Resources from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The HCUP project—a Federal State private industry partnership to build a standardized, multi-state data system for use in health care research and analysis—currently encompasses 22 State-specific hospital inpatient databases, 9 State-specific ambulatory surgery databases, and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release. Print copies of the catalog are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

3.  Nominations for the Child Health Services Research Award

Nominations for the 2001 HSC Foundation Child Health Services Research Award will be presented on June 9 at the Third Annual Child Health Services Researchers meeting sponsored by AHRQ. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy's annual meeting. The award recognizes the scientific work of emerging scholars in the field of child health services research, particularly research on low-income urban children with special needs. The recipient will receive $1,000 in recognition of his/her contribution to this important area of child health services research. The deadline for nominations is April 6.

4.  Three AHRQ Articles in Health Affairs on Comparisons of Health Care Services

AHRQ issued a press release on March 12 announcing three articles in the March/April 2001 issue of Health Affairs dealing with trends in the cost of health care services over the last 10 years. The articles discuss insurance status for the near-elderly worker (defined as between 55 and 65 years of age), expenditures for mental health services, and distribution of health care expenditures among the general population. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release. Reprints of these articles are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295.

5.  Article in the New England Journal of Medicine on Expenditures for HIV Care

AHRQ issued a press release on March 14 announcing a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by AHRQ grantee Samuel A. Bozette, M.D., Ph.D., with RAND. The nationwide study found that overall HIV treatment costs declined after the introduction of the "AIDS cocktail" in 1996, led by a sharp drop in inpatient hospital use. By 1998, hospital costs had risen somewhat, but overall HIV treatment costs were still lower than they had been. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the article.

6.  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Uninsured Highlights

AHRQ issued a press release on March 21 highlighting statistics on the uninsured from the 1999 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). In the first half of 1999, 15.8 percent of people in the United States, or 42.8 million people, were without health insurance coverage. Similar to MEPS data from previous years, young adults 19-24 years of age are more likely than other age group to be uninsured, and Hispanics and blacks are much more likely than whites to lack insurance. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the publication.

7.  New Research-Based Online Child Health Toolbox

AHRQ issued a press release on March 20 announcing the development of the Toolbox on Performance Measurement in Child Health Programs. This toolbox, which is a research-based online resource, consists of comprehensive descriptions of quality measurement tools. Users of this resource are expected to be Medicaid staff, public health staff, child health professionals, and health care administrators. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the Child Health Toolbox. Select to access more information about AHRQ's other child health research programs.

8.  Dr. Eisenberg Quoted in Good Housekeeping Magazine

AHRQ Director John Eisenberg, M.D., was quoted in an article in Good Housekeeping magazine on medical errors and what people can do to avoid them. The article appears in the April issue of Good Housekeeping, which has an average circulation of 24 million readers.

9.  Highlights from the Most Recent Edition of Our Monthly Newsletter

The new issue of Research Activities is in the mail. The key articles are:

  1. Many questions remain regarding the optimal screening strategy for hereditary hemochromatosis.
  2. Improvements are needed in screening of sexually active young women for chlamydia infection.
  3. Researchers examine progress and look to the future after a decade of outcomes and effectiveness research.
  4. Hispanics undergo fewer inpatient procedures than non-Hispanic whites hospitalized for the same conditions.
  5. Preventive oral care in primary pediatric care can help reduce disparities in children's oral health.
  6. AHRQ issues two RFAs on patient safety research.

Select to access the February issue of Research Activities.

10.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Atlas SJ, Deyo RA. Evaluating and managing acute low back pain in the primary care setting. J Gen Intern Med 2001 Feb;16(2):120-31.

Baine WB, Yu W, Summe JP. The epidemiology of hospitalization of elderly Americans for septicemia or bacteremia in 1991-1998: Application of Medicare claims data. Ann Epidemiol 2001 Feb;11(2):118-26.

Eisenberg JM. Can you keep a secret? Measuring the performance of those entrusted with personal health information. J Gen Intern Med 2001 Feb;16(2):132-34.

Kamerow D. National Guidelines Clearinghouse™ is the place to go for practice guidelines. Am Med News 2001 Feb 26;44(8):17.

Koroukian SM, Bush D, Rimm AA. Comparison of Cesarean section rates in fee-for-service versus managed care patients in the Ohio Medicaid populations, 1992-1997. Am J Manag Care 2001 Feb;7(2):134-42.

Ryan S, Riley A, Kang M, et al. The effects of regular source of care and health need on medical care use among rural adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2001 Feb;155(2):184-90.

Safran C, Goldberg H. Electronic patient records and the impact of the Internet. Int J Med Inf 2000 Nov;60(2):77-83.

11.  Factoid

Seventy-three percent of Americans say they think that the Government should require health care providers to report all serious medical errors to make sure that this information is publicly available. [Source: AHRQ/Kaiser Family Foundation National Survey on Americans as Health Care Consumers: An Update on the Role of Quality Information, December 2000.]

Contact Information

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Current as of March 2001


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