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November 15, 2001, Issue No. 37

AHRQ News and Numbers

The national average health insurance premium in 1998 was $2,174 for single coverage and $5,590 for family coverage. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2001. MEPS Chartbook No. 7: State differences in job-related health insurance, 1998.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. Bioterrorism guidelines added to NGC
  2. CMS release on CAHPS® fee-for-service survey
  3. BRIC and M-RISP grant awards
  4. Patient safety research demonstration projects
  5. Highlights from the most recent edition of our monthly newsletter
  6. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Bioterrorism guidelines added to NGC

Go to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) to review a series of evidence-based guidelines on anthrax and other biological agents. The site includes a link to the emergency preparedness site hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the most up-to-date recommendations on bioterrorism developed by CDC.

2.  CMS release on CAHPS® fee-for-service survey

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the availability of new quality information from the Medicare Consumer Assessment of Health Plans® (CAHPS®) survey. The survey supports beneficiaries' choice of health coverage, whether they choose a traditional Medicare plan or a Medicare managed care plan. CAHPS® is a set of survey and reporting tools developed by AHRQ to measure consumers' experience with health plans and report that experience back to other consumers and purchasers to help them choose among health plans. AHRQ worked with CMS to adapt the CAHPS® tools for Medicare beneficiaries.

3.  BRIC and M-RISP grant awards

AHRQ awarded a series of grants under two new funding mechanisms. The first, the Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC) program, is intended to broaden geographic distribution of health services research funding by enhancing the competitiveness for research funding among institutions located in states where successful applications to the AHRQ historically have been low. AHRQ is supporting six grants under the BRIC program for a total of $1,738,300. The second, the Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP), supports grants to develop the health services research capabilities of minority-serving institutions. AHRQ is supporting three M-RISP grants for a total of $1,179,919 in the first year. Select to access the press release.

4.  Patient safety research demonstration projects

As part of the $50 million patient safety research initiative announced by HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on October 11, AHRQ is funding 24 projects that examine different methods of collecting data on errors or analyzing data that are already collected to identify factors that put patients at risk for medical errors. For example, a $1.7 million project at the New York State Department of Health and a $1.3 million project at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will examine how to improve the effectiveness of state mandatory reporting of errors. These projects will study the effectiveness of disseminating information to the public about errors. In addition, a $1.4 million project at Harvard University in Boston will examine the use of data from malpractice cases as a source of information about risks and the effectiveness of using that information to reduce the chance that a patient will be harmed.

5.  Highlights from the most recent edition of our monthly newsletter

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

  • Hormone replacement therapy does not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence, but more studies are needed.
  • Researchers examine the use of x-rays to diagnose cervical spine injuries due to blunt trauma.
  • Improving the design of Medicaid dental programs may lead to better oral health for poor children.
  • When integrated into nursing home care, hospice care decreases hospitalizations for Medicare patients.
  • Researchers examine the impact of consumer health plan reports on plan choices and quality of care.

Select to access these articles and others.

6.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

DiSalvo TG, Normand SL, Hauptman PJ, et al. Pitfalls in assessing the quality of care for patients with cardiovascular disease. Am J Med 2001 Sep 1;111(4):297-303.

Katz MH, Cunningham WE, Fleishman JA, et al. Effect of case management on unmet needs and utilization of medical care and medications among HIV-infected persons. Ann Intern Med 2001 Oct 16;135(8 Pt 1):557-65.

D'Alessandro DM. Empowering children and families with information technology. Arch Pediatr Adoles Med 2001 Oct;155(10):1131-6.

Collins RL, Kanouse DE, Gifford Al, et al. Changes in health-promoting behavior following diagnosis with HIV: prevalence and correlates in a national probability sample. Health Psychol 2001 Sep;20(5):351-60.

Scott JG, Cohen D, DiCicco-Bloom B, et al. Antibiotic use in acute respiratory infections and the ways patients pressure physicians for a prescription. J Fam Practice 2001 Oct;50(10):853-8.

Crabtree BF, Miller WL, Stange KC. Understanding practice from the ground up. J Fam Practice 2001 Oct;50(10):881-7.

Main DS, Holcomb S, Dickinson P, et al. The effect of families on the process of outpatient visits in family practice. J Fam Practice 2001 Oct;50(10):e888.

Levin KP, Hanusa BH, Rotondi A, et al. Arterial blood gas and pulse oximetry in initial management of patients with community-acquired pneumonia. J Gen Intern Med 2001 Sept;16(9):590-8.

Turner BJ, Fleishman JA, Wenger N, et al. Effects of drug abuse and mental disorders on use and type of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected persons. J Gen Intern Med 2001 Sept;16(9):625-33.

Contact Information

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Current as of November 2001


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