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January 16, 2002, Issue #41

AHRQ News and Numbers

About 75 percent of all U.S. women were covered by private insurance in 1996. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Women in the Health Care System: Health Status, Insurance, and Access to Care, MEPS Research Findings #17.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AOL Web chat with AHRQ researcher Dr. Arlene Bierman
  2. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force urges clinicians and patients to discuss aspirin therapy
  3. AHRQ and NIH form partnership to broaden evidence used in consensus development conferences
  4. Workshop on pharmaceutical outcomes research
  5. MEPS data users' workshops
  6. Child Health Services Researchers meeting set for June
  7. Colorectal cancer screening in primary care practice PA
  8. Guidelines added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  9. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. AOL Web Chat with AHRQ Researcher Dr. Arlene Bierman

A Web chat through Internet provider AOL will take place on Wednesday, January 16, at 7 p.m. Eastern time featuring AHRQ researcher Arlene Bierman, M.D., M.S. Dr. Bierman will be answering questions about a study she co-authored which found that potentially inappropriate medications are prescribed for up to one in five elderly people. The study, which was published in the December 11, 2001 issue of JAMA, found that about one-fifth of approximately 32 million elderly people not living in nursing homes in 1996 used at least 1 of 33 prescription medicines considered to be potentially inappropriate. The Web chat is free to anyone who subscribes to AOL.

2. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Urges Clinicians and Patients to Discuss Aspirin Therapy

New recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on aspirin use have received tremendous media attention from the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Associated Press, and others. The USPSTF recommended that clinicians discuss the benefits and harms of aspirin therapy with healthy adult patients who are at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), primarily heart attacks. The USPSTF recommendation was published in the January 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

3. AHRQ and NIH Form Partnership to Broaden Evidence Used in Consensus Development Conferences

AHRQ and the Office of Medical Applications of Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have entered into a partnership to ensure that the panelists of NIH Consensus Development Conferences have the latest scientific evidence to support their deliberations. AHRQ will be providing evidence-based reports on selected topics developed by its Evidence-based Practice Centers for Consensus Development Conferences in 2002 and 2003. Select to access the AHRQ press release.

4. Workshop on Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research

Mark your calendars for the Fourth Annual Workshop on Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research to be held October 17-18, in Newport, RI. AHRQ and the Drug Information Association are sponsoring the workshop to present and discuss new and interesting findings in the varied fields of pharmaceutical outcomes research, through a mixture of didactic sessions, abstract presentations, special facilitated poster discussions, and a pre-meeting tutorial. The finale of the meeting is a roundtable discussion with experts in the field and active audience participation to discuss issues of current interest in outcomes research. An update of outcomes-related activities of AHRQ and FDA will be presented. The deadline for submitting abstracts is February 28.

5. MEPS Data Users' Workshops

AHRQ is sponsoring two workshops to facilitate the use of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component by the health services research community. The workshops, designed for those with an interest in using national health surveys, will be held in San Francisco March 4, and March 6-7. At both workshops, participants will have the opportunity to bring up specific research and policy questions of interest to them.

6. Child Health Services Researchers Meeting Set for June

Mark your calendars for the Fourth Annual Child Health Services Researchers meeting that will be held on June 22 in Washington. The meeting will spotlight plenary sessions and four "Cutting-Edge Tracks":

  • Skill building.
  • Cutting-edge research.
  • Cutting-edge policies.
  • Presentations from CHSR investigators on priority topics in child health research.

Online registration will open in February. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy.

7. Colorectal Cancer Screening in Primary Care Practice PA

The NIH's National Cancer Institute and AHRQ released a new Program Announcement (PA) that specifically targets primary care research teams. Such teams include primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs) and integrated delivery system networks (IDSRNs). This initiative will provide funding for exploratory/development projects designed to improve the delivery and uptake, and to evaluate the short-term outcomes of colorectal cancer screening in primary care practice. The first application receipt date is June 20, 2002. Select to access the PA and other AHRQ funding opportunities.

8. Guidelines Added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™

A new guideline on folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects has been added to the NGC. There are now 988 guideline summaries in the NGC. Visit to access this guideline and others.

9. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Basu J, Clancy CM. Racial disparity, primary care, and specialty referral. Health Serv Res 2001 Dec; 36(6) Part II: 64-77.

Bierman AS, Lawrence WF, Haffer SC, Clancy CM. Functional health outcomes as a measure of health care quality for Medicare beneficiaries. Health Serv Res 2001 Dec; 36(6) Part II:90-109.

Miller MR, Elixhauser A, Zhan C, Meyer GS. Patient safety indicators: Using administrative data to identify potential patient safety concerns. Health Serv Res 2001 Dec; 36(6) Part II:110-31.

Taylor AK, Cohen JW, Machlin SR. Being uninsured in 1996 compared to 1987: How has the experience of the uninsured changed over time? Health Serv Res 2001 Dec; 36(6) Part II:16-31.

Lorenz JM, Paneth N, Jetton JR, et al. Comparison of management strategies for extreme prematurity in New Jersey and the Netherlands: Outcomes and resource expenditure. Pediatrics 2001 Dec; 108(6):1269-74.

Heller KE, Burt BA, Eklund SA. Sugared soda consumption and dental caries in the United States. J Dent Res 2001; 80(10):1949-53.

Simonsen L, Morens DM, Elixhauser A, et al. Effect of rotavirus vaccination programme on trends in admission of infants to hospital for intussusception. Lancet 2001 Oct 13; 358(9289):1224-29.

Clancy CM, Stryer DB. Racial and ethnic disparities and primary care experience [editorial]. Health Serv Res 2001 Dec;36(6 Part 1):979-86.

Mandelblatt JS, Bierman AS, Gold K, Zhang Y, et al. Construct of burden of illness in older patients with breast cancer: A comparison of measurement methods. Health Serv Res 2001 Dec; 36(6 Part 1):1085-107.

Vistnes JP, Cooper PF. Employer contribution methods and health insurance premiums: Does managed competition work? Int J Health Care Financ Econ 2001 Jun; 1(2):159-87.

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 January 2002


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