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May 9, 2002, Issue No. 56

AHRQ News and Numbers

In 1999, 136,688 patients were hospitalized for gastritis and duodenitis, with an average charge of $8,552. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Inpatient Sample].

Today's Headlines:

  1. Smoking and pregnancy Web chat scheduled for Monday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
  2. CAHPS® II grantees are chosen
  3. Evidence report on strength of evidence available
  4. Evidence report on chronic asthma available
  5. MEPS data workshop on June 5 in Hawaii
  6. Child Health Services Researchers meeting on June 22 in Washington, DC
  7. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Smoking And Pregnancy Web Chat Scheduled for Monday, May 13 at 2:00 PM EDT

AHRQ is currently working with the Web site to host a live Web chat on Monday, May 13 at 2:00 PM EDT, with one of our experts on the topic of smoking cessation and pregnancy. The chat will feature Sally Faith Dorfman, M.D., who is Medical Director at WellCare of New York, Inc., and a member of the panel that developed the Public Health Service's 2000 clinical practice guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. features information and resources that span pre-pregnancy through taking care of your parents. Dr. Dorfman will discuss tips from the guide, You Can Quit Smoking: Support and Advice from Your Prenatal Care Provider, which contains step-by-step guidance for quitting smoking and lists the many benefits of a tobacco-free life for both mother and child. Select to access the guide.

2.  CAHPS® II Grantees Are Chosen

In response to an RFA issued in 2001, AHRQ and CMS recently awarded the American Institutes for Research, Harvard, and RAND each a 5-year grant to continue and expand the work of Consumer Assessment of Health Plans (CAHPS®). Each grantee will receive $1.1 million for the first year. CAHPS® II will focus on the development of surveys to assess care given through nursing homes and group practices and for people with mobility impairments. CAHPS® II also will include a much stronger emphasis on the development, testing, and promotion of reports for diverse audiences, including consumers, purchasers, and non-English speaking audiences. In addition, the CAHPS® II grantees will study the use of CAHPS® information for quality improvement purposes. In early June, the new grantees will meet to draft the slate of activities for their first year. Select to access for more information about CAHPS®.

3.  Evidence Report on Strength of Evidence Available

We issued the summary of a new evidence report by AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center at Research Triangle Institute/University of North Carolina entitled Systems to Rate the Strength of Scientific Evidence. The report identifies and compares systems that rate the quality of evidence in individual research studies and compilations of studies addressing a common scientific issue. The report also provides guidance on the leading approaches currently in use for improving the quality of scientific evidence. Using well-specified criteria, the researchers identified 19 study-quality and 7 strength-of-evidence grading systems that people conducting systematic reviews and technology assessments can use as starting points for future evidence-based research projects. Select to access the press release, the summary. Print copies of the summary and the full report are available by sending an E-mail to Select to access a fact sheet, Rating the Strength of Scientific Research Findings.

4.  Evidence Report on Chronic Asthma Available

We issued the summary of a new evidence report by AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of Chicago, Management of Chronic Asthma. The report—which looks at several aspects of the condition, including the effect of antibiotics on acute asthma and asthma management plans—was developed at the request of NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. A print copy of the summary and the full report are available by sending an E-mail to

5.  MEPS Data Workshop on June 5 in Hawaii

AHRQ will offer a Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS HC) workshop sponsored by the Hawaii International Conference on Statistics and Related Fields on June 5 in Honolulu. The workshop is a full-day lecture designed to facilitate the use of the MEPS HC public use data files by the health services research community. It will provide practical information about the HC survey design, file content, use of various MEPS weights, and the construction of analytic files.

6.  Child Health Services Researchers Meeting on June 22 in Washington, DC

The Fourth Annual Child Health Services Researchers (CHSR) meeting will be held on June 22 in Washington. The meeting will spotlight plenary sessions and four "Cutting-Edge Tracks":

  1. Skill building.
  2. Cutting-edge research.
  3. Cutting-edge policies.
  4. Presentations from CHSR investigators on priority topics in child health research.

The meeting is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. Select to access the program agenda and the registration form.

7.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Feinberg E, Swartz K, Zaslavsky A, et al. English language proficiency and the enrollment of Medicaid-eligible children in publicly funded health insurance programs. Matern Child Health J 2002 Mar; 6(1):5-18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Glade GB, Forrest CB, Starfield B, et al. Specialty referrals made during telephone conversations with parents: study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network. Ambul Pediatr 2002 Mar-Apr; 2(2):93-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Liang W, Burnett CB, Rowland JH, et al. Communication between physicians and older women with localized breast cancer: implications for treatment and patient satisfaction. J Clin Oncol 2002 Feb 15; 20(4):1008-16. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Astor BC, Eustace JA, Klag MJ, et al. Race-specific association of lipoprotein(a) with vascular access interventions in hemodialysis patients: the CHOICE study. Kidney Int 2002 Mar: 61(3):1115-23. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Stryer D, Clancy C, Simpson L. Minority health disparities: AHRQ efforts to address inequities in care. Hlth Promotion Prac 2002 April; 3(2):125-9. A copy of the reprint is available by sending an E-mail to

Contact Information

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Current as of May 2002


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