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New publications now available from AHRQ

The following new publications are now available free from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They may be ordered online or by phone or mail from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse. Please use the AHRQ publication number when ordering.

Care of Children and Adolescents in U.S. Hospitals. HCUP Factbook No. 4 (AHRQ Publication No. 04-0004).

This new AHRQ factbook presents statistics about the inpatient care of hospitalized children 0 to 17 years of age by stays for neonatal conditions, pediatric illness, and adolescent pregnancy. The publication, which draws its information from the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) for the year 2000, gives statistics for topics such as the reasons why children and adolescents are hospitalized, the procedures they undergo, the cost and length of hospital stays, what happens when children and adolescents are discharged, and how their hospital care is paid.

KID is part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-industry partnership, which includes data organizations and participating States.

Children's Dental Care Access in Medicaid: The Role of Medical Care Use and Dentist Participation. CHIRI™ Issue Brief No. 2 (AHRQ Publication No. 03-0032).

This Child Health Insurance Research Initiative (CHIRI™) Issue Brief reports on children's dental care use in the Alabama and Georgia Medicaid programs. Researchers found that less than 30 percent of children in the two States received dental care during the study period, and approximately half of these children received acute dental services, such as emergency and restorative care. Nearly all of the children who received care also received preventive care. Children who received medical care during the study period were more likely to receive dental care than those who received no medical care. The number of dentists participating in Medicaid affected the likelihood of children receiving dental care.

Outpatient Prescription Drug Expenses, 1999. MEPS Chartbook No. 12 (AHRQ Publication No. 04-0001), Stagnitti, M.N., Miller, G.E., and Moeller, J.F., editors.

This Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) chartbook gives information on spending for outpatient prescription medicines for the civilian noninstitutionalized (community) population in 1999. Various sections of the report present a summary of overall outpatient prescription medicine expenses and payments; expenses and payments for various population groups; and expenses by therapeutic class of medicine.

Outpatient prescription drug expenses in the community population totaled $94.2 billion in 1999 and accounted for almost 16 percent of total health expenses. The average expense per person was $341; the average expense per person among those who had an expense (about 62 percent of the population) was $547. Medicare beneficiaries comprised only 14 percent of the community population but accounted for more than 41 percent of prescription medicine expenses. The 10 percent of the population that had the highest drug spending accounted for 71 percent of expenses for the non-Medicare population and 41 percent of expenses for Medicare beneficiaries. The five therapeutic classes of drugs accounting for the largest expenses in the community population in 1999 were cardiovascular agents, hormones, central nervous system agents, psychotherapeutic agents, and respiratory agents.

Select to access MEPS Chartbook No. 12 online.

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