Current Social Science Research Report--Health #95, January 13, 2009.

CSSRR-Social is a weekly email report produced by the Data and Information Services Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It seeks to help social science researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. This report will contain selected listings of new: reports, articles, bibliographies, working papers, tables of contents, conferences, data, and websites. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


CSSRR-Social is compiled and edited by Jack Solock and Charlie Fiss.


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Index to this issue:















1. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Articles:

A. "Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Birth Prevalence of Spina Bifida --- United States, 1995--2005," (Centers for Disease Control, Vol. 57, No. 53, January 9, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 1409-1413).

B. "Changes in Tobacco Use Among Youths Aged 13--15 Years --- Panama, 2002 and 2008," (Centers for Disease Control, Vol. 57, No. 53, January 9, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1416-1419).

.pdf for both:

2. Centers for Disease Control Periodical, Compendium Update, Report:

A. Emerging Infectious Diseases (Vol. 15, No. 1, January 2009).

Note: this is a temporary address. When the next EID is released, this one, along with all others, will be available at:

B. "2008 Compendium of Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Interventions" (May 2008, .pdf format). Eight new interventions were added on Dec. 18, 2008.

C. "Enhanced Perinatal Surveillance--Participating Areas in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2000--2003" (HIV/AIDS Supplemental Surveillance Report, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2008, .pdf format, 35p.).

3. National Institutes of Health Biennial Report: "Biennial Report of the Director, National Institutes of Health, Fiscal Years 2006 & 2007" (January 2009, .zip compressed .pdf format, 632p.).

4. National Institute on Drug Abuse Report: "Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses" (National Institutes of Health, January 2009, .pdf format, 11p.). Link to full text is at the bottom of the page.

5. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief: "Medicare Hospital Stays: Comparisons between the Fee-for-Service Plan and Alternative Plans, 2006," by Bernard Friedman, H. Joanna Jiang, and C. Allison Russo (Statistical Brief No. 66, January 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 9p.).



6. Department of Health and Human Service, Office of Inspector General Reports:

A. "Adverse Events in Hospitals: Overview of Key Issues," (OEI-06-07-00470, December 2008, .pdf format, 48p.).


The term "adverse event" describes harm to a patient as a result of medical care. OIG shows that reducing the incidence of adverse events is a high priority and that new policies, such as Medicare's nonpayment for care associated with events and public disclosure of events, strengthen hospitals' incentives to develop safer practices. Stakeholders interviewed by OIG described the current environment as being on the threshold of accelerated progress.

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act) requires that OIG report to Congress regarding never events among Medicare beneficiaries. This report is one in a series of reports to fulfill the requirements of the Act and inform decision makers regarding adverse events. OIG work in this area will continue through 2009. For purposes of this and related reports, we expand beyond the term "never event" to address "adverse events," or patient harm resulting from medical care.

To identify key issues, we interviewed stakeholders and reviewed current literature to identify the following areas critical to understanding the landscape of adverse events in hospitals: Estimates of the incidence of adverse events in hospitals vary widely and measurement is difficult. Nonpayment policies for adverse events are gaining in prominence and are viewed as a powerful incentive to reduce incidence but raise potential drawbacks. Hospitals rely on staff and managers to report adverse events internally, but barriers can inhibit reporting. Hospitals report adverse events to various oversight entities, although stakeholders suspect substantial underreporting. Public disclosure of adverse events can benefit patients but also raises legal concerns for patients and providers. Information to help prevent adverse events is widely available, but some hospitals and clinicians may be slow to adopt or routinely apply recommended practices. Interviews and literature reveal strategies that may accelerate progress in reducing the incidence of adverse events in hospitals.

We received comments on a draft of this report from AHRQ and CMS. AHRQ concurred with the report's findings. CMS commended OIG on succinctly capturing the numerous issues surrounding this complex topic, acknowledged technical assistance provided to OIG in conducting the study, and indicated that it welcomed continued work with OIG on this issue. CMS reiterated its policies to encourage the prevention of adverse events, particularly the nonpayment provision for hospital-acquired conditions, noting that OIG's work is supportive of and will enable more effective CMS implementation of the provision.

B. "Adverse Events in Hospitals: State Reporting Systems," (OEI-06-07-00471, December 2008, .pdf format, 30p.).


OIG found that 26 States operated adverse event reporting systems (hereinafter referred to as systems) as of January 2008. Although these systems vary by the list of reportable events, the criteria for determining whether events are reportable, and the information about events that must also be submitted to the State, most States use reported data in similar ways to hold individual hospitals accountable for their patient care performance (23 States) and to promote learning and prevent adverse events (18 States).

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act) requires that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report to Congress regarding never events among Medicare beneficiaries. This report is one in a series of reports to fulfill the requirements of the Act and inform decision makers regarding never events. OIG work in this area will continue through 2009. For purposes of this and related reports, we expand beyond the term "never event" to address "adverse events," or patient harm resulting from medical care.

State systems collect data regarding adverse events that have taken place in hospitals and other health care settings. According to the Institute of Medicine, these systems have the potential to both hold individual hospitals accountable for performance and to provide information that could lead to improved patient safety.

OIG found that staff from 15 of the 26 States reported that hospitals do not always file reports when adverse events occur and that States have implemented several strategies to motivate hospitals to report. These strategies include legal protections to prevent improper disclosure, monetary penalties for failing to report, and provision of feedback to hospitals about reported events. States reported holding individual hospitals accountable for their patient care performance by conducting desk or onsite audits and/or State-led investigations of the hospitals' handling of reported events. States reported using data to promote learning and prevent adverse events by generating reports, conducting training, and producing patient safety bulletins and alerts.

Although State systems appear to be disparate, OIG concluded that States use reported data in similar ways to improve patient safety. Although States identified several strategies to encourage hospitals to follow State laws to report adverse events when they occur, States continue to identify instances of underreporting and may find it prudent to consider other means to more effectively ensure reporting by hospitals.

AHRQ and CMS provided positive comments on the draft report. AHRQ called for greater precision when discussing the differences between the National Quality Forum's list of Serious Reportable Events and CMS's payment policy. Although this report does not examine payment policies, we assured AHRQ that we will make these distinctions clear in other OIG reports. Given the variability in States' identification of adverse events, CMS expressed its belief that the report should more clearly describe impediments in identifying and managing adverse events and that data from State systems are not useful in understanding national issues and trends. We modified the report's conclusion to underscore that data from State adverse event reporting systems are unsuitable for national level analyses. CMS also indicated that it would be helpful to identify potential solutions and other partners in reporting systems' efforts. We responded that we will consider these issues in planning future work in this area.

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US States:


State Department of Health Reports:

A. "HIV/AIDS/STD Monthly Surveillance Update: November 2008" (December 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).

B. "Illinois Lead Program Surveillance Report-2007" (September 2008, .pdf format, 34p.).

C. "Clostridium Difficile-Associated Disease in Illinois Hospitals" (December 2008, .pdf format, 15p.).


Department of Health and Hospitals Report: "2008 Survey of People with Disabilities in Louisiana" (January 2009., .pdf format, 785p.).

New Jersey:

Department of Health and Senior Services Report: "2006 Induced Terminations of Pregnancy" (January 2009).

North Dakota:

State Data Center Reports: "North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)." The SDC has recently released several "PRAM-O-GRAMs" (Nos. 6-9, (December 2008).


Department of Health Report: "2007 Abortion Statistics" (2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

Rhode Island:

Department of Health Reports:

A. "2007 Rhode Island HIV/AIDS Epidemiologic Profile With Surrogate Data" (2008, .pdf format, 66p.).

B. "Disparities in Diabetes in Rhode Island," by Annie Gjelsvik (November 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).

C. "The Health of RIís Hospitals (2007): a financial analysis," by Bruce Cryan (December 2008, .pdf format, 31p.).

2007 Hospital Financial Dataset," by Bruce Cryan (October 2008, Microsoft Excel format).

South Carolina:

Department of Health and Environmental Control Report: "South Carolina Mother and Child Health Data book 2008" (2008, .pdf format, 146p.).


Office of Financial Management Research Briefs:

A. "Health Insurance by Race/Ethnicity: 2008," by Erica Gardner (Brief No. 52, December 2008, .pdf format, 5p.).

B. "Characteristics of the Uninsured: 2008," by Erica Gardner (Brief No. 51, December 2008, .pdf format, 5p.).

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NGO and Other Countries:

United Nations:

1. World Health Organization Press Release: "Health services close to collapse in Gaza," (January 7, 2009).

2. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Report: "Caring for people with chronic conditions: A health system perspective," edited by Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee (2008, .pdf format, 259p.).



Statistics Netherlands: SN has updated its Web Magazine, Economic Monitor, and Press Releases from Dec. 17, 2008-Jan. 13, 2009).



Statistics Norway News Releases: SN has updated its news releases from Dec. 17, 2008-Jan. 13, 2009).



Federal Bureau of Statistics Report: "Pakistan Social And Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2006-07 (Provincial/District) (May 2008, .pdf format).

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Rand Corporation Reports:

A. "Improving Patient Safety in the EU: Assessing the expected effects of three policy areas for future action," by Annalijn Conklin, Anna-Marie Vilamovska, Han de Vries, Evi Hatziandreu (TR-596-EC, 2008, .pdf format, 146p.).

B. "Improving Organ Donation and Transplantation in the European Union: Assessing the Impacts of European Action," by Jan Tiessen, Annalijn Conklin, Barbara Janta, Lila Rabinovich, Han de Vries, Evi Hatziandreu, Bhanu Patruni, and Tom Ling (TR-602-EC, 2008, .pdf format, 146p.).


American Enterprise Institute Monograph: Pharmaceutical Price Regulation: Public Perceptions, Economic Realities, and Empirical Evidence by Joseph H. Golec and John A. Vernon (December 2008, ISBN: 978-0-8447-4277-9, 83p.). For more information see:,filter.all/book_detail.asp


Families USA Report: "Squeezed: Caught Between Unemployment Benefits and Health Care Costs," (January 2009, .pdf format, 13p.).

More information about Families USA:


Kaiser Family Foundation Briefs:

A. "Rising Unemployment, Medicaid and the Uninsured," by John Holahan and A. Brown Garrett (January 2009, .pdf format, 14p.).

B. "Cost Sharing for Health Care: France, Germany, and Switzerland," (January 2009, .pdf format, 23p.).


Urban Institute Reports:

A. "Health Insurance Coverage in Massachusetts: Estimates from the 2008 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey," by Sharon K. Long, Allison Cook, Karen Stockley (December 2008, .pdf format, 36p.).

B. "2008 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey Methodology Report," by Sharon K. Long and Timothy Triplett (December 2008, .pdf format, 87p.).


US Institute of Medicine Monograph, Brief:

A. The U.S. Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the New Administration, Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health (National Academies Press, 2008, OpenBook and .pdf format, 40p.). Note: NAP requires free registration before providing access to the .pdf version).

B. "State of the USA Health Indicators: Letter Report" (December 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).


Public Library of Science (PLoS) One Public Health and Epidemiology Article: "Predicting the Herd Immunity Threshold during an Outbreak: A Recursive Approach," by Nathan T. Georgette (PLoS ONE 4(1): e4168. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004168, .pdf, XML, and HTML format, 8p.).


New England Journal of Medicine Article Abstracts:

A. "Mortality Attributable to Smoking in China," by Dongfeng Gu, Tanika N. Kelly, Xigui Wu, Jing Chen, Jonathan M. Samet, Jian-feng Huang, Manlu Zhu, Ji-chun Chen, Chung-Shiuan Chen, Xiufang Duan, Michael J. Klag, and Jiang He (Vol. 360, No. 2, January 8, 2009, p. 150-159).

B. "Glucose Control and Vascular Complications in Veterans with Type 2 Diabetes," by William Duckworth, Carlos Abraira, Thomas Moritz, Domenic Reda, Nicholas Emanuele, Peter D. Reaven, Franklin J. Zieve, Jennifer Marks, Stephen N. Davis, Rodney Hayward, Stuart R. Warren, Steven Goldman, Madeline McCarren, Mary Ellen Vitek, William G. Henderson, Ph.D., Grant D. Huang, for the VADT Investigators (Vol. 360, No. 2, January 8, 2009, p. 129-139).


British Medical Journal Article: "Exercise on prescription for women aged 40-74 recruited through primary care: two year randomised controlled trial," by Beverley A. Lawton, Sally B. Rose, C. Raina Elley, Anthony C. Dowell, Anna Fenton, and Simon A. Moyes (BMJ 2008;337:a2509, January 10, 2009).

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National Bureau of Economic Research: "Hospitals As Hotels: The Role of Patient Amenities in Hospital Demand," by Dana Goldman and John A. Romley (w14619, December 2008, .pdf format, 20p.).


Amenities such as good food, attentive staff, and pleasant surroundings may play an important role in hospital demand. We use a marketing survey to measure amenities at hospitals in greater Los Angeles and analyze the choice behavior of Medicare pneumonia patients in this market. We find that the mean valuation of amenities is positive and substantial. From the patient perspective, hospital quality therefore embodies amenities as well as clinical quality. We also find that a one-standard-deviation increase in amenities raises a hospital's demand by 38.4% on average, whereas demand is substantially less responsive to clinical quality as measured by pneumonia mortality. These findings imply that hospitals may have an incentive to compete in amenities, with potentially important implications for welfare.


John F. Kennedy School of Government [Harvard University]: "Approaches to Estimating the Health State Dependence of the Utility Function," by Amy N. Finkelstein, Erzo F.P. Luttmer and Matthew J. Notowidigdo (Working Paper No. RWP09-002, January 2009, .pdf format, 13p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


World Bank Policy Research Programme: "Month of birth and children's health in India," by Michael Lokshin and Sergiy Radyakin (WPS 4813, January 2009, ASCII text and .pdf format, 38p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Health Working Papers: "The Remuneration of General Practitioners and Specialists in 14 OECD Countries: What are the Factors Influencing Variations across Countries?" by Rie Fujisawa and Gaetan Lafortune (No. 41, December 2008, .pdf format, 63p.).


This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the remuneration of doctors in 14 OECD countries for which reasonably comparable data were available in OECD Health Data 2007 (Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States). Data are presented for general practitioners (GPs) and medical specialists separately, comparing remuneration levels across countries both on the basis of a common currency (US dollar, adjusted for purchasing power parity) and in relation to the average wage of all workers in each country. The study finds that there are large variations across countries in the remuneration levels of GPs, and even greater variations for specialists. Measured as a ratio to the average wage in each country, the remuneration of GPs varies from being two times greater in Finland and the Czech Republic, to three-and-a-half times greater in the United States and Iceland. The remuneration of specialists varies even more, ranging from one-and-a-half times to two times higher than the average wage of all workers for salaried specialists in Hungary and the Czech Republic, to five to seven times higher for self-employed specialists in the Netherlands, the United States and Austria. Some of the variations in remuneration levels across countries may be explained by the use of different remuneration methods (e.g., salaries or fee-for-services for self-employed doctors), by the role of GPs as gatekeepers, by differences in workload (as measured by working time) and by the number of doctors per capita. However, these institutional and supply-side factors cannot explain all of the variations. Furthermore, when comparing the remuneration of GPs and specialists in each country, this study finds that in nearly all countries, the remuneration of specialists has tended to increase more rapidly than that of GPs over the past decade, thereby widening the income gap. This growing remuneration gap has likely contributed to the rising number and share of specialists in most of these countries over the past decade, resulting in rising concerns about possible shortages of GPs.


World Institute for Development Economic Research [United Nations University]: "Hoping or Discounting the Future; A New Perspective on the Transmission of HIV/AIDS," by Tony Barnett (Discussion Paper No. 2008/08, December 2008, pdf format, 12p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

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JOURNAL TABLES OF CONTENTS (check your library for availability):

American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 169, No. 1, 2 Jan. 1, 15 2009).

Vol. 169, No. 1:

Vol. 169, No. 2:

American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 99, No. 2, February 2009). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of these databases and this issue.

Clinical Infectious Diseases (Vol. 48, No. 3, February 1, 2009). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of these databases and this issue.

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Vol. 51, No. 1, January 2009).

Public Health Reports (Vol. 124, No. 1, January/February 2009). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Research in Nursing and Health (Vol. 32, No. 1, February 2009).

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American Statistical Association: ASA has updated its employment page with listings through Jan. 13, 2009.


Chronicle of Higher Education:

Health positions has been updated through Jan. 13, 2009.

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Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research: ICPSR at the University of Michigan released several new datasets on Jan. 11, 2008 which may be of interest to Health researchers. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

New and updated data:

All new and updated data in the last 90 days can be found at:

Click on "list".


UK Data Archive (Essex University, Colchester, UK): The UK Data Archive has recently added the following datasets to its holdings. Note: There maybe charges or licensing requirements on holdings of the UK Data Archive. For more information see:

For new data or new editions of new data in the last month:

and pick "1 month" for either.

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