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Notice

Medicare Program; Request for Nominations for the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice requests nominations for individuals to serve on the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (the Panel) to fill current vacancies and vacancies that will become available in 2008. The Panel advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the effectiveness of consumer education strategies concerning the Medicare program.

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DATES:

Deadline for Nominations by Regular Mail: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 5 p.m., e.s.t.

Deadline for Nominations by Electronic Mail: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 5 p.m., e.s.t.

ADDRESSES:

Regular Mail: Lynne G. Johnson, Office of External Affairs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, S1-05-06, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

Electronic Mail: Lynne.Johnson@cms.hhs.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynne G. Johnson, Health Insurance Specialist, Division of Forum and Conference Development, (410) 786-0090. Please refer to the CMS Advisory Committees Information Line (1-877-449-5659 toll free)/(410-786-9379 local) or the Internet (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​FACA/​04_​APME.asp) for additional information and updates on committee activities, or contact Ms. Johnson via e-mail at Lynne.Johnson@cms.hhs.gov. Press inquiries are handled through the CMS Press Office at (202) 690-6145.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Section 9(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to establish an advisory panel if the Secretary determines that the panel is “in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed * * * by law.” Section 1804 of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires the Secretary to provide informational materials to Medicare beneficiaries about the Medicare program, and section 1851(d) of the Act, requiring the Secretary to provide for “activities * * * to broadly disseminate information to Medicare beneficiaries * * * on the coverage options provided under [Medicare Advantage] in order to promote an active, informed selection among such options.” To help inform these activities, section 1114(f) of the Act and section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 217a) authorize the creation of an advisory panel. The Secretary signed the charter establishing this Panel on January 21, 1999 and approved the renewal of the charter on November 14, 2006. The establishment of the charter and the renewal of charter were announced in the February 17, 1999 Federal Register (64 FR 7899), and the March 23, 2007 Federal Register (72 FR 13796), respectively. The Panel advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (the Administrator) on opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of consumer education strategies concerning the Medicare program. The Secretary delegates authority to the Administrator.

The goals of the Panel are as follows:

  • To provide recommendations on the development and implementation of a national Medicare education program that describes the options for selecting a health plan and prescription drug benefits under Medicare.
  • To enhance the Federal government's effectiveness in informing the Medicare consumer, including the appropriate use of public-private partnerships.
  • To make recommendations on how to expand outreach to vulnerable and underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, in the context of a national Medicare education program.
  • To assemble an information base of best practices for helping consumers evaluate health plan options and build a community infrastructure for information, counseling, and assistance.

The Panel shall consist of a maximum of 20 members. The Chair shall either be appointed from among the 20 members, or a Federal official will be designated to serve as the Chair. The charter requires that meetings shall be held approximately 4 times per year. Members will be expected to attend all meetings. The members and the Chair shall be selected from authorities knowledgeable in the fields of senior citizen advocacy; outreach to minority communities; health communications; disease-related health advocacy; disability policy and access; health economics research; health insurers and plans; providers and clinicians; labor and retirement, and web education. Members of the general public are invited to apply.

This notice is an invitation to interested organizations or individuals to submit their nominations for membership on the Panel. The Secretary or his designee will appoint new members to the Panel from among those candidates determined to have the expertise required to meet specific agency needs and in a manner to ensure an appropriate balance of membership.

II. Nomination Requirements

Each nomination must state that the nominee has expressed a willingness to serve as a Panel member and must be accompanied by a resume or description of the nominee's experience and a brief biographical summary. In order to permit an evaluation of possible sources of conflict of interest, potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning such matters as financial holdings, consultancies, and research grants or contracts. Self-nominations will also be accepted. All nominations must be received at the appropriate address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date specified in the DATES section of this notice.

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Authority: Sections 9(a) and 10 of Public L. 92-463 (5 U.S.C. App. 2, sections 9(a) and 10); 41 CFR Part 102-3; Sections 1114(f), 1804, and 1851(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1314(f), 1395b-2, and 1394w-21(d)); and Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 217a).

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Dated: December 3, 2007.

Kerry Weems,

Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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[FR Doc. E7-24273 Filed 12-27-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P