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Notice

Medicare Program; Announcement of Meeting of the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education, January 13, 2009

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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 of meeting.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice announces a meeting of Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (the Panel). 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. This meeting is open to the public.

DATES:

Meeting Date: January 13, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., e.s.t.

Deadline for Meeting Registration, Presentations and Comments: January 5, 2009, 12 noon, e.s.t. Start Printed Page 72493

Deadline for Requesting Special Accommodations: January 5, 2009, 12 noon, e.s.t.

ADDRESSES:

Meeting Location: Washington Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005.

Meeting Registration, Presentations, and Written Comments: Lynne Johnson, Designated Federal Official, Division of Forum and Conference Development, Office of External Affairs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mailstop S1-05-06, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850 or contact Ms. Johnson via e-mail at Lynne.Johnson@cms.hhs.gov.

Registration: The meeting is open to the public, but attendance is limited to the space available. Persons wishing to attend this meeting must register by contacting Lynne Johnson at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice or by telephone at (410) 786-0090, by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynne Johnson, (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. Press inquiries are handled through the CMS Press Office at (202) 690-6145.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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.” Such duties are imposed by section 1804 of the Social Security Act (the Act), requiring 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 [M]edicare beneficiaries * * * on the coverage options provided under [Medicare Advantage] in order to promote an active, informed selection among such options.”

The Panel is also authorized by section 1114(f) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1311(f)) and section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 217a). 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 the 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 (CMS) 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 plan under Medicare.
  • To enhance the Federal government's effectiveness in informing the Medicare consumer, including the appropriate use of public-private partnerships.
  • To provide 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 current members of the Panel are: Gwendolyn T. Bronson, SHINE/SHIP Counselor, Massachusetts SHINE Program; Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Hispanic Council on Aging; Stephen L. Fera, Vice President, Social Mission Programs, Independence Blue Cross; Clayton Fong, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging; Nan Kirsten-Fort, Executive Vice President, Consumer Services, WebMD; Dr. Jessie C. Gruman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for the Advancement of Health; Kathy Hughes, Vice Chairwoman, Oneida Nation; Gail Hunt, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance for Caregiving; Dr. Frank B. McArdle, Manager, Hewitt Research Office, Hewitt Associates; Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer, National Area Agencies on Aging; Molly Mettler, Senior Vice President, Healthwise; Robert L. Mollica, Senior Program Director, National Academy for State Health Policy; Julie Bodon Schmidt, Associate Vice President, Training and Technical Assistance Department, National Association of Community Health Centers; Rebecca Snead, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

The agenda for the January 13, 2009 meeting will include the following:

  • Recap of the previous (October 22, 2008) meeting.
  • Medicare Outreach and Education Strategies.
  • Public Comment.
  • Listening Session with CMS Leadership.
  • Next Steps.

Individuals or organizations that wish to make a 5-minute oral presentation on an agenda topic should submit a written copy of the oral presentation to Lynne Johnson at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice. The number of oral presentations may be limited by the time available. Individuals not wishing to make a presentation may submit written comments to Ms. Johnson at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice.

Individuals requiring sign language interpretation or other special accommodations should contact Ms. Johnson at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice.

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Authority: Sec. 222 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 217a) and sec. 10(a) of Pub. L. 92-463 (5 U.S.C. App. 2, sec. 10(a) and 41 CFR 102-3).

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(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.733, Medicare—Hospital Insurance Program; and Program No. 93.774, Medicare—Supplementary Medical Insurance Program)

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Dated: November 20, 2008.

Kerry Weems,

Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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[FR Doc. E8-28368 Filed 11-26-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P