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Health Insurance Marketplace SM

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces the next meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE) (the Panel) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Panel advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of consumer education strategies concerning the Health Insurance MarketplaceSM, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This meeting is open to the public.

DATES:

Meeting Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. eastern daylight time (e.d.t).

Deadline for Meeting Registration, Presentations, Special Accommodations and Comments: Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 5:00 p.m. (e.d.t.).

ADDRESSES:

Meeting Location: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Room 505A, Conference Room, Washington, DC 20201.

Presentations and Written Comments: Presentations and written comments should be submitted to: Thomas Dudley, Designated Federal Official (DFO), Office of Communications, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mailstop S1-05-06, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850 or via email at Thomas.Dudley@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 at the Web site https://www.regonline.com/​apoesept2017meeting or by contacting the DFO as listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 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 the DFO 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas Dudley, Designated Federal Official, Office of Communications, CMS, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop S1-05-06, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, 410-786-1442, email Thomas.Dudley@cms.hhs.gov. Additional information about the APOE is available on the Internet at: http://www.cms.gov/​Regulations-and-Guidance/​Guidance/​FACA/​APOE.html. Press inquiries are handled through the CMS Press Office at (202) 690-6145.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Advisory Panel for Outreach and Education (APOE) (the Panel) is governed by the provisions of Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463), as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of federal advisory committees. The Panel is authorized by section 1114(f) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1314(f)) and section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 217a).

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (the Secretary) signed the charter establishing the Citizen's Advisory Panel on Medicare Education [1] (the Start Printed Page 37594predecessor to the APOE) on January 21, 1999 (64 FR 7899, February 17, 1999) to advise and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the effective implementation of national Medicare education programs, including with respect to the Medicare+Choice (M+C) program added by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33).

The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) (Pub. L. 108-173) expanded the existing health plan options and benefits available under the M+C program and renamed it the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. We have had substantial responsibilities to provide information to Medicare beneficiaries about the range of health plan options available and better tools to evaluate these options. The successful MA program implementation required CMS to consider the views and policy input from a variety of private sector constituents and to develop a broad range of public-private partnerships.

In addition, Title I of the MMA authorized the Secretary and the Administrator of CMS (by delegation) to establish the Medicare prescription drug benefit. The drug benefit allows beneficiaries to obtain qualified prescription drug coverage. In order to effectively administer the MA program and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, we have substantial responsibilities to provide information to Medicare beneficiaries about the range of health plan options and benefits available, and to develop better tools to evaluate these plans and benefits.

The Affordable Care Act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152) expanded the availability of other options for health care coverage and enacted a number of changes to Medicare as well as to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Qualified individuals and qualified employers are now able to purchase private health insurance coverage through a competitive marketplace, called an Affordable Insurance Exchange (also called Health Insurance Marketplace[SM] ,[2] or MarketplaceSM). In order to effectively implement and administer these changes, we must provide information to consumers, providers, and other stakeholders through education and outreach programs regarding how existing programs will change and the expanded range of health coverage options available, including private health insurance coverage through the MarketplaceSM. The APOE allows us to consider a broad range of views and information from interested audiences in connection with this effort and to identify opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of education strategies concerning the Affordable Care Act.

The scope of this panel also includes advising on issues pertaining to the education of providers and stakeholders with respect to the Affordable Care Act and certain provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

On January 21, 2011, the Panel's charter was renewed and the Panel was renamed the Advisory Panel for Outreach and Education. The Panel's charter was most recently renewed on January 19, 2017, and will terminate on January 19, 2019 unless renewed by appropriate action.

Under the current charter, the APOE will advise the Secretary and the Administrator on optimal strategies for the following:

  • Developing and implementing education and outreach programs for individuals enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or coverage available through the Health Insurance MarketplaceSM and other CMS programs.
  • Enhancing the federal government's effectiveness in informing Health Insurance MarketplaceSM, Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP consumers, issuers, providers, and stakeholders, through education and outreach programs, on issues regarding these programs, including the appropriate use of public-private partnerships to leverage the resources of the private sector in educating beneficiaries, providers, and stakeholders.
  • Expanding outreach to vulnerable and underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, in the context of Health Insurance MarketplaceSM, Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP education programs and other CMS programs as designated.
  • Assembling and sharing an information base of “best practices” for helping consumers evaluate health coverage options.
  • Building and leveraging existing community infrastructures for information, counseling, and assistance.
  • Drawing the program link between outreach and education, promoting consumer understanding of health care coverage choices, and facilitating consumer selection/enrollment, which in turn support the overarching goal of improved access to quality care, including prevention services, envisioned under the Affordable Care Act.

The current members of the Panel are: Kellan Baker, Associate Director, Center for American Progress; Robert Blancato, President, Matz, Blancato & Associates; Dale Blasier, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics, Arkansas Children's Hospital; Deborah Britt, Executive Director of Community & Public Relations, Piedmont Fayette Hospital; Deena Chisolm, Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Public Health, The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Josephine DeLeon, Director, Anti-Poverty Initiatives, Catholic Charities of California; Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute; Louise Scherer Knight, Director, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; Roanne Osborne-Gaskin, M.D., Senior Medical Director, MDWise, Inc.; Cathy Phan, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Asian American Health Coalition DBA HOPE Clinic; Kamilah Pickett, Litigation Support, Independent Contractor; Brendan Riley, Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator, NC Community Health Center Association; Alvia Siddiqi, Medicaid Managed Care Community Network (MCCN) Medical Director, Advocate Physician Partners, Carla Smith, Executive Vice President, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS); Tobin Van Ostern, Vice President and Co-Founder, Young Invincibles Advisors; and Paula Villescaz, Senior Consultant, Assembly Health Committee, California State Legislature.

II. Provisions of This Notice

In accordance with section 10(a) of the FACA, this notice announces a meeting of the APOE. The agenda for the September 13, 2017 meeting will include the following:

  • Welcome and listening session with CMS leadership
  • Recap of the previous (March 22, 2017) meeting
  • Review CMS programs and initiatives
  • Provide an opportunity for public comment
  • Summarize the meeting and review recommendations and next steps
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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 the DFO 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 an oral presentation may submit written comments to the DFO at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice by the date listed in the DATES section of this notice.

III. Security and Building

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 the DFO at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice or by telephone at the number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice by the date specified in the DATES section of this notice.

Since this meeting will be held in a Federal Government Building, the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Federal security measures are applicable. In planning your arrival time, we recommend allowing additional time to clear security. To gain access to the building, participants will be required to show a government-issued photo identification (for example, driver's license or passport), and must be listed on an approved security list before persons are permitted entrance. Persons not registered in advance will not be permitted into the Hubert H. Humphrey Building and will not be permitted to attend the Panel meeting.

All persons entering the building must pass through a metal detector. In addition, all items brought to the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, whether personal or for the purpose of presentation, are subject to inspection. We cannot assume responsibility for coordinating the receipt, transfer, transport, storage, set-up, safety, or timely arrival of any personal belongings or items used for the purpose of presentation.

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 217a, sec. 222 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1314(f), sec. 1114(f) of the Social Security Act; and Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2).

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Dated: August 2, 2017.

Seema Verma,

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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Footnotes

1.  We note that the Citizen's Advisory Panel on Medicare Education is also referred to as the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (65 FR 4617). The name was updated in the Second Amended Charter approved on July 24, 2000.

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2.  Health Insurance MarketplaceSM. and MarketplaceSM. are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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[FR Doc. 2017-16979 Filed 8-10-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P