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Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education

The Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (APME) was originally chartered on January 21, 1999 to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administrator of CMS on opportunities to enhance the federal government's effectiveness in implementing a national Medicare education program. With the Charter renewal on January 21, 2011, the panel has been renamed; "The Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE)" and the scope of the panel has been amended.

The panel will advise and make recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning optimal strategies for:

  • Developing and implementing education and outreach programs for individuals enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  • Enhancing the Federal Government's effectiveness in informing Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP consumers, providers and stakeholders pursuant to education and outreach programs of issues regarding these and other health coverage programs, and the availability of other health coverage (e.g., via health insurance exchanges), 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 Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP education programs;
  • Assembling and sharing an information base of "best practices" for helping consumers evaluate health plan options;
  • Building and leveraging existing community infrastructures for information, counseling and assistance; and
  • 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 health care reform.

The Administrator of CMS appoints APOE members for two-year terms. Members must have expertise in one or more of the following areas: senior citizen advocacy, outreach to minority communities, health communications, disease-related advocacy, disability policy and access, health economics research, health insurers and plans, health IT, direct patient care, and/or matters of labor and retirement.

The Charter for the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education was renewed on January 21, 2013. This charter will expire on January 21, 2015. The APOE meets approximately four times per year usually in Washington, D.C. Each meeting includes an opportunity for public comment.

For information, please contact Kirsten Knutson, Designated Federal Official,
410-786-5886 or email Kirsten.Knutson@cms.hhs.gov