Because a comprehensive evaluation of the NMEP should assess how well it is meeting its stated goals, we recommend including outcome measures that assess awareness, knowledge, and use of information. Table 3-3 lists specific outcome measures pertaining to each of the three goals along with potential data sources.
One strategy to be able to better determine the impact of the NMEP is to identify the key messages that are promoted in beneficiary education materials, in particular, the Medicare & You handbook, because it is mailed to beneficiaries each year. The benefit of identifying the key messages is that they can be used to measure awareness and knowledge outcomes. Based on the 104-page 2007 handbook’s table of contents, over half of the handbook focuses on information related to the various Medicare plans. In addition, approximately one-third of the handbook is devoted to explaining beneficiary resources. The handbook’s contents suggest that the key messages are being aware of and understanding what Medicare is; the various Medicare components (Parts A, B, C, and D); Table 3-3. Recommended Outcome Measures and Potential Data Sources; coverage under the various Medicare components; and resources beneficiaries can use for more information.
Table 3-4 highlights the key topics and the number of pages devoted to them in the 2007 handbook.
|Topic Area||Number of Pages in Handbook|
|Medicare Parts A and B and What’s Covered||15|
|Deciding How to Get Your Medicare Benefits||2|
|Original Medicare Plan||8|
|Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)||10|
|Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)||14|
|Other Medicare Plans, Government, and Private Insurance||6|
|Help for People with Limited Income and Resources||8|
|How to Join and Switch Plans||8|
|Your Medicare Rights||10|
|Resources and Contacts for More Information||8|
|Definitions of Terms||4|
|2007 Medicare Costs||4|
|Source: 2007 Medicare & You handbook table of contents.|