Evaluation of Selected Aspects of the National Medicare Education Program: Final Design Report. Introduction

01/10/2008

The purpose of this project is to assist the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in designing a systematic evaluation of the National Medicare Education Program (NMEP), a program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to educate and inform Medicare beneficiaries. A major substantive activity under this contract was an environmental scan or inventory of the existing data related to the NMEP. This inventory focused on the question “What evidence is currently available to indicate how well the NMEP program is working?” Based on this inventory, we then designed several options for a comprehensive evaluation of the NMEP that would assess the extent to which this program is meeting its programmatic goals as Medicare continues to expand and evolve. 

This report contains five chapters. In this introductory chapter, we provide background on the Medicare program as well as the NMEP. In Chapter 2, we summarize our review of prior NMEP evaluations and identify gaps in the research. In Chapter 3, we discuss measurement issues related to designing an evaluation, such as selecting and defining key outcome measures. In Chapter 4, we present four different study design options and walk through their rationales, research questions, data sources, and analytic methods. In the final chapter, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of the design options and identify future directions.

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