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CREW: Department of Health and Human Services: Public Affairs Firms Documents: 11/16/06 HHS/CMS FOIA response 2 of 3

CREW: Department of Health and Human Services: Public Affairs Firms Documents: 11/16/06 HHS/CMS FOIA response 2 of 3

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Published by CREW
This request relates to any contact, dating from January 1, 2001, that any office of HHS may have had with any external public affairs firms, including but not limited to Ketchum Public Affairs and Fleischman-Hilliard Public Affairs. Specifically, CREW has requested the release of any contracts which HHS may have entered into with any public affairs firm. CREW further requested records of contacts any HHS employee may have had with any employee of any public affairs firm with which HHS had a contractual relationship.; Number of Pages: 513; FOIA Request: CREW: Department of Health and Human Services: Public Affairs Firms Documents; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Date Received: May 21, 2007;
This request relates to any contact, dating from January 1, 2001, that any office of HHS may have had with any external public affairs firms, including but not limited to Ketchum Public Affairs and Fleischman-Hilliard Public Affairs. Specifically, CREW has requested the release of any contracts which HHS may have entered into with any public affairs firm. CREW further requested records of contacts any HHS employee may have had with any employee of any public affairs firm with which HHS had a contractual relationship.; Number of Pages: 513; FOIA Request: CREW: Department of Health and Human Services: Public Affairs Firms Documents; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Date Received: May 21, 2007;

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Published by: CREW on Apr 15, 2010
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11/14/2013

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generally modest (1 0- 13% see GAO,
Prescription Drugs: Prices Available Through Discount Cal-ds and From Other Sources
December 2001). Nonetheless, it is believed that any discount helps those ~rith limited resources. While these cards have the potential to offer cost relief. the Kaiser Family foundarlon found that comparisons among cards are challenging due to the lack of standardization in price reporting (differing discount methodologies and lhe units of medicine), the different combinations of drugs offered by different cards and differing discounts among those drugs, general access to information, ability to assess the value of additional pharmaceutical management services. and acceptability of mail- order services (Kaiser Family Foundation,
Prescription Drug Discount Cards: Current Programs and Issues
February 2002). And since the onset of the recent manufacturer cards. varying eligibility requirements make enrollment for low-income people cumbersome and time consuming in order to access this valuable product.
-
To address the discrepancy between medical practice
nd
Medicare coyerage, the President proposed adding a full prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries in his Fiscal Year 2002 and 2003 budget, and the Administration is actively engaged in work with the Congress to pass a prescnprion benefit. As an interim step, the Administration also has proposed the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Card Assistance Initiative. With regard to the provision of discount drug cards, thls initiative would give discount card sponsors meeting certain criteria market leverage for their drug card through a Medicare endorsement and provide for standardized comparisons on discounts and prices among discount cards. Notwithstanding the importance of improving the supply-side of the market, a critical and equal component of the initiative must include an education campaign to improve the efficiency of market demand. CMS can improve access to and reduce the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries by educating them about prescription drug discounts and the benefits, use. and availability of discount drug cards. The Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services published a Notice of Proposed Rule making in the
Federal Register
Wednesday, March 6,2002, Vo1.67 (44): 1026
1-1
0293 entitled Medicare Program: Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Card and Drug Discount Card Assistance Initiative. The proposed rule describes the parameters of the current card initiative and provides additional important background information.
It
is available to the public from the Federal Register Online via GAO Access (wais.access.gpo.gov). [Docid: fro6mr02-101. CMS is in the process of issuing a final rule for this program. CMS has conducted limited research on beneficiaries' perceptions and use of discount drug cards and possible Medicare endorsement to date. This research has included testing of the interpretation, form, and location of a Medicare endorsement logo to support draft marketing guidelines; assessing attitudes about eligibility and interest in discount drug cards; product testing of a brochure describing the drug card program; and product testing of the
Medicare Prescription Drug Assistance Program
which is a fairly comprehensive listing of available discount drug card programs with search functionality by drug manufacturer on www.medicare.gov. The history of the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Assistance
initiative
includes prior court proceedings to stay the implernentatior, ofthis program, and the possibility remains that CMS's final rule may experience further judicial review. In spite of such a possibility, CMS believes that this research is important, if not forimmediate implementation, then for long-term policy planning. There 2
 
are several initiatives before Congress that legislate a discount drug card program and, more broadly, there is growing public support for a Medicare drug benefit.
111
Specific Tasks Under the Contract Scope
Formative Research The Contractor shall conduct two fairly extensive rounds of formative research to identify the needs. behaviors, perceptions, attitudes, and expectations of beneficiaries and other key audiences with regard to use of an Medicare-Endorsed discount card and shopping for prescription drugs. This research must be able to distinguish between beneficiaries' perceptions ofr drugdiscount card and a Medicare prescription drug benefit, given recent publicity on this topic. This research shall also se-ment Medicare beneficiaries and other possible audiences to improve the effectiveness of an education campaign about the discount drug card program. Possible segmentation criteria may include differences in comfort with the Lntemet as a source of health information, drug utilization, shopping behavior, and differences in perception of and current use of a discount card. At a minimum, this segmentation activity will explore differences by income/resource levels. The Contractor shall also identify other potential user groups or target audiences to include in testing, such as Pharmacists, Physicians/Providers (including office staff), fhends and family, and SHIP Counselors/Local Department of Aging Senior Centers. Based on this research, the Contractor shall recommend key messages for specific audiences. In defining research questions, the Contractor shall review previous CMS research conducted to date, both on the discount drug card initiative and general information on beneficiary access and use of health care information. The Contractor shall coordinate with CMS to finalize specific research questions prior to the actual testing. Possible questions may include the following. What are beneficiaries' expectations about savings, customer service, and variety of drugs covered From a discount drug card? What are beneficiaries' expectations with regard to Medicare's role in managing a distount drug card market? What special challenges arise in communicating an endorsement' to a population that is used to entitlements? How can Medicare distinguish its messages about
a
discount card initiative from broader publicity about a possible Medicare drug benefit, especially as regards avoiding giving the impression that the discount card is indeed a new drug benefit? What attributes of beneficiaries' current discount drug cards are most important to them? Besides drug prices, what other information do beneficiaries think they need to choose one drug card? How important is purchasing drugs horn a particular pharmacy? What are beneficiary experiences with mail order? What is pharmacy counseling to beneficiaries, and how do they-access it?
 
What are beneficiary experiences with generic drugs? How frequently do beneficiaries check their prescription drug prices? How fiequently do benefickes change discount cards, and how many do they re~larly se? Do low-income beneficiaries use different information channels. have different information needs, or exhibit different shepping behavior? How much of the specifics of the Medicare endorsement process does CMS need to communicate to sustain trust in the Medicare name? Are there specific activities that beneficiaries believe Medicare must undertake in order to legitimize Medicare's involvement in the discount drug card market? How do beneficiaries and other target audiences interpret customer satisfaction and other performance information? Would beneficiaries view other services offered from a Medicare-endorsed drug card sponsor as endorsed by Medicare, in spite of current restiictions on usifig the endorsed logo with other services? Mock-UpITemplate Creation The Contractor shall design a set of web-page templates based on formative research findings. These templates should reflect the traditional look and feel of
www medicare gov
The Contractor also shall draw on formative research findings to review and recommend any changes to CMS' current publication describing the drug card initiative, Medicare- Approved Prescription Drug Discount Card Program. Product Testing The Contractor shall conduct two rounds of product testing to assess the effectiveness with which CMS is communicating any key messages identified in the formative testing, above, through the web-page templates and through CMS' current publication describing the drug card initiative. The Contractor and CMS will finalize specific research questions together prior to the actual testing, but may consider the accessibility, quantity, navigability, and legitimacy of provided information. The Contractor shall make recommendations on editing, formatting, positioning, and packaging information to improve communication.
Specific
Tasks
The Contractor shall perform the following activities: Hold a kickoff meeting (Deliverable and
#2)
with CMS staff from Beneficiary Education and Assessment Group (BEAG) and with an Advisory Group of individuals intimately involved in the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Card Assistance Initiative. The meeting will review expectations for the work to be performed. necessary deliverables, and due dates. Establish weekly conference calls or meetings with the GTL to identify and review the status of each part of the work, potential problems, issues that need to be resolved, schedule for meeting due dates, and additional support that may be required (Deliverable
3).
Develop and submit a management and work plan (Deliverable
4).
The work plan shall include all tasks necessary to co-mplete consumer testing. The proposed-work plan must be reviewed and