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Information Memoranda



SUBJECT:  Teleconference on Health Care Quality for Seniors

LEGAL AND RELATED : Older Americans Act, as Amended

The purpose of this memorandum is to invite you to participate in and share information with service providers and older Americans about a teleconference which will be nationally broadcast from Washington, D.C. on Monday, December 15, 1997, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., EST. The subject of the teleconference will be "Health Care Quality and Managed Care for Older Persons," and will be jointly sponsored by the Administration on Aging (AoA), the SPRY (Setting Priorities for Senior Years) Foundation, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the Health Resources and Services Administration, and other public and private organizations.

The teleconference will focus on issues related to managed care and older people and will present the results of a survey of health care quality for older people which focused on the efficacy of flu and pneumonia vaccination programs for seniors. Topics to be discussed include the importance of educating seniors about their managed care choices; new initiatives in community-based managed care for underserved populations; a case study of immunizations programs for seniors; and how older people can use performance measures to make decisions about managed care plans.

This broadcast is part of a demonstration to test the effectiveness of satellite television programming in getting time-sensitive information to appropriate individuals and organizations at the local level. The SPRY Foundation will be working with seven down-link sites and a lead local organization in each community to assure a diverse audience and to collect data for analysis to determine the effectiveness of this forum. A list of these sites and the lead organizations are attached to this memorandum. A team from the University of Maryland will develop the evaluation methodology and analyze data. In addition, a toll-free telephone hook-up will allow audience members to ask questions of the panel members during the forum. Follow-up sources for more information will also be provided.

The AoA, the SPRY Foundation and the other partners in this national forum believe that the information to be presented in this broadcast is of interest to a wide-ranging audience including seniors, their families, and a broad spectrum of formal and informal caregivers. This live television broadcast will be accessible to almost all community down-link sites in the United States. These down-link sites frequently exist in local community colleges and universities, chambers of commerce, armories, hospitals, agricultural extension offices, movies theaters, and other local institutions.

The AoA encourages you to work with organizations in your community to identify, sponsor and/or host and advertise the availability of down-link sites in their community as a public service. The SPRY Foundation has posted information on its Internet Home Page ( on how to down-link the satellite broadcast as well as other information regarding the program and additional referral information. Material from the home page can be printed in advance and distributed to the local audience. The SPRY Foundation will have an evaluation questionnaire on its website, which participants may complete after the session.

Since the information to be provided will be of interest to both older consumers and providers of service, we suggest that the local audience be diverse. Audience participants should include seniors and their families; agencies counseling seniors about their health care; hospitals; nursing homes; assisted living facilities; HMO's; physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other professional groups; benefits advisors in local business and labor unions; local representatives from government agencies, including the HCFA, health departments, Area Agencies on Aging, Social Security Offices and Agriculture Extension Offices; and media representatives. We also suggest that you or other sponsoring organizations consider the possibility of holding a discussion session with your audience to talk about local options following the formal broadcast.

Attached is a draft agenda for the forum, including a list of invited speakers and their topics. We urge you to share this information with others in your community to make this a successful and exciting event.


William F. Benson
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging