Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts appointed to national panel

Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts was recently appointed to a two-year term on the national Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal advisory panel was chartered in January 2011 to 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 under-served 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.

“I am honored to have been selected by the Obama Administration to continue my long-term federal service to improve healthcare for the least vulnerable in our society,” said Councilman Roberts on the announcement of his latest federal appointment. “For over 30 years, I have worked on improving healthcare for all Americans and this issue is now a national priority and I am humbled to have a strategic seat at the policy table to share my perspectives with key federal decision makers.”

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 APOE meets approximately four times per year usually in Washington, D.C.

In addition to serving on the Solana Beach City Council since 2004, Roberts has served since 2005 as Vice President of Government Relations for HIMSS, a 50-year old non-profit association dedicated to transforming healthcare using information technology. Roberts' first meeting of APOE will be on July 27/28 in Washington, D.C.



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