members, nursing and nursing home associations, labor unions, other interest groups, and study sponsors provided names or sent their mailing lists for the committee's use. Selections were made from these and other lists, with the goal of representing all points of view.
A general announcement, containing the committee's mandate, its purpose in requesting testimony, a guide to assist in preparing written statements, and ''key questions" around which the testimony could be organized, was then developed. (See Exhibit 1.1, at the back of this appendix, for a facsimile of the announcement/request for testimony.) In all, 511 announcements were mailed during July 1994; responses were requested by September 26, 1994. Some organizations and individuals who received the announcements also distributed them further to their memberships and acquaintances. By May 1995, staff had received and reviewed 108 testimonies. (See Table 1.1 for an alphabetical listing of the organizations and individuals that responded; for those that presented oral testimony, the site of the hearing is indicated.)
In addition to the request for written testimony, the mailed announcements also included information about 2 half-day public hearings at which the committee would hear oral testimony from a smaller group of individuals. The announcement specifically stated that if testimony were received by the September 1994 deadline, the organization or individual would be considered for one of the two hearings. After that deadline, potential testifiers for the two hearings were contacted.
Because travel costs could limit the ability of some groups and individuals to testify, the committee deliberately held one public hearing on each coast. This strategy also made it easier to distinguish broad, region-based differences across the country. The first public hearing was held in Washington, D.C., on October 19, 1994, in conjunction with committee's second meeting; 23 witnesses appeared before the committee. The second public hearing was held in Irvine, California, on January 22, 1995, in conjunction with the third committee meeting; 21 witnesses presented testimony. To the extent feasible, the preferences for dates and location of those invited to testify were honored.
Those presenting oral testimony were grouped into panels, asked to confine their remarks to 5 minutes, and requested to be prepared to respond to committee members' questions. In addition to those invited and scheduled to testify, at both public hearings the meetings were opened to general comments at the end of the day and were not adjourned until all those who wished to speak had done so.
Written and oral testimony received equal weight in the committee's deliberations. The written testimony ensured input from all interested parties, and the information, references, referrals, and suggestions provided in the statements were of considerable benefit to the study. The public hearings were convened to give committee members an opportunity to engage in discussion with—or to observe discussions among—an extensive range of health care providers, consumers and consumer advocates, professional organizations, and others. Both