to apply for Medicare, eligibility and benefit coverage, and Medicare HMOs in the area. The kiosks are located in public libraries, food stores, a national discount store chain, and state and federal public office locations. The kiosk text is available in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Navajo, in addition to English. An average of 40 to 50 people access each kiosk daily for information. The specific interest in Medicare information varies from location to location, with approximately 20 inquiries about Medicare of a monthly total of 3,335 (<1 percent) at the Wal-Mart kiosk, compared with 225 of 2,733 (8 percent) at the Social Security office kiosk. SSA staff will evaluate the kiosk program in 1996 for possible replication in other areas and are also talking about making the kiosk software available for replication to other states (Georgia and North Carolina) that maintain, or that are thinking of developing, their own kiosks.

Private Sector

Healthtouch is a touch-screen computer housed in a kiosk that contains a database on medications, health, and lifestyles. Healthtouch computer kiosks are located in about 1,500 retail pharmacies throughout the United States as a value-added service of Cardinal Health, a Columbus, Ohio-based pharmaceutical distributor. Using the touch screen to select a topic and specific files, a consumer can retrieve, read, and print out information on various topics. Most topics are in a question-and-answer format, and many are available in English and Spanish. Organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the SPRY Foundation contribute files to the database on topics of interest to older adults. Information on the topic of managed care is available under the category ''health information." On the basis of research conducted by Health touch in the first quarter of 1994, consumers accessed the database 1.35 million times, printing out information to take with them in more than 60 percent of the cases. About 35 percent of the users were age 65 and over.

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