By necessity, once beneficiaries become better educated about the basic elements of managed care and traditional Medicare, information brokers will need to become more thoroughly trained to provide more refined assistance.

To implement the key components of an effective information infrastructure, additional resources will be needed. The Center for Health Care Rights, under the direction of Peter Lee, is in the process of conducting research that looks at how much effective counseling programs cost. The research, however, is still in an early stage. In the meantime, panelists stressed the need for continued and increasing public-private partnerships, such as the provision of computers to seniors centers so that beneficiaries can access HCFA's Medicare web site. Spreading the costs for funding of the information infrastructure and the development of partnerships beginning at the local level would minimize the amount of funding that would ultimately be needed.



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