Washington, DC (Vocus) May 28, 2010
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) President and CEO Karen Ignagni today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy:
“Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its comprehensive National Action Plan, a blueprint for addressing the issue of health literacy, and called on the nation to respond. Release of this plan represents a major step in prioritizing the issue of health literacy and acting on recommendations to improve it.
“Our community recognizes that making strides in health literacy requires us to provide clear, actionable information to patients. To this end, several years ago the AHIP Board of Directors prioritized this issue and created a special health literacy task force that has worked with specialists in the field to develop a tool for health plans to assess and develop their materials and programs.
“This first of its kind tool includes five sections that assess printed information, web navigation, verbal member communication, forms, and nurse call lines; and it evaluates policies, procedures, and training of professionals in clear health communication. For access to this tool, please visit http://www.ahip.org/healthliteracy.
“Research clearly shows that patients who understand medical information and can carry out the instructions provided to them do better on many dimensions, including managing chronic disease, fewer admissions to emergency rooms and hospitals, and overall health status.
“The National Action Plan released by HHS calls for all sectors to become engaged in the effort to ensure that consumers have the tools they need to navigate our health care system. Our members are responding to this challenge, and we stand ready to work with others to address this important foundation for the reform of our health care system.”
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