Health Literacy Industry Publications
- Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective
The Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective was written for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by Jeanne McGee, McGee & Evers Consulting, Inc. As shown below, this 11-part Toolkit provides a detailed and comprehensive set of tools to help you make written material in printed formats easier for people to read, understand, and use.
Part 1: About this Toolkit and how it can help you
Part 2: Using a reader-centered approach to develop and test written material
Part 3: Summary List of the "Toolkit Guidelines for Writing and Design"
Part 4: Understanding and using the "Toolkit Guidelines for Writing"
Part 5: Understanding and using the "Toolkit Guidelines for Graphic Design"
Part 6: How to collect and use feedback from readers
Part 7: Using readability formulas: A cautionary note
Part 8: Will your written material be on a website?
Part 9: Things to know if your written material is for older adults
Part 10: "Before and after" example: Using this Toolkit's guidelines to revise a brochure
Part 11: Understanding and using the "Toolkit Guidelines for Culturally Appropriate Translation"
Toolkit Parts 1-3 and 7-11 each consists of a single document. Toolkit Parts 4-6 each consists of several documents denoting chapters. The complete set of files that make up the Toolkit is provided here:
More information on the Toolkit is available at cms.gov/.../WrittenMaterialsToolkit.
- Health Literacy and AHIP: Laying the Foundation and Beyond
In a first of its kind publication, Health Literacy and America’s Health Insurance Plans: Laying the Foundation and Beyond summarizes the health literacy programs of 27 AHIP member companies and describes their commitment to providing consumers with information on their health and benefits that can be easily understood and used to good advantage.
- Infographic: The facts about health literacy
From Betsy Caron, a contributing writer at HealthCare IT News, comes this interesting Infographic of health literacy in the United States. Available as a PDF file and as a large PNG grahic file.
HealthLiteracyInfographic.pdf (1.1 MB)
HealthLiteracyInfographic_lg.png (2.4 MB)
- HHS/CMS Uniform Glossary of Terms
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers and group health plans will provide the 180 million Americans with private insurance with clear, consistent and comparable information about their health plan benefits and coverage. Specifically, the proposed regulations would ensure consumers have access to a uniform glossary of terms commonly used in health insurance coverage. The jargon that makes it impossible to figure out what is covered and how one insurance plan stacks up compared to another will be replaced with terms that are the same across all plans. Insurance companies and group health plans will be required to make available upon request a uniform glossary of terms commonly used in health insurance coverage such as “deductible” and “co-pay”. For more information on these proposed HHS regulations please visit cciio.hhs.gov/programs/consumer/summaryandglossary or download a copy of the uniform glossary below.
HHS_CMS-uniform-glossary-final.pdf (140 KB)
- Teaching Patients with Low Health Literacy Skills
Since it was first published, Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills by Doak, Doak, & Root has become a major resource book for health information providers who know that their patients aren't getting the message. It addresses the mismatch between the literacy skills of Americans and the literacy demands of healthcare instruction.
This book is provided here as a series of PDF files with permission of the authors Ceci and Len Doak.
To read or download each section, click or right-click the following links:
- Health Literacy Implications of the Affordable Care Act
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not focus explicitly on health literacy, the law's success arguably calls for a redoubling of national efforts to address the issue. Nearly 36 percent of America's adult population is considered functionally illiterate, with rates of low literacy found disproportionately among lower-income Americans eligible for publicly financed care through Medicaid.
In this report, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) identifies provisions in the ACA that directly and/or indirectly address health literacy. Findings herein can inform efforts to implement related enrollment, care delivery, and public health strategies that support and respond to health literacy levels in the expansion population.
You can download this report at the CHCS wesbite:
chcs.org/publications3960/publ … ations_show.htm?doc_id=1261193
CHCS President Stephen A. Somers and Program Associate Roopa Mahadevan presented this report at a November 2010 Institute of Medicine workshop on the topic of health literacy and health care reform. For more information and additional resources, visit: http://iom.edu/Reports/2011/Health-Literacy-Implications-for-Health-Care-Reform.aspx.
- National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy
Produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multisector effort to improve health literacy. The plan is based on the principles that (1) everyone has the right to health information that helps them make informed decisions and (2) health services should be delivered in ways that are understandable and beneficial to health, longevity, and quality of life. The vision informing this plan is of a society that:
- Provides everyone with access to accurate and actionable health information
- Delivers person-centered health information and services
- Supports lifelong learning and skills to promote good health
Health_Literacy_Action_Plan.pdf (666 KB)