What’s Well being Literacy?
Well being literacy is how nicely individuals perceive the language utilized by docs, pharmacies, hospitals, and medical health insurance firms. And for a lot too lengthy, the well being care trade has used method too many lengthy sentences and complicated phrases.
As an example, medical health insurance plans usually use phrases like PCP, EOB, precertification, coinsurance, deductible, and formulary. Huh?
Right here within the U.S., the place on common individuals learn at a couple of seventh – Eighth grade studying degree, that form of language might be overwhelming. And if individuals can’t perceive the well being communications they obtain, how can they make knowledgeable choices?
So that is actually a well being fairness difficulty. Proper now, individuals with the next degree of well being literacy might get higher care than these with a decrease degree — simply because they extra simply perceive complicated communications. And that may add to the large and tragic well being disparities in our neighborhood.
That’s why it’s time for the well being care trade to begin utilizing plain language.
What’s Plain Language?
Plain language isn’t about speaking right down to individuals or leaving particulars out. It’s about placing the reader first, delivering info rapidly and with out confusion. After we write one thing, individuals ought to perceive it the primary time they learn it, each time.
At Independence Blue Cross (Independence), we’re dedicated to utilizing plain language to speak with our members, shoppers, and neighborhood.
- We prepare our communications groups to put in writing extra clearly.
- We attempt to keep away from utilizing too many acronyms.
- We use brief, to-the-point sentences.
- We attempt to write issues at or under an Eighth-grade studying degree.
We additionally provide assets to assist our members enhance their well being literacy. These embrace our rationalization of medical health insurance fundamentals and a useful listing of vital phrases to know.
How You Can Enhance Your Well being Literacy
Clearly the well being care trade must do a greater job of utilizing plain language. However there are additionally issues you can do to higher perceive well being care info. And that may make it simpler so that you can make good choices about your well being.
For instance, once you’re on the physician’s workplace, be happy to ask questions should you don’t perceive what your physician is telling you. Ask them to elucidate your well being situation, signs, and coverings in a method that is sensible to you. Typically it’s actually useful to take notes, as a result of it may be arduous to recollect afterwards. You too can ask them to present you info differently that works higher for you, like in writing or by an internet site.
And if Independence sends you a communication that isn’t clear, please tell us! We need to get it proper. You may all the time name certainly one of our Registered Nurse Well being Coaches to ask them to elucidate one thing. You may attain them 24/7 by calling 1-800-ASK-BLUE (1-800-275-2583) (TTY/TDD: 711) and following the immediate for “Well being Coach.”
We need to be sure to know how one can use your well being plan. That can assist you get the care you want on the lowest potential value.
Thanks, and have a cheerful Worldwide Plain Language Day!