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|Braley Introduces 'Plain Language in Health Insurance Act' to Lower Costs, Cut Confusion|
June 25, 2009
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today introduced the Plain Language in Health Insurance Act, a bill that would require the federal government and private health insurers to write all new healthcare documents in plain, easy-to-understand language.
|Group strives to simplify documents|
May 11, 2009
Utility bills, bank statements and government application forms are among the documents people receive every day but may have trouble understanding.
According to the City of Red Deer’s 2006 census, 7,302 of citizens have brain injuries or developmental disabilities, which the Central Alberta Self Advocates say can affect their ability to read and understand words.
Understanding complex words and paragraphs is also an issue for people who are still learning English.
The solution: Translation services offered by a group of developmentally disabled adults who have become experts at making sense of documents.
Group members have offered a translation service for five years or so, says member Bob Doherty, 54, of Lacombe. Until recently, their work was funded as a pilot project through Persons with Developmental Disabilities.
Now members have formed the not-for-profit Plain Language Society.
Its five teams of translators, including four pairs and one team of three, come from service agencies, including the Lacombe Action Group, Michener Services, Catholic Social Services and Central Alberta Residence Society.
|Elderly people with weaker literacy skills have shorter lives: study|
July 23, 2007
Older people who can't read have a greater chance of dying, including from cardiovascular disease, a U.S. study released Monday suggests.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, investigated 3,260 U.S. patients over 65 who were on medicare. It indicates that older adults with low literacy levels had a 50 per cent higher mortality rate compared to seniors with better literacy skills.
"The excess number of deaths among people with low literacy was huge. The magnitude of this shocked us," lead author Dr. David Baker, who worked on study with his colleagues from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a news release.
Cardiovascular disease was cited in the study as the most common cause of death among those with "inadequate health literacy." The study showed that low health literacy was the top predictor of mortality after smoking, also surpassing income and years of education.
Northwestern began the study in 1997, with study participants from Cleveland, Tampa, Miami and San Antonio.
At the time, participants were asked a variety of personal questions on many areas, such as medical background, education and health behaviours. They were also asked to complete a literacy test where they had to read a variety of health-related materials, such as pill bottles, that required understanding numbers.
|Getting the straight scoop|
February 20, 2007
Consumers and others looking for medical information that is not steeped in technical jargon or written for the highly literate have several choices available.
Full Story: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602311.html
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