Increasing Health Literacy

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Rice University

Low health literacy is a widespread problem in the United States. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Education released the first-ever national assessment of health literacy for English-speaking adults. The survey indicated that 9/10 adults struggle using everyday health information. Possessing health literacy skills is essential for safeguarding against disease and promoting one's overall well being. The paper provides an outlines on the repercussions of low health literacy, noting its impact on the health of patients and costs to the healthcare system. It explores three major policies that have been passed in order to address this issue including the Plain Writing Act, the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, and the Affordable Care Act. It also offers new and feasible solutions to addressing it which includes: providing funding for literacy programs, increasing translational services, making health literature more clear/concise, and much more.

This policy brief was created for course NSCI 530: The Shaping of Health Policy, taught by Dr. Heidi Russell.
Policy brief
Health Literacy, Solutions, Affordable Care Act, National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy

Messineo, Ashley. "Increasing Health Literacy." (2020) Rice University:

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