requirements compromise the exchanges’ ability to provide plan information in easy-to-understand terms.

Parker added that pharmaceutical companies are finding that there is a return on investment when they use health literacy principles as part of their marketing practices. Pisano mentioned that AHIP’s model policy encourages member plans to only contract for the development of materials with vendors who have staff who are knowledgeable about health literacy. Progress will be made as private companies and government agencies require vendors to state how they are going to ensure their products will comply with principles of clear health communication.


IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2008. Standardizing medication labels: Confusing patients less. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Peterson, P. N., S. M. Shetterly, C. L. Clarke, D. B. Bekelman, P. S. Chan, L. A. Allen, D. D. Matlock, D. J. Magid, and F. A. Masoudi. 2011. Health literacy and outcomes among patients with heart failure. JAMA 305(16):1695-1701.

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