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Supporting Patients with Low Health Literacy

Analysis  |  By Revenue Cycle Advisor  
   November 11, 2020

Case managers are advocates and guides, and they can help patients understand how to best manage their care.

A version of this article was first published November 11, 2020, by HCPro's Revenue Cycle Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.

Q: How can case managers spot and better support patients with low health literacy?

A: AHRQ recommends that healthcare professionals use health literacy universal precautions with all patients, says Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, CMSA Chicago president. These include:

  • Asking patients to repeat back information they are told to ensure they understand it
  • Avoiding open-ended questions, and instead asking patients to provide more detailed information to gauge understanding
  • Avoiding the use of medical jargon
  • Ensuring that patient materials are simple, clear, and written at a third- to fifth-grade level
  • Providing education in the patient’s preferred language and using medical interpreters when needed

“The Standards of Practice for Case Management direct case manager nurses to be advocates for patients and contribute to improved health outcomes by fostering case management growth and development, impacting healthcare policy, and providing evidence-based tools and resources,” says Morley.

Case managers are advocates and guides, and they can help patients understand how to best manage their care.

“Addressing health literacy through assessment and evidence-based intervention is a key to advocating for and empowering our patients/clients to be able to care for themselves, confidently,” says Morley.

For more information on this topic, see the November issue of Case Management Monthly.

Revenue Cycle Advisor combines all of HCPro's Medicare regulatory and reimbursement resources into one handy and easy-to-access portal. News is not just repeated from other sources. It is analyzed by our Medicare experts so professionals can comprehend any new rule and regulatory updates thoroughly. Learn more.

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