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Health Literacy For the Rest of Us

Posted Apr 19 2011 12:00am

Do you know your rights as a patient and consumer of health services? Last year, I began writing about The Patient’s Bill of Rights , a series of protections also known as the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. This bill was adopted by the US Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1998.

Its goals are to increase patient confidence in our health care system, improve patient-provider relations, and ensure that patients understand that they also play a key role in their health.

Unfortunately, much of the language of this document is written well above the reading level of the average American. No matter how good they are, no protections will help patients if they don’t first understand them.

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