According to the National Journal, the Congressional advisory committee on Medicare (MedPAC), is concerned that poor health literacy discourages patient involvement in treatment decisions and substantially increases the cost of Medicare.
The article also reminds us why health literacy should be of particular concern to President Obama in the coming months:
The health literacy problem also poses a challenge for the success of the Affordable Care Act. Once the exchanges open on Oct. 1, the millions of new patients added to the system in the coming years are expected to have high rates of health illiteracy, as many of them may not have had health insurance before.
As noted in the article, improving health literacy “is a stated priority for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.”