Media Kit & PR Contact:

Email: | Phone: 301.230.4966

Health Literacy Innovations Press Releases

Health Literacy Innovations Supports Health Literacy Month
-- Announces New Sale, Complimentary Licenses to Qualified Applicants

Bethesda, Maryland (PRWEB) October 15, 2014

In celebration of October – health literacy month – Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), an interactive health literacy software (in English and Spanish), today announces two new events: a major sale and a new study that offers qualified applicants a free one-month HLA license.

Starting October 1, all copies of the HLA will be discounted by 20% - the HLA English priced at $399 and the HLA English/Spanish $498. Additional discounts of 10, 15, and 20% are offered for 2, 3, and/or 4-year licenses.

HLI also launches a new Evaluation Survey, a brief survey that offers qualified applicants a free-one month evaluation for testing the HLA. To join the study, please contact

About Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish--Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) , an add-in to Microsoft Word is an interactive health literacy software tool. As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Do Consumers Understand Their Health Terms? New Survey Suggests Not

March 7th, 2014 – (Bethesda, Md) When it comes to understanding basic health information, many Americans do not understand simple terms, even some of America's biggest chronic conditions, so says a new survey from Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), a company that creates tools to eliminate confusion from low health literacy.

Using Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a crowdsourcing Internet site, HLI asked 1,000 respondents to define 21 health terms. Some of the respondents offered correct definitions for some of the terms, yet many did not know what these terms meant or gave incorrect answers.

When asked to define "hypertension,' 53.7% of those surveyed defined it as "high blood pressure." Yet, 12% "did not know" and another 9.8% defined hypertension as high blood sugar, a potentially dangerous wrong description, especially in a medical emergency. Other findings include:

Melanoma

  • 59.2% defined melanoma as "skin cancer;" 15% defined it as "cancer"
  • 11.3% "did not know"

Myocardial Infarction

  • 64.5% defined "acute myocardial infarction" as "heart attack"
  • 8.3% "did not know"
  • 2.4% defined it as a "body part"

Hyperglycemia

  • 59.4% defined "hyperglycemia" as "high blood sugar"
  • 13% "did not know"
  • 7% defined it as "diabetes"

Edema

  • 44.7% defined edema as "swelling of a body part due to fluid retention"
  • 29.7% "did not know"
  • 24% defined it as a "body part"

Benign

  • 64.9% defined benign as "not very harmful"
  • 16.4% "did not know"
  • 13.5% defined it as "very severe"

Other consumer responses included:

  • Bilateral: 16.9% "did not know"; 2.3% defined it as an "Illness"
  • Analgesic: 24.5% "did not know"
  • Angina: 28.9% "did not know"; 3% defined it as a "body part"
  • Transdermal: 12.2% "did not know"; 8% said it was "skin issue"

"Given the complexity of the health care environment, it’s no surprise that many consumers are confused about simple health terms," says HLI's Chief Content Director Aracely Rosales. "Having good health literacy -- understanding basic health information, and how to read, act on, and follow information -- is crucial for America’s consumers, especially those new to health care via the Affordable Care Act. HLI’s Health Literacy Advisor, a comprehensive health literacy software tool, can help health care providers to explain simple health terms while creating industry standardization.

We’d like to hope that all consumers know the difference between hypertension and hyperglycemia, yet until that happens we remain committed to helping providers create simple information to help consumers understand their health care," says Rosales. For more information about Health Literacy Innovations, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or contact 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) Launches the REDA – A New Suitability Measurement

October 31st, 2013 – (Bethesda, Md) To add the final steps in the health literacy review process, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), a company that creates tools to help eliminate confusion from low health literacy, today announces the REDA – the ReadsEasy™ Document Assessment, a new feature within its flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA).

The REDA, which focuses on factors that affect readability and comprehension, includes a suitability checklist to assess cultural appropriateness, layout, design, organization, graphics, numeracy, use of plain language and usability testing.

Available only within the HLA, the REDA scores materials on eight elements of plain language, readability goals, and the use of long sentences and of long words. An electronic plain language checklist tallies users’ answers to produce a final REDA score. This score and accompanying traffic-light icon symbol rating lets HLA users know if their document meets plain language and suitability standards or, if not, which elements need refinement.

"Because even easy-to-read health information may still be complicated for the low literacy reader, HLI is excited to add the REDA to the HLA as another step to ensure that consumer health materials are suitable (understandable)," says, Health Literacy Innovations Content Expert & Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales. "Combined with HLA’s readability assessments and search-and-replace functions, HLA users now have a one-stop health literacy tool to examine and assess the comprehension and readability of consumer health information," Rosales says.

Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish--Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool.

As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces Free Health Literacy Webinars

October 1st, 2013 – (Bethesda, Md) In celebration of October – Health Literacy Month – Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation’s first interactive health literacy software (in English and Spanish) today announces its free October health literacy series.

To enroll, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations/resources/webinars

The 2013 October Health Literacy webinar series includes:

"Understanding Health Literacy, Ten Reasons Why We Can’t Afford to Ignore It"
• Presenter: Aracely Rosales, Content Expert & Multilingual Director, Health Literacy Innovations
• Tuesday October 8th, 2-3 p.m. EDT

"Implementing a Health Literacy Precaution Kit"
• Presenter: Leigh F. Callahan, PhD, Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Social Medicine, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• Tuesday October 15th , 2-3 p.m. EDT

"The Role of Health Literacy in Disease Management: Implications for Intervention Design"
• Presenter: Melissa A. Valerio, PhD, MPH, Interim Dean San Antonio Regional Campus, Associate Professor University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston
• Thursday October 17th, 2-3 p.m. EDT

"Addressing Health Literacy and Cultural Competence"
• Presenter: Speaker: Kate Singleton, MSW, LCSW, Health Literacy Consultant for Adult Education, Social Work, and Health Care
• Tuesday October 22nd, 2-3 p.m. EDT

"Health Insurance Literacy and the ACA"
• Is It Now Easier or Harder Enroll in Coverage? What Does a Health Insurance Consumer Need to Know?"
• Presenter: Lynn Quincy, Senior Policy Analyst, Consumers Union
• Thursday October 24th, 2-3 p.m. EDT

"Creating a Health Literacy Initiative"
• Presenter: Athena D. Bennett, BA, CC, CL, Health Literacy and Plain Language SME, Training Analyst, Quality and Accreditation, Accordant, A CVS Caremark Company
• Tuesday October 29th, 2-3 p.m. EDT

Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish--Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Launches the 4th Annual
Leonard G. Doak Health Literacy Innovator Contest

Bethesda, Maryland — July 22, 2013. Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool (in English and Spanish), today launches the 4th annual National Health Literacy Innovators Award.

The contest, a national competition to reward innovators in health literacy, seeks the nation's best health literacy practices in print, in practice, and in the media.

It is open to any company, organization or individual that can demonstrate excellence in health literacy in one of the three contest categories. Contest winners, one per category, receive three annual licenses of the Health Literacy Advisor. The deadline is September 9, 2013.

For information on contest rules and application forms, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/resources/innovator_award.

The 2013 National Health Literacy Innovators Award Contest judges are:

  • Nadia Ali, MD, M.B;B.S, MPH, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Medicine of Temple University and Associate Program Director, Dept. of Internal Medicine Crozer Chester Medical Center
  • Carolyn Cocotas, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Compliance, F.E.G.S., Health and Human Services System, former two-term member of the IOM Health Literacy Task Force
  • Arthur J. Culbert, PhD, Founder and Former President Health Literacy Missouri
  • Theresa Devine, MPH, Healthy People Communication Fellow, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Julie McKinney, LINCS Health Literacy List Moderator, World Education, Inc.
  • Linda Johnston Lloyd, MEd, Health Literacy Consultant and Retired Senior Advisor for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), chair of the HRSA Health Literacy Work Group and member of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Literacy Work Group
  • Ellen Langhans, MA, Health Communication and eHealth Division, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ruth M. Parker, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Public Health, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Joanne G. Schwartzberg, MD, Director, Aging and Community Health, American Medical Association
  • Greg Smith, Executive Director, Florida Literacy Coalition, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, ReadsEasy™ Publication Award
Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that "literacy" is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish--Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans Names
Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) as Preferred Vendor

Bethesda, Maryland — July 11, 2013.Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com, a company that creates tools to eliminate confusion from low health literacy and the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), a national trade association, representing 58 nonprofit safety net health plans in 24 states, today announce a new preferred vendor relationship.

As a preferred vendor, HLI, creator of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first and only health literacy interactive software tool, will assist ACAP's health plan members representing over 9 million lives in Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and other public programs, with its members health literacy and plain language needs.

"We're delighted to have the opportunity to offer HLA and HLI's health literacy expertise to our member Safety Net Health Plans," said ACAP CEO Margaret Murray. "With the requirements of health reform and the advent of health exchanges, it's more important than ever that health plans provide their members with clear health information to take an active role in their own care. That's where HLI's experience and unique software tool comes in."

"We are proud to work with ACAP and trust that our strategic relationship and our innovative health literacy software tool will benefit ACAP members to help consumers understand, read, and act on their health information," says HLI's Chief Content Expert and Multi-Language Director Aracely Rosales.

Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that "literacy" is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool.

As a health literacy checker, the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix them using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English, six in Spanish, and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for a good score) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone.

For more information about HLI, please contact or call 301-230-4966

Will Consumers Understand Health Exchanges?
Health Literacy Innovations Discounts Its Health Literacy Software to Help

Bethesda, Maryland — June 21, 2013. When millions of Americans go to purchase health insurance from the new state exchanges in the next few months, they will not only find many options - from seasoned health insurers to new start-ups - but information from and about these new health exchanges written at varying levels of clarity.

With no federal mandate for a specific reading level for consumer health information, health exchanges and contracting providers will be able to market and communicate this information at any reading level, including a college grade reading level. Research, however, reveals that many Americans can only read at a 6th grade reading level, which may make the new exchanges and their information, difficult, if not impossible, to use, understand, and act on.

To help ensure that consumers can understand exchange information, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), a company that creates tools to eliminate confusion from low health literacy, today announces a "Health Exchange Sale" of its flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA). Until October 1st, the HLA will be available to health exchanges and their contracting providers (new HLA users) at a discounted price.

"We recognize that many Americans new to the health care system will rely on the exchanges and providers to explain consumer health information," says Aracely Rosales, chief content expert and multi-language director, Health Literacy Innovations. "As a simple tool to help streamline this process - explain health exchange information—what they are, what they offer, how they work - we know the HLA will be a great asset in the health exchange roll-out and to help consumers engage in their health care," says Rosales.

The HLA, an add-in to Microsoft Word, is licensed on a per user basis. To learn more about how the HLA works, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/demo. To inquire about its Health Exchange sale, please contact

About HLI

Knowing that "literacy" is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces the 2012 Leonard G. Doak
Health Literacy Innovator Award Winners

Bethesda, Md. (November 15, 2012) — Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor™ and Spanish HLA—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™, today announced the winners of the 2012 Leonard G. Doak Health Literacy Innovator Award contest.


Selected from top applications from across the globe, the 2012 winners in each category are:


Champion Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy within an organization.

  • 1st Place: Canyon Ranch Institute, Tucson, Ariz.
  • 2nd Place: North Shore-LIJ Health System, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Literacy, Lake Success, N.Y.


ReadsEasy™ Publication Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in printed information for consumers, such as brochures, pamphlets, and information sheets.

  • 1st Place: Let's Talk About The Flu, Health Literacy Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc.
  • 2nd Place: A Series of Brochures on Rehabilitation and Disability, University Health Network, Toronto Rehab, Toronto, Ont.
  • 3rd Place: Understanding Blood Pressure, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), Detroit, Mich


Clear Focus Multimedia Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in a website or other form of communication, based on usability, design, and reaching a targeted audience.


“The number of quality outstanding applications we continue to receive is validation of the growing, progress and commitment the health care industry is making to health literacy and plain language principles” says Health Literacy Innovations Chief Content and Multi-Language Chief Aracely Rosales. “We congratulate all the, applicants, and judges once again for their time, effort, and commitment to maintaining health literacy excellence.”


HLI salutes its 2012 Leonard G. Doak Health Literacy Innovator Award judges:

  • Nadia Ali, MD, M.B;B.S, MPH, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Medicine of Temple University and Associate Program Director, Dept of Internal Medicine Crozer Chester Medical Center
  • Carolyn Cocotas, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Compliance, F.E.G.S., Health and Human Services System, former two-term member of the IOM Health Literacy Task Force
  • Arthur J. Culbert, PhD, Founder and Former President Health Literacy Missouri
  • Ariella Herman, PhD, Research Director, UCLA / J&J Health Care Institute, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, Champion Award
  • Julie McKinney, LINCS Health Literacy List Moderator, World Education, Inc.
  • Linda Johnston Lloyd, MEd, Health Literacy Consultant and Retired Senior Advisor for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), chair of the HRSA Health Literacy Work Group and member of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Literacy Work Group
  • Marycelis Keiser, MPH, CHES, Healthcare Strategy & Communications Consultant
  • Silje Lier, MPH, Multimedia Advisor, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ruth M. Parker, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Public Health, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Joanne G. Schwartzberg, MD, Director, Aging and Community Health, American Medical Association
  • Greg Smith, Executive Director, Florida Literacy Coalition, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, ReadsEasy™ Publication Award

About HLI

Knowing that "literacy" is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Adds the HHS Uniform Glossary to the Health Literacy Advisor
Helps Insurers Comply with New Health Reform Law

Bethesda, Md. (May 15, 2012) — To help health insurers comply with new rules of the Affordable Care Act -- those that require health insurers and group health plans to provide concise and comprehensible information about health plan benefits to Americans with private health coverage -- Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) today announced the addition of the HHS "uniform glossary" to the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software.

These rules, which ensure consumers receive two key forms to help them understand and evaluate their health insurance choices, include a short, easy-to-understand Summary of Benefits and Coverage (or SBC) and a list of definitions (called the uniform glossary) that explains terms commonly used in health insurance coverage such as deductible and co-payment.

The HLA now includes the HHS uniform glossary.

"By adding the HHS uniform glossary of terms to the Health Literacy Advisor, we eliminate the need to find these terms, copy the definitions, or manually insert them into heath information for consumers," said Health Literacy Innovations Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales. "With just one mouse click, Health Literacy Advisor users can add these terms to consumer health information, making access to the HHS uniform glossary immediate, simple, and uncomplicated," said Rosales.

For more information about this new rule, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/resources/industry_publications.

About HLI

Knowing that "literacy" is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish--Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a "health literacy checker," the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document "grade" with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Offers Scholarships to IHA Conference

Bethesda, Md. (April 12, 2012) -- As part of its commitment to share health literacy best practices, education, and knowledge, Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™), today announced it will offer seven scholarships to the 11th Annual IHA Health Literacy Conference.

Scholarship recipients will receive full tuition to IHA's annual Health Literacy Conference May 9-11, 2012 Hyatt Regency, Irvine, Calif. The IHA conference, known nationally for its innovative programs, sessions, and networking opportunities gathers clinicians, educators, researchers, policymakers, and others who have developed best practices to face the low health literacy challenge.

“We know that part of the solution to help reduce the enormous challenge of health literacy is to share complex information among passionate and dedicated health literacy practitioners” states Health Literacy Innovations Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales. “It is with this hope and opportunity that HLI proudly invites seven health literacy applicants to attend one of the most innovative and energizing health literacy conferences,” said Rosales.

To learn more about the conference, please visit www.iha4health.org. To apply for the IHA Scholarship please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/IHA.

About HLI

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a “health literacy checker,” the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices in English and six indices in Spanish and an interactive search-and-replace function to eliminate hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy and Plain Language Principles Strengthened in New URAC DM Standards

Bethesda, Md. (March 21, 2012) -- In a strategic move to strengthen the importance of plain language and health literacy principles in consumer health information, URAC, a leading health care accreditation and education organization, this week announced revised standards and additional performance measures in its Disease Management Accreditation Program that promote quality and patient empowerment.

To achieve compliance with the URAC Disease Management Accreditation's standard Core 40 on health literacy, an organization needs to implement written policies that:

  • require consumer materials to be in plain language,
  • assess the use of plain language in consumer documents, and
  • provide relevant information and guidance to staff that interfaces directly with, or writes content for, consumers.

This standard recognizes health literacy as a critical issue affecting health care outcomes and costs, distinguishes plain language from health literacy, and suggests that health organizations establish a target grade level to evaluate consumer materials. In support of health literacy, the weight for scoring was increased for standard DM 29 – Plan Addressing Delivery of Health Information to Consumers, and standard DM 30 – Evaluation of Consumer Information, further emphasizing the importance of health literacy in the Disease Management Accreditation program.

“With these new changes, the health literacy community celebrates a tremendous victory, one that now only strengthens the importance of health literacy standards in URAC’s Disease Management Accreditation Program, but offers even more protection to America’s health care consumers,” states Health Literacy Innovations Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales.  “We commend URAC for its work and for recognizing health literacy as a crucial part of patient empowerment and consumer care,” concludes Rosales.

“The updated standard revisions and accompanying measures support the evolving patient-focused health care needs,” said Peter J. Kapolas, Healthways Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Accreditation and Quality, and Committee Chair for URAC’s Disease Management Advisory Group. “In addition, the updates and revisions ensure enhanced processes that allow for effective program design and delivery, support improved outcomes and ensure consumer satisfaction.”

About HLI

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a “health literacy checker,” the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and certification programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC strives to ensure that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces 2011 Health Literacy Innovators Award Winners

Bethesda, Md. (October 20, 2011) Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor™ and Spanish HLA—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announced the winners of the 2011 National Health Literacy Innovators Award contest.

Selected from more than 50 extremely competitive applications, HLI congratulates each of the first place winners in the following categories:

Champion Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy within an organization:

   WellPoint, Inc., Plain Language Initiative

ReadsEasy™ Publication Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in printed information for consumers, such as brochures, pamphlets, and information sheets:

   Accordant Health Services, Web Library Articles

Clear Focus Multimedia Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in a website or other form of communication, based on usability, design, and reaching a targeted audience:

   Health Care Service Corporation, eCards for Health

“The growing number of exceptional applications and the sophistication, quality, and level of commitment to health literacy and plain language shows us how quickly the health care industry is responding to the demanding challenges health care providers now face,” said Aracely Rosales, HLI's chief content and multi-lingual director. “HLI would also like to thank its judges whose health literacy insight and knowledge rewarded best practices in health literacy, which helps to ensure that consumers, of all reading levels, have a better chance of understanding their health information,” said Rosales.

The 2011 National Health Literacy Innovators judges are:

  • Ariella Herman, Ph.D, Research Director, UCLA / J&J Health Care Institute, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, Champion Award
  • Carolyn Cocotas, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Compliance, F.E.G.S., Health and Human Services System, IOM Health Literacy Task Force Member
  • Cecilia (Ceci) and Leonard (Len) Doak, Principles of Patient Learning Assoc. Inc., and authors of Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills
  • Julie McKinney, LINCS Health Literacy List Moderator, World Education, Inc.
  • Linda Johnston Lloyd, M.Ed, Health Literacy Consultant and Retired Senior Advisor for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), chair of the HRSA Health Literacy Work Group and member of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Literacy Work Group
  • Marycelis Keiser, MPH, CHES, Healthcare Strategy & Communications Consultant
  • Matilde Alvarado, R.N., M.S.N., Coordinator Minority Health Education and Outreach Division for the Application of Research Discoveries, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Greg Smith, Executive Director, Florida Literacy Coalition, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, ReadsEasy™ Publication Award
  • Silje Lier, MPH, Multimedia Advisor, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Julie Gazmararian, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

2011 RUNNERS-UP

HLI congratulates the 2nd and 3rd place winner in each category:

Champion Award

  • 2nd place, Select Health of South Carolina Health Literacy Program
  • 3rd place, Accordant Health Services, Journey to Understanding and Action

ReadsEasy™ Publication Award

  • 2nd place, California Department of Public Health, An Ounce of Prevention
  • 3rd place, HealthEd Group, Blood Pressure and Your Health

Clear Focus Multimedia Award

  • 2nd place, The Cleveland Department of Public Health, Pandemic Influenza Social Media and Marketing Campaign
  • 3rd place, Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
About Health Literacy Innovations
Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (in Spanish—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™) is the nation's first, only, and most powerful health literacy software tool. As a “health literacy checker,” the HLA streamlines the review and simplification process by allowing users to assess the readability of their documents and then fix it using plain language principles. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces the Spanish Health Literacy Advisor
—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud

Bethesda, Md. (September 13, 2011) Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's only interactive health literacy software tool, today launched the Spanish HLA—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™.

Like its English counterpart, the Spanish HLA streamlines the health literacy review process. It scans, reviews, assesses, and helps to fix documents, giving creators of Spanish health information new efficiencies.

“Simplifying health information for the nation's 50.5 million Latino health consumers just got easier,” stated Aracely Rosales, HLI's chief content and multi-lingual director, who said the timing of the Spanish HLA is ideal. “With HHS' National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, the national reform bill and its call for health literacy, the Plain Language Act of 2010, state and employer requests, and the new Joint Commission standards, which ask for a 5th grade reading level, there is significant pressure on health care providers to comply with health literacy standards. The Spanish HLA helps health providers take care of all these industry mandates simply, efficiently, and cost-effectively,” stated Rosales.

The Spanish Health Literacy Advisor includes the following electronic readability indices:

  • Fry-Based (Gilliam-Peña-Mountain Formula)
  • Läsbarhetsindex (LIX)
  • Rate Index (RIX)
  • Crawford Grade Level Formula
  • Flesch Reading Ease Score (Huerta-Fernandez)
  • SOL Index (Spanish SMOG)

Unlike other readability programs that allege to review for health literacy, HLA works directly in Microsoft Word and cleans documents removing URLs, bullets, phone numbers, and names of cities and states before measuring for readability. With no need to cut and paste text into boxes, the HLA offers remarkable efficiency and reliability in the health literacy review. Additional features, such as “search and replace” eliminate the need for Internet searches or reliance on paper-based glossaries.

In celebration, and in support of National Hispanic Heritage month, September 15th to October 15th, HLI announced significant price drops for its English and Spanish Health Literacy Advisors.

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship products, the Health Literacy Advisor™ (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, and the Spanish HLA—Asesor de Comunicación en Salud™ are revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLAs apply well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function that offers plain language replacement for tough words and medical jargon. The combination of these functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the “ReadsEasy”™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLAs apart from readability indices alone. For more information, please visit http://www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Back by Popular Demand
—Health Literacy Innovations Launches the 2011 National Health Literacy Innovators Contest

Bethesda, Md. (June 22nd, 2011) — Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool today announced the launch of the 2011 National Health Literacy Innovators Award.

The contest, a national competition to reward innovators in health literacy, seeks the nation's best health literacy practices in print, in practice, and in the media. It is open to any company, organization or individual that can demonstrate excellence in health literacy in one of the three contest categories. Contest winners, one per category, receive three annual licenses of the Health Literacy Advisor.

“We are thrilled to launch the 2011 National Health Literacy Innovators Award and looking forward to seeing the year's best health literacy practices,” said HLA Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales”. “This year, with HHS' Health Literacy Action Plan, the new reform bill, and the new Joint Commission standards for health literacy approaching, we anticipate even more innovation in health literacy programs and strategies,” said Rosales.

For information on contest rules and application forms, please visit http://HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/award

The 2011 National Health Literacy Innovators judges are:

  • Ariella Herman, Ph.D, Research Director, UCLA / J&J Health Care Institute, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, Champion Award
  • Carolyn Cocotas, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Compliance, F.E.G.S., Health and Human Services System, IOM Health Literacy Task Force Member
  • Cecilia (Ceci) and Leonard (Len) Doak, Principles of Patient Learning Assoc. Inc., and authors of Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills
  • Julie McKinney, LINCS Health Literacy List Moderator, World Education, Inc.
  • Linda Johnston Lloyd, M.Ed, Health Literacy Consultant and Retired Senior Advisor for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), chair of the HRSA Health Literacy Work Group and member of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Literacy Work Group
  • Marycelis Keiser, MPH, CHES, Healthcare Strategy & Communications Consultant
  • Matilde Alvarado, R.N., M.S.N., Coordinator Minority Health Education and Outreach Division for the Application of Research Discoveries, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Greg Smith, Executive Director, Florida Literacy Coalition, 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award, ReadsEasy™ Publication Award
  • Silje Lier, MPH, Multimedia Advisor, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
About Health Literacy Innovations:

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI),was founded to create tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, is revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasyTM stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit http://www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations & Medicaid Health Plans of America Announce New Strategic Partnership

Bethesda, Md. (June 9th, 2011) — Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, and Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), the leading trade association solely focused on representing Medicaid health plans, today announced a new strategic alliance.

As an MHPA Advantage partner, HLI will help support MHPA members to understand and respond to the myriad of new health literacy requirements and standards the health care industry now demands.

“With HHS' National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, the national reform bill which calls for health literacy responsibility, the Plain Language Act of 2010, and growing requests from states and employers to produce materials at or lower than 6th grade reading level, there is increasing pressure on our members to comply with health literacy standards, says MHPA CEO Thomas Johnson. “Through our new partnership with HLI, we are confident our members that need ease and simplification in the review of their materials for consumers will find the HLA a tremendous asset, he says.

A revolutionary software tool to help improve printed materials for consumers and patients, the HLA allows users to streamline the health literacy review process to meet health literacy standards now being required by the government, accrediting bodies, and employers. Unlike other readability programs that allege to review for health literacy, the HLA works directly in Microsoft Word and cleans documents removing URLs, bullets, and phone numbers, and names of cities and states before measuring for readability. With no need to cut and paste text into boxes, the HLA offers remarkable efficiency and reliability in the simplification process.

“Our new partnership with MHPA advances our joint goals to develop and advance public policy that controls costs and improves access and delivery of quality health care to Medicaid members, states HLA Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales. “We look forward to a productive and exciting new partnership, she concludes.

About Health Literacy
In the U.S., an individual's ability to understand and act on medical instructions and information - "health literacy" is a stronger predictor of health status than age, income, employment, education, race, or ethnicity. Studies have documented gaps between the way health information is presented and the ability of most Americans to understand and act on it. Low health literacy puts consumers at risk: people with poor health literacy remain in the hospital more days per admission, have increased ER and doctors' visits, and even earlier deaths.

About HLI

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), is the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool. A simple add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA is revolutionizing a labor intensive review process with a powerful new software tool to help communicators evaluate, standardize, and produce clear health information. The HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function that allows users to set desired reading levels, evaluate a document's readability level, track problems areas, and then replace hard-to-read terms and phrases with plain language alternatives. A ReadsEasy™ stamp (and virtual cheer) appear when users meet their desired readability level. Together, these functions set the HLA apart from other tools not designed for health literacy. For more information visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

About MPHA

Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) is the leading trade association solely focused on representing Medicaid health plans. MHPA provides advocacy, research and organized forums that support the development of policy solutions to enhance the delivery of quality health care. For more information, visit Medicaid Health Plans of America at http://www.mhpa.org or email at info@mhpa.org.

Pro-Change Selects the Health Literacy Advisor to Ensure Plain Language
— Announces New Licensing Agreement with Health Literacy Innovations

Bethesda, Md. — (May 12, 2011) — Health Literacy Innovations, creator of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announced a new licensing agreement with Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., a privately- held research and development company whose goal is to improve health through using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change through computer and coaching based programs.

Effectively immediately, Pro-Change will use the Health Literacy Advisor to help ensure the use of plain language standards and compliance to health literacy principles for Pro-Change's behavior change programs, initially with three grant funded projects promoting health behavior changes with special populations. Two of the grants are for the nation's veterans, one which focuses on multiple health behavior changes for veterans receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), the other which focuses on smoking cessation through computer and text-based messaging. The third grant, Healthy Pregnancy: Step by Step, is for underserved pregnant women in community health centers. This program targets smoking cessation, stress management, and healthy eating and will be tested with women from Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.

“Consumers cannot effectively change their health behavior until they can read and understand the information the health care industry produces,” says Leanne M. Mauriello, Ph.D. Vice President of Research and Product Development, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. “The Health Literacy Advisor helps us to create materials that are clear, simple, and written at a level that consumers can read,” she said.

“We welcome Pro-Change to the growing list of companies using the Health Literacy Advisor to speed up the health materials simplification process and applaud its commitment to health literacy,” said Health Literacy Innovations' Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales. “With the Health Literacy Advisor, Pro-Change is better equipped to implement the goals of the HHS' National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and to help the populations it serves nationally.”

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), is the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool. A simple add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA is revolutionizing a traditionally antiquated, and labor intensive literacy review process with a powerful new software tool to help communicators evaluate, standardize, and produce clear health information. Unique in design, the HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function that allows users to set desired reading levels, evaluate a document's readability level, track problems areas, and then replace hard-to-read terms and phrases with plain language alternatives. An HLA ReadsEasy™ stamp (and virtual cheer) appear when users meet their desired readability level. Together, these functions set the HLA software apart from other tools not designed for health literacy. For more information visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

About Pro-Change

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., a certified Women Business Enterprise, is the leading research and development company for computer- and coaching-based programs for changing multiple health risk behaviors. Based on the Transtheoretical Model developed by founder Dr. James O. Prochaska, Pro-Change programs are for entire populations and are uniquely tailored to each individual. Pro-Change programs have produced unprecedented impacts on multiple behaviors to enhance health and reduce health care costs. In 2009, Pro-Change's LifeStyle Management Programs for Stress Management, Depression Prevention, Weight Management, Exercising Regularly, Smoking Cessation, and Medication Adherence won the URAC Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Management. For more information about Pro-Change, please visit www.prochange.com.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces New Licensing Agreements

Bethesda, Md. — (April 6, 2011) — Health Literacy Innovations, creator of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announced new licensing agreements with the following organizations:

  • Rocky Mountain Health Plans
  • The Cleveland Health Network
  • Delta Dental of Wisconsin
  • Midwestern University
  • Daggerwing Health
  • Randolph Hospital
  • MEDecision
  • Sanford Health
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • TriStar Health System
  • Lourdes Health System
  • Avalere Health

“We welcome these new organizations to the Health Literacy Innovations' family and applaud their efforts to simplify information to consumer” said Health Literacy Innovations' Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director Aracely Rosales. “Now consumers will have an even better chance to understand, read, and act on their health care information.”

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creates tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), is the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool. A simple add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA is revolutionizing a traditionally antiquated, and labor intensive literacy review process with a powerful new software tool to help communicators evaluate, standardize, and produce clear health information. Unique in design, the HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function that allows users to set desired reading levels, evaluate a document's readability level, track problems areas, and then replace hard-to-read terms and phrases with plain language alternatives. An HLA ReadsEasy™ stamp (and virtual cheer) appear when users meet their desired readability level. Together, these functions set the HLA software apart from other tools not designed for health literacy. For more information visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces Winners of 2010 National Health Literacy Innovators Award

Bethesda, Md. — (October 28, 2010) — Health Literacy Innovations, creator of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announces the winners of the 2010 National Health Literacy Innovators Award contest.

The contest, a national competition to reward innovators in health literacy and in celebration of October, National Health Literacy Month, was judged by a prestigious list of health literacy experts and funded by an anonymous health literacy donor. The winners of the 2010 National Health Literacy innovators Award, to receive a cash award, certificate, and recognition are:

  • ReadsEasy™ Publication Award: Florida Literacy Coalition, Orlando, FL - Women's Health: A Special Addition to Staying Healthy
  • Champion Award: Dr. Ariella Herman, Ph.D., Los Angeles, Calif., UCLA / J & J Health Care Institute
  • Clear Focus Multi-Media Award: Neighborhood Health Plan, Boston, Mass. Neighborhood Health Plan Usability Website

“We received more than 50 outstanding applications to the first annual Health Literacy Innovator award,” says Aracely Rosales, Health Literacy Innovations Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director. “These organizations represent state-of-the-art health literacy innovators in publications, initiatives and leaders, and challenged our judges on finding the top choices in each category. We thank the judges for their time and effort to help us identify exemplary examples of excellence in plain language and health literacy principles, and look forward to next year's competition,” says Rosales.

The list of prestigious 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award Judges are:

  • Carolyn Cocotas, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Compliance, F.E.G.S., Health and Human Services System & IOM Health Literacy Task Force Member, New York
  • George Flouty, MD, Medical Director, Pfizer N.Y., Founding member of Pfizer's Health Literacy Initiative (retired)
  • Julie Gazmararian, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University Atlanta
  • Linda Johnston Lloyd, MEd Health Literacy Consultant and Retired U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration Health, Literacy Coordinator
  • Marycelis Keiser, MPH, CHES, Director, Pfizer Inc., Primary Care Business Unit
  • Julie McKinney, LINCS Health Literacy List Moderator, World Education, Inc.
  • Guadalupe Pacheco, Jr., M.S.W, Special Assistant to the Director, Office of Minority Health, Office of Public Health and Science U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
About Health Literacy Innovations
Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of a health outcome, Health Literacy Innovations (HLI) was founded to create tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. HLI's flagship product, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, is revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, a document “grade” with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (a reward for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces New Licensing Agreements

Bethesda, Md. — (September 1, 2010) — Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announced the following organizations have signed new agreements to license the Health Literacy Advisor:

  • Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
  • CalOptima
  • The Missouri Area Health Centers
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Prime Therapeutics
  • Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department
  • Low Country Health Care System
  • Odyssey HealthCare, Inc.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

“We applaud these organizations that recognize the importance of simplifying information to consumers, and welcome them to the Health Literacy Innovations' family,” said Aracely Rosales, Chief Content Provider and Director, Multi-Cultural, Health Literacy Innovations. “By streamlining the health literacy review process and using technology as one part of the health literacy review process, we are confident the nation's consumers will have an even better chance to understand, read, and act on their health care information.”

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of health outcomes, Health Literacy Innovations, (HLI) was founded to create tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. In 2007, HLI launched the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, which is revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA gives writers of all skill sets a simple tool to produce health information for consumers. An add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA applies nine well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, the ability to “stamp” a document with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy stamp (which rewards users for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces 1st Annual Health Literacy Innovator Award
— Anonymous Donor Offers Prize Money To Winners

Bethesda, Md. — (June 10, 2010) — Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creators of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announced the 1st Annual “National Health Literacy Innovator Award,” a national competition to award innovators in health literacy.

Submissions will be evaluated in three categories:

  • Champion Award: Demonstrated commitment to health literacy in an organization.
  • ReadsEasy Publication Award: Demonstrated commitment to health literacy in printed information to consumers, such as brochures, pamphlets, or information sheets.
  • Clear Focus Multi-Media Award: Demonstrated commitment to excellence in health literacy in a web site or other form of communication, based on usability, design, and reaching a targeted audience.

The list of prestigious 2010 Health Literacy Innovator Award Judges are:

  • Carolyn Cocotas, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Compliance, F.E.G.S., Health and Human Services System & IOM Health Literacy Task Force Member, New York
  • Cecilia (Ceci) and Leonard (Len) Doak, Principles of Patient Learning Assoc. Inc., and authors of Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills, Palm Desert, California
  • George Flouty, MD, Medical Director, Pfizer N.Y., Founding member of Pfizer's Health Literacy initiatives (retired)
  • Julie Gazmararian, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University Atlanta
  • Linda Johnston Lloyd, MEd Health Literacy Consultant and Retired U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration Health, Literacy Coordinator
  • Marycelis Keiser, MPH, CHES, Director, Pfizer Inc, Primary Care Business Unit
  • Julie McKinney, LINCS Health Literacy List Moderator, World Education, Inc.
  • Guadalupe Pacheco, Jr., M.S.W, Special Assistant to the Director, Office of Minority Health, Office of Public Health and Science U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

Details & deadlines:

  • Winners/ category will receive a $300 donation to the charity of their choice and three HLA licenses
  • The application deadline is August 30, 2010 winners will be announced October 2010 in celebration of National Health Literacy Month.
  • For an application, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of health outcomes, Health Literacy Innovations, (HLI) was founded to create tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. In 2007, HLI launched the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, which is revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA gives writers of all skill sets a simple tool to produce health information for consumers. An add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA applies six well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, the ability to “stamp” a document with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy stamp (which rewards users for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces License Agreement with Neighborhood Health Plan

Bethesda, Md. — May 20, 2010 — Health Literacy Innovations today announced Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP), a Boston-based not-for-profit health plan, has signed an agreement with Health Literacy Innovations to license the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool.

Ranked as both one of the top five Medicaid health plans in the country and one of the top 50 commercial health plans in America two years running according to a joint ranking by U.S.News & World Report and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), NHP is the first health plan in Massachusetts to use the Health Literacy Advisor, signaling its growing commitment to health literacy as a crucial component in consumer health compliance.

“NHP is excited to use the HLA to better communicate with our members,” said Carla Bettano, Vice President of Business Development, “Many of our members have chronic health conditions, and the Health Literacy Advisor tool will assist our team in making sure members understand health-related information.”

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of health outcomes, Health Literacy Innovations, (HLI) was founded to create tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. In 2007, HLI launched the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, which is revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA gives writers of all skill sets a simple tool to produce health information for consumers. An add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA applies six well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, the ability to “stamp” a document with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy stamp (which rewards users for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

About NHP

Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) is a not-for-profit health insurer serving more than 200,000 members across Massachusetts, offering a wide array of competitive Medicaid and commercial products. Working in partnership with community health centers and other community-responsive providers, NHP focuses on offering members access to care from over 2,800 primary care physicians and over 10,400 specialists in over 300 primary care locations throughout Massachusetts. Central to Neighborhood Health Plan's mission, we place special emphasis on serving culturally diverse, traditionally underserved, and vulnerable populations. For more information, visit www.nhp.org.

“America's Best Health Insurance Plans" is a trademark of U.S. News & World Report.

Health Literacy Innovations and URAC to Offer Plain Language Webinars
Series to Focus on Material Development and Design

Bethesda, Md. — April 7, 2010 — Health Literacy Innovations, creators of the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software, announced today a new webinar series — “Plain Language Materials Development: Write it Clear, Write it in Plain Language,” — that will be offered May 13 and June 14, 2010.

The webinars will outline best practices for development of easy-to-read materials. The series is being offered through URAC, an independent, non-profit organization, well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. The webinars will be lead by Aracely Rosales, Health Literacy Innovations' Chief Content and Multi-Lingual Director. Rosales is a national expert and leader in plain language materials development.

The webinars will take place:

  • Thursday, May 13 — 2:00 - 3:30pm EST
  • Monday, June 14 — 2:00 - 3:30pm EST

This training will present strategies to help participants understand readability tools and how to assess their materials for readability. Through experiential exercises, participants will also learn effective methods for developing materials with user-friendly design.

Continuing Education credits will be available. To register or to learn more information about the webinar please visit
www.urac.org/accreditationEducation/calendar10.aspx

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and certification programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About Health Literacy Innovations

Knowing that “literacy” is the single most important indicator of health outcomes, Health Literacy Innovations, (HLI) was founded to create tools to help eliminate medical mistakes and confusion due to low health literacy. In 2007, HLI launched the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, which is revolutionizing the health literacy review process. By replacing inefficiency with technology and knowledge, the HLA gives writers of all skill sets a simple tool to produce health information for consumers. An add-in to Microsoft Word, the HLA applies six well-known readability indices and an interactive search-and-replace function to replace hard-to-read terms and phrases and medical jargon with plain language alternatives. The combination of these two functions, the ability to “stamp” a document with a readability score/grade level, and the ReadsEasy™ stamp (which rewards users for good work) sets the HLA software apart from programs or readability indices alone. For more information, please visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Release of Health Literacy & Plain Language Resource Guide

Health Literacy Innovations & the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies Release the Nation's First Comprehensive “Health Literacy Plain Language Resource Guide”

Health Literacy Innovations Announces a 15% Holiday Sale

Bethesda, Md. — December 17, 2008 — In celebration of the holidays and the health care industry's growing commitment to health literacy, Health Literacy Innovations, creator of the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, today announces a 15% discount on purchases made before Jan. 15th, 2009.

"This holiday season we want to share the gift of health literacy to companies seeking an innovative way to produce and enhance clear communications for consumers," says Aracely Rosales, Chief Content Expert and Multilingual Director, Health Literacy Innovations. "As a continuing hope to improve health literacy outcomes, the HLA gives health care communicators a cutting-edge tool to assess materials' reading level and like a spell checker, offers more than 10,000 interchangeable terms in plain English when jargon and big words compromise clarity."

To learn more about the Health Literacy Advisor's visit features, watch the demo at www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/demo. To order the HLA and receive the 15% discount, please visit http://HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/products/pricing.

About Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations, a social entrepreneurship company headquartered in Bethesda, Md., creates innovative tools to enhance health literacy. Its flagship tool, the Health Literacy Advisor (HLA), is the nation's first interactive health literacy software. As an innovation in health literacy, the HLA streamlines the review process, by combining six different electronic readability indices to assess document reading level and a powerful search-and-replace function to offer users plain language alternatives for word choices that compromise clarity. It is the only software product on the market that scrubs a document — ignores phone numbers, URLs, headings, and bullets — before it calculates readability, giving users an accurate readability score. The HLA also dutifully rewards writers for achieving a 6th grade reading level by inserting a "Reads Easy" stamp within their document for a job well done. Health Literacy Innovations believes if it can empower communicators to create, produce, print, display, share, and advertise clear health information, it can help improve health care outcomes one word at a time. For more information visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Signs Agreement with Affinity Health Plan

BETHESDA, MD. Mar. 27, 2008 — Health Literacy Innovations, a company that creates tools for health literacy, today announces Affinity Health Plan, a not-for-profit managed care company based in New York City, has signed an agreement with Health Literacy Innovations to license the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool.

"Affinity is excited to use the Health Literacy Advisor in order to better communicate with our 200,000+ members," said Carolyn Cocotas, Affinity's director of community health innovation and co-chair of AHIP's Health Literacy Taskforce. "Many of our members have chronic health conditions, and the Advisor tool will assist our team in making sure members understand health-related information."

About Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations, a social entrepreneurship company, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., creates innovative tools to enhance health literacy. Knowing that low health literacy hurts patient care, and that literacy is a stronger predictor of health than age, education, race or ethnicity or income, Health Literacy Innovations introduces the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software. Health Literacy Innovations believes if it can empower communicators to create, produce, print, display, share, advertise - health literate information, it can help to improve health care outcomes and improve health care communication one word at a time. For more information visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

About Affinity

Affinity Health Plan is an independent, not-for-profit managed care plan designed to serve the needs of low-income residents of the New York metropolitan area. It provides health care coverage through five programs, including Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, Medicaid, Medicare, and UniCare. Founded in 1986, Affinity serves more than 208,000 Members in an area that includes New York City, Long Island, and the surrounding counties of Westchester, Rockland and Orange. For more information about Affinity Health Plan, visit AffinityPlan.org or call 1.866.247.5678.

Health Literacy Innovations Supports URAC's Proposed New Health Literacy Standard
BETHESDA, MD. Mar. 19, 2008 — Health Literacy Innovations, a company that creates tools for health literacy, today announces that URAC (www.urac.org), an independent, nonprofit organization which promotes quality through accreditation and education programs, has for the first time included health literacy in its core standards, signifying the growing importance of health literacy in quality.

And while this standard, among others, is open for public comment until April 14, 2008, Health Literacy Innovations Chief Content Expert and Multi-Cultural Director Aracely Rosales believes this is outstanding news for the nation's health care consumers.

"In our industry, where there are few health literacy standards and those that exist are not consistent, the notion that URAC is even considering a health literacy standard is tremendous progress and a great recognition of how health literacy affects health care outcomes," says Rosales. "We are excited by this prospect and hope this standard as a first step toward understanding health literacy and its affect on consumers will not only be accepted by the URAC community, but put to use by the health care industry," she concludes.

"Health literacy is a critical issue affecting how consumers understand their health care plans, the costs involved in their choices, and health care outcomes," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "URAC is dedicated to creating standards that enhance consumer education and empowerment because we believe this has a direct impact on quality and patient safety. Consumers need information to make good decisions, but that information is only useful when it is presented in an understandable format," Spielman concludes.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations, a social entrepreneurship company, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., creates innovative tools to enhance health literacy. Knowing that low health literacy hurts patient care, and that literacy is a stronger predictor of health than age, education, race or ethnicity or income, Health Literacy Innovations introduces the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software. Health Literacy Innovations believes if it can empower communicators to create, produce, print, display, share, advertise - health literate information, it can help to improve health care outcomes and improve health care communication one word at a time. For more information visit www.HealthLiteracyInnovations.com or call 301-230-4966.

Health Literacy Innovations Announces Holiday Sale
BETHESDA, MD. Dec. 13, 2007 — In celebration of the holiday spirit, Health Literacy Innovations announces a sale. From now until January 15, 2008, the Health Literacy Advisor will be offered at a 20% discount off the purchase price.

"In the spirit of creating clear communication materials for all health consumers, we are offering a holiday sale to health plans and others interested in our interactive tool," says Aracely Rosales, a nationally recognized health literacy expert and Chief Content Expert and Multi-lingual Director for Health Literacy Innovations.

"With six readability indices, including the use of the electronic Fry, we are for the first time automating the health literacy review process, bringing great efficiency and cost effectiveness to communicators working hard to simplify health information for consumers," says Rosales. "This holiday season we can think of no better investment for the nation's health consumers, but to be able to understand, read, and act on their health information," she notes.

To take advantage of this sale, visit HealthLiteracyInnovations.com/order before January 15th and enter the promotion code HOLIDAY20.

Health Literacy Innovations produces the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, to help communicators create health information in clear language. Today, the product is being used by Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, health departments, hospitals, insurance companies, and other health care providers.

About Health Literacy Innovations

Health Literacy Innovations, a privately-held company headquartered in Bethesda, Md., creates innovative tools to enhance health literacy. Knowing that low health literacy hurts patient care, and that literacy is a stronger predictor of health than age, education, race or ethnicity or income, Health Literacy Innovations introduces the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation's first interactive health literacy software. Health Literacy Innovations believes if it can empower communicators to create, produce, print, display, share, advertise - health literate information, it can help to improve health care outcomes and improve health care communication one word at a time.

Health Literacy Innovations Releases New Survey on Medicaid Health Literacy Guidelines

BETHESDA, MD. Sept. 26, 2007 — Sixty-six percent of all Medicaid agencies call for at least a 6th grade reading level for written health material, making this standard the most popular among states, according to a new survey by Health Literacy Innovations, a company that creates tools to enhance health literacy.

The survey, "A National Survey of Medicaid Guidelines for Health Literacy," represents a snapshot of the state's health literacy standards for Medicaid recipients. Among other trends, the survey reveals:

The majority - 90% - of all states have specific readability guidelines for their Medicaid materials.

  • 56% call for a 6th grade reading level.
  • 66% call for a 6th grade reading level or a range that includes 6th grade.
  • 14% call for a 4th grade reading level.
  • 6% call for a reading level between 4th and 6th grade.
  • 2% call for a 3rd grade reading level.

"This growing trend toward lower readability levels in the Medicaid program is important news for states nationwide and for the health care community in general," says Aracely Rosales, Chief Content Expert and Multi-lingual Director, a nationally recognized health literacy expert and Health Literacy Innovations partner. "It not only reveals that states are requesting clear language for their Medicaid members, and at a level that takes real work, but shows a positive trend toward closing the gap between what consumers can understand and can read, and the information the health care industry produces, which today is about a 10th grade reading level," says Rosales.

The results of the survey, including state reading level requirements for printed material, is available as a PDF file: HLI_Medicaid_Survey.pdf

AHIP Partners with Health Literacy Innovations

Washington, DC Mar. 26, 2007 — America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Health Literacy Innovations, a software company offering a revolutionary new tool for companies and individuals who are interested in promoting clear health communication and improving printed materials for consumers and patients.

In the United States, an individual's ability to understand and act on medical instructions and information ("health literacy") is a stronger predictor of health status than age, income, employment, education, race, or ethnicity.

Studies have documented gaps between the way health information is presented and the ability of most Americans to understand and act on it.

Low health literacy puts consumers at risk: studies have documented, e.g., that people with poor health literacy remain in the hospital more days per admission, and have more difficulty using metered inhalers for their asthma than those with better health literacy skills.

As discussed in the November/December issue of Coverage Magazine, the aggregate financial burden that results from low health literacy and lack of attention to principles of clear health communication is estimated to be $58 billion. For example, medication errors are often the result of a lack of understanding about how to take drugs.

Health Literacy Innovations is the newest AHIP Solutions partner. The company has created what it believes is the nation's first "health literacy checker," an interactive software tool designed to help communicators create clear health information and conform to principles of clear health communication.

AHIP is committed to the issue of health literacy and welcomes the new tool.

"In an era when patients, and especially those with chronic conditions, take a greater role in their health care, this partnership provides a valuable tool to assist health plans with presenting information in ways that make it easy for patients to understand and act on," said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP.

A growing number of companies are subjecting their materials to "health literacy review" as they are developed.

"Given our expertise in health literacy, we know that creating clear health care information requires a greater effort than just moving text or using bullets to reduce reading grade levels," said Health Literacy Innovations Founder Aileen Kantor. "We hope that by offering the health care industry a comprehensive tool to help with content, readability levels, clarity, even design, and by giving them a means to replace clunky terms or medical jargon with clear language, we can help improve health care outcomes one word at a time."

The Health Literacy Advisor streamlines the health literacy review process for many materials. It applies electronic readability indices, including the Fry-based formula, and taps into a glossary of more than 9,000 interchangeable terms. The program, which is an add-on to Microsoft Word, operates like a "spell-checker" and scans a document for its readability and literacy level. If it finds words or terms that compromise readability, it highlights those words and offers alternatives.

Are Drug Labels Prescriptions for Mistakes?
New Health Literacy Tool Helps Industry Make Health Information Health Literate

BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 30, 2006 /PRNewswire/ — A new Annals of Internal Medicine study shows that many Americans do not take their medications for one simple reason: they don't understand what the medication label says or are unable to follow the label's instructions.

In fact, some 90 million Americans – roughly half the adult population – do not understand what the health care industry is trying to tell them. Otherwise known as "low health literacy," this growing public health issue not only increases the cost of care, but adversely impacts patient care; when patients do not understand their health care, they will not receive the care they need.

This problem includes printed information the health care industry creates — medication inserts and prescription labels, patient brochures and instructions sheets, informed consent forms, and web sites, among other information that reaches the nation's health consumers on a daily basis.

To help simplify health information before it gets to the consumer, Health Literacy Innovations introduces the Health Literacy Advisor(TM), the nation's first software tool to help make health information health literate.

As a "health literacy checker," the Health Literacy Advisor streamlines the health literacy review process using electronic readability indices, including the Fry-based formula, and taps into a glossary of more than 8,000 interchangeable terms. The program, which is add-on to Microsoft Word, operates like a "spell-checker" and scans a document for its readability and its health literacy. If it finds words or terms that reduce health literacy, it will highlight those words and offer an alternative.

The Health Literacy Advisor is ideal for any health care provider, insurer, pharmaceutical company, hospital, association, government agency, or other entity who wants to make health information health literate.