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Continued: UnitedHealthcare takes initiative to enhance health literacy

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 17, 2014 - 4:50 PM

A: We have embedded resources in operations and in clinical and we have champions across the organization. We train people to be certified in health literacy and our Just Plain Clear principles. This includes call center reps in our Medicare business, all of our marketing and operations people, and even our outside agencies to ensure they’re designing our communications with an understanding of the unique needs of the populations we serve. It’s not just, “oh this looks pretty.” It really means someone now can understand it better and they can take action upon it.

 

Q: How is using clear language a good business strategy?

A: Health literacy is a strong predictor of health and health outcomes, so we think that giving it focus and attention will help us to be a better organization as a whole. With more decisions being put in hands of consumers, it’s more and more important for us to drive a new way to engage with them that’s very focused on simplification. There are challenges. There are regulated ways you have to do things and boilerplate language. But I believe if we’re the simplest insurance company to do business with, that’s a distinct advantage.

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  • Terry Clark is the chief marketing officer of UnitedHealthcare, which created the initiative Just Plain Clear to substitute technical jargon for plain language.

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