UnitedHealth: Investing in well being literacy might save billions

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Enhancing members’ well being literacy might result in billions in financial savings, in accordance with a brand new report from UnitedHealth Group.

UnitedHealth researchers reviewed information from numerous sources together with the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies and the Robert Wooden Johnson Basis and located that seniors dwelling in counties with the very best well being literacy noticed higher outcomes.

Within the highest-performing counties, between 15% and 27% of residents are projected to have poor well being literacy, in comparison with between 36% and 59% of individuals dwelling within the lowest-performing areas.

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Seniors dwelling in these areas with larger well being literacy bought 31% extra flu vaccinations and noticed 26% fewer avoidable hospitalizations and 18% fewer emergency division visits. As well as, seniors in areas with excessive well being literacy noticed 9% fewer hospital admissions and had 13% decrease healthcare prices per beneficiary, in accordance with the report.

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UHG estimates that if a big focus was placed on bettering well being literacy, Medicare might save $25.four billion every year and will keep away from 993,000 hospital visits. Damaged down additional, this system might keep away from 820,000 ED visits, 93,000 admissions, and 80,000 readmissions, in accordance with the report.

“Investing in practices and methods that enhance well being literacy will profit seniors and adults in all age teams,” the researchers wrote.

UnitedHealth additionally estimates that funding in well being literacy could lead on an extra 670,000 Medicare beneficiaries to get a flu shot every year, a notable bump in a inhabitants that is particularly susceptible to the seasonal flu.

The researchers provide a number of days that each the private and non-private sectors can spend money on bettering sufferers’ well being literacy, reminiscent of guaranteeing well being professionals together with docs are talking with sufferers in a manner that is clear they usually can perceive.

Additionally they recommend making consumer-facing communication accessible in a number of languages to allow them to entry it extra successfully and supply such supplies solely after they’ve confirmed to be correct and actionable, in accordance with the report.

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