Anybody can have trouble understanding healthcare and health insurance. We wanted to better understand the problems people face when they need care, especially people with Medicaid in rural areas. So we partnered with UnitedHealthcare to speak with people from four communities in southeast Missouri. We held focus groups with people who had Medicaid, uninsured people, and healthcare providers to listen to them and learn about their experiences. The findings showed that many people are experiencing the same problems when it comes to getting and using healthcare in their communities. We shared these results with UnitedHealthcare and other organizations so they can work to make healthcare more clear and accessible, control costs, and help people with Medicaid use the health care services covered by their plans.
We wanted to know more about people’s experiences with Medicaid and healthcare, so we set out to conduct 12 focus groups across four communities with:
- People with Medicaid
- Uninsured people
- Healthcare providers
We gathered ideas and feedback from 67 people about their experiences with:
- Applying for Medicaid
- Paying for services with and without Medicaid
- The coverage they get with Medicaid
- Using Medicaid to get healthcare services
Clayton and Candra spread the word about health insurance literacy.
We think health insurance is great. But we also know it isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world. So we set out to make some videos about difficult health insurance topics that weren’t just informative but also fun to watch.
Enter Candra. Enter Clayton. Clayton slips on a banana peel.
We made the videos for assisters, which are the people who help everyday consumers choose a health insurance plan. They needed education about how to explain some of these trickier topics, so we obliged, figuring they could use a few laughs, too. We wrote and produced a series of ten videos that used plain language to simply explain some of the tough situations people can run into when they’re trying to get, keep, and use health insurance.
The videos were designed to give information in a clear, simple, yet lighthearted way, bringing a little fun to health insurance. Some of our topics were:
- The importance of preventive care
- How to find a primary care provider
- Calculating Modified Adjusted Gross Income (or MAGI!)
- How to file a claims appeal
- What is covered by your insurance plan
- The different kinds of health care costs
- The family glitch and the Medicaid gap
The videos have received recognition nationwide, and we are pleased to report the following awards and attention:
- Three of the videos have been shown in up to 30,000 outpatient waiting rooms across the U.S. as part of AccentHealth’s patient education programming
- 2016 Institute for Healthcare Advancement Published Materials Award – Innovative Program
- 2016 ClearMark Award of Distinction for the entire video series
- Fall 2015 Digital Health Award for the first five videos in the series
Nation’s premier kidney transplant education program to merge with leading health literacy non-profit to extend reach and digital communications capacity
Explore Transplant (ET), the nation’s leading kidney transplant education program, announced this week that it will partner with St. Louis-based Health Literacy Media (HLM) to further improve the lives of kidney patients and their families, and guide the providers who care for them.
ET has helped tens of thousands of kidney patients across the United States and Canada live healthier lives since 2009 by empowering them through better decision-making skills in the often-confusing and emotional world of transplant. Through seminars, partnerships, research collaborations, and the publication of educational resources, ET has educated more than 4,000 dialysis and nephrology providers, conducting 120 training seminars in partnership with transplant centers, organ procurement organizations, foundations and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks.
In an effort to expand this important work, ET will partner with HLM, effective immediately. Going forward, HLM will manage key components of the ET portfolio, including trainings offered to new partners, sales and service of educational materials, and developing international versions of training materials for Canada, Ethiopia and Singapore.
“We are so pleased to call HLM our partner in the next step of our growth as an organization,” said Dr. Amy D. Waterman, associate professor in residence and health services researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who oversees ET’s educational programs and trainings. “With their health literacy expertise, we will be able to powerfully educate even more kidney patients, their families and the people who help them make the difficult decisions about transplant nationally and internationally.”
After meeting with a number of nonprofit organizations and foundations as potential partners, Waterman and her team chose HLM, a 501c3 nonprofit foundation, for its skill in customized communications, health literacy for diverse audiences, and the sophistication of its digital marketing. HLM was founded in 2009. Waterman will remain fully engaged as the partnership between ET and HLM develops. Recently, ET has experienced an explosion of new initiatives and opportunities in the digital and mobile learning space. ET needed greater expertise and bandwidth to see new projects to fruition on a national and international scale. HLM has this expertise, with an unparalleled track record developing on point, health-literate language and messaging. The company’s work has garnered much national attention, including a 2012 Silver Telly Award, a 2012 National Academy of Television Mid-America Emmy Nomination, a 2015 Merit Award for Digital Health, and Clear Mark Awards in 2015 and 2016.
“ET is an important program that has done life-saving work over the past seven years,” said Dr. Catina O’Leary, HLM President and CEO. “At HLM we are honored to join Dr. Waterman and the ET team. Our hope is that we can apply the range of health literacy strategies to the ET program with the goal of increasing access to, and understanding of, the life-saving health information that comprises Dr. Waterman’s groundbreaking ET program.”
ET education will soon be featured as an educational resource on a national website now under development. Launching in summer 2017, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Kidney Transplant Learning Center is an online education hub aimed at more than 650,000 people currently living with end-stage renal disease, more than 100,000 people awaiting a kidney transplant, their prospective living donors and the interested public. ET education is one of eight educational programs that will be featured on the new site.
Simultaneously, in partnership with UCLA, the Living Donation Storytelling Project will launch in early 2017. The project is a pilot initiative to film and share stories of living kidney donors, recipients, and their family and friends using mobile application technology and social media. The project leverages visual and digital stories as a means to educate patients and their communities about the benefits and risks of transplant.
UCLA, XYN Management, and ET, with support from Sanofi/Genzyme, have also been constructing a beta version of an iOS-based educational application, My Transplant Coach (MTC). The app was successfully piloted at leading transplant programs and showed an increase in patient knowledge, empowerment, and interest in transplantation. HLM is now taking the beta version of the app to the next level by improving the script and visuals, and applying health literacy principles.
Former ET Education Manager, Christina Goalby, MSW, has expanded her role to HLM Health Literacy Transplant Education Manager and now oversees all of these projects. Goalby and ET’s Master Trainers will continue to provide Provider Trainings nationally.
Questions about the partnership between Health Literacy Media and Explore Transplant can be addressed to Michelle Roberts, Creative Director, 314-361-9400.
Announcing Health Literacy Media.
You may have noticed some changes. But don’t fret. We’re still the same HLM we’ve always been.We still rewrite medical documents to make them easier to read. We still train doctors and medical staff on how to talk to patients. We still use funny videos and crystal clear patient materials to empower people.
While our nonprofit mission hasn’t changed, where and to what extent we’re meeting our goals has changed a lot since we opened almost eight years ago. When we started as a small start-up, most of our work was right here in Missouri.
But as we’ve grown – and word about our products and services has spread – our customer base has expanded, too. Our clients now span from Los Angeles to New York, and Minnesota to Madrid. As such, we often find ourselves having to explain that we, in fact, are a national and international health care communications company.
We understand just how much words matter (health literacy is our business, after all). So, while we’re incredibly proud of our Missouri roots and St. Louis home, we figured it was time to have a name that more accurately reflected our company.
HLM now stands for Health Literacy Media.
Media is defined as a means of communication that reaches or influences people widely. In short, everything we do at HLM is centered around one media format or another, whether it’s on paper, video or online.
To that end, our website can now be found at www.healthliteracy.media, and Heather will be answering the office phone a little bit differently, too.
Thanks for letting us be your partner in clear health communication. And thanks for growing and changing with us.
Clayton and Candra – Healthcare Hacks
Watch as Clayton and Candra bring you this year’s Healthcare Hacks. Created to help individuals navigate the healthcare world, offer tips and advice, and make you laugh. The latest video released focuses on stopping your doctor if you are feeling confused – and saying what!?
Click the image below to watch!
Health Literacy Missouri awards Terry C. Davis with prestigious Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award
Dr. Davis will receive award at the annual October summit in Kansas City.
Terry C. Davis, PhD, a pioneer in the field of health literacy and a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, will be awarded the 2016 Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award, Health Literacy Missouri (HLM) announced today.
Davis, a professor, teacher and researcher at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S), has led an interdisciplinary team investigating the impact of patient literacy on health and healthcare for the past 35 years.
Her seminal achievements include developing the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) and creating user-friendly patient education and provider training materials in use nationally.
“Dr. Davis’ work exemplifies the very best in health literacy and health care communication,” said Dr. Steve Pu, HLM board president and a surgeon in private practice in Kennett, Mo. “She is one of health literacy’s most dedicated advocates. We are proud to honor her truly extraordinary contributions to the field.”
Dr. Davis has more than 140 publications related to health literacy and health communication. She has served on Health Literacy Advisory Boards for both the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians (ACP). She was a developer and Master Faculty of the AMA’s Train-the-Trainer Health Literacy Curriculum. She chaired Louisiana’s statewide Health Literacy Task Force, the first legislatively mandated health literacy group in the nation and received the Louisiana Public Health Association’s Founders Award for Significant Achievement in Public Health Research.
She is a member of the IOM Health Literacy Roundtable, Healthy People 2020 Health Literacy/Health Communication Section and serves on US Pharmacopeial Convention Expert Panel on Health Literacy as a health literacy adviser for the FDA. Dr. Davis has a productive record of federally funded research exploring low literacy educational interventions to improve health outcomes of vulnerable populations. As a frequent speaker at national conferences, she has integrated her research findings into practical lessons for providers and policy makers.
HLM will present the award at the 7th Annual Health Literacy Missouri Summit on Oct. 21st at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center in Kansas City. Click here for program details.
Davis joined the LSU Health Shreveport faculty after receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling from Emory University, a master’s in counseling from LSU and PhD in clinical psychology from the Fielding Institute.
Health Literacy Missouri established the Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award to honor individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in health literacy and whose work focuses on bridging the gap between the skills of people and the demands of the health care system.
The award, named after the founders of the health literacy movement, is presented to a single individual or organization each year and recognizes those who exhibit the highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment over a sustained period of time, and who are creative and highly skilled pioneers in the health literacy field. The award recognizes rigorous work and celebrates collaborative efforts to shape a path to good health.
Previous winners include: Michael Villaire, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA), Dr. Andrew Pleasant, senior director for health literacy and research at Canyon Ranch Institute, a non-profit public charity; Dr. Cynthia Baur, a senior advisor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the lead editor of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy; Dr. Ruth Murphey Parker, who has worked with health services researchers in medicine, public health and social sciences to advance the understanding of health literacy; Dr. James Kimmey, past president of the Missouri Foundation for Health and a key founder of Health Literacy Missouri; and Dr. Rima Rudd, one of the world’s leading researchers in health literacy and a Senior Lecturer on Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.
For more information, contact Michelle Roberts, Director of Communications, Strategy and Market Research at 314-361-9400 or e-mail her.
About Health Literacy Missouri (HLM)
Health Literacy Missouri (HLM) received a $12,600 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (HCFGKC) to support the 7th annual Health Literacy Missouri Summit and the 3rd annual Health Literacy Kansas Summit.
The combined events will be held in Kansas City on Oct. 20-21 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. The HCFGKC grant will sponsor local health professionals to take part in panel discussions and learn from state and national leaders in health literacy.
“We’re thankful to have such great partners in Kansas City for this event,” said Dr. Catina O’Leary, HLM president and CEO. “The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City has always been a health literacy leader, and this support underscores their commitment to clear communication in health care.”
The summit will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, and feature keynote speakers and panel sessions. Additionally, pre-conference workshops will start at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, and feature five in-depth training sessions where participants will build health literacy skills, such as plain language writing and health-literate design.
To learn more about the summit, click here.
For more information, contact Michelle Roberts, Director of Communications, Strategy and Market Research at 314-361-9400 or e-mail her at email@example.com
About Health Literacy Missouri (HLM)
About Health Care Foundation of Greater
Kansas City (HCFGKC)
Take part and spread the word
Focus group details
Who can take part?
You must be a physician, nurse, or pharmacist who accepts patients who are on Medicaid or are uninsured.
You must be 18-64 years old and not have health insurance.
You must be 18-64 years old and currently have Medicaid.
How long will it take?
How long will it take?
What will I get for taking part?
You will get snacks, drinks, and a $25 gift card
When and where will these take place?
Poplar Bluff, MO:
August 3rd or 4th at the South Central Missouri Community Action Agency (located at 842 W. Pine Street, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901)
August 9th or 10th at the Missouri Career Center (located at 1100 South Bypass Suite #2
Kennett, MO 63857)
August 17th or 18th at the Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium, Inc. (located at 903 S. Kingshighway, Suite A, Sikeston, MO 63801)
New Madrid, MO:
August 24th or 25th at the New Madrid County Family Resource Center (located at 420 Virginia Street, New Madrid, MO 63869)
How do I sign up?
Contact Jenna Eichelberger at (314) 361-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I help spread the word?
- Post the flyer in your waiting area or on bulletin boards (click below to downloadn the flyer for your community)
- Share the focus group information online and on social media
- Tell your family, friends, and coworkers who might be interested in taking part
UnitedHealthcare donates $15,000 to Health Literacy Missouri to help low-income Missourians live healthier lives
Missouri (HLM) to support its efforts to promote health literacy for low-income families.
HLM received the grant to support efforts to help Medicaid-eligible consumers in medically
underserved communities access and understand their health benefits. The grant will enable
HLM to host a series of focus groups with Medicaid consumers, uninsured community members,
and health care professionals, providing an opportunity for HLM to identify barriers to care and
help improve health literacy by addressing gaps in consumer knowledge about health care.
These focus groups will take place in southeastern Missouri – a region in which more than 40
percent of the population live at or below national poverty levels, and where health care access
issues, including health literacy, have been linked to health disparities. This project will generate
a deeper understanding of the barriers to care in this underserved, rural region, with the ultimate
goal of improving consumer satisfaction and health outcomes.
“We are excited to partner with UnitedHealthcare on this important project,” said Catina
O’Leary, Ph.D., LMSW, HLM president and CEO. “Interacting with Missourians in this way will
give us a much deeper understanding of the attitudes and feelings in communities that affect
health care access and use.”
Missouri ranked 36th out of 50 states for overall health, according to the 2015 America’s Health
Rankings® report, which also noted that Missouri was in the bottom half of the country on
measures including public health funding (46th), lack of health insurance (29th) and disparity of
health status by education level (28th).
“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide additional resources to HLM, an organization
that helps families live healthier lives and extends the reach of critical programs and services,
particularly for our state’s underserved populations,” said Yasmine Winkler, central region CEO,
UnitedHealthcare Community & State.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.3 million Missourians enrolled in employer-sponsored,
individual, Medicare and TRICARE health plans with a network of 162 hospitals and nearly
26,000 physicians and other care providers statewide. UnitedHealth Group and its companies
employ more than 3,200 Missourians – including nearly 1,800 employees hired since 2013.
A recurring blog series by HLM staff and partners
My granddad’s end of life decision
End-of-life conversations are difficult, but something we should discuss with our doctors
before it’s too late. Madison Wilson shares her grandfather’s battle with cancer and how doctors can offer emotional support and help patients understand their options.
By Madison Wilson
In June of 2007, his cancer returned with force and his health declined significantly. He was always in and out of the hospital in critical condition. During one particularly bad hospital visit in November of 2007, Granddad was diagnosed with sepsis. This overwhelming infection was taking over his body, which was already weak from chemo and the cancer. As he laid shivering in his hospital bed, fighting to stay alive, my mother and his doctor talked about how he could die that day.
End-of-life discussions were really difficult for my mom to have with her family, but everyone agreed that Granddad shouldn’t have to suffer for the last few months of life. A few weeks later, a hospice nurse began regularly visiting Granddad in his apartment to give him anti-anxiety and pain medicine. He was able to see family and friends and make peace with the fact that he was at the end of his life. He went into hospice in January of 2008 and died on April 2nd.
My mom is forever grateful that Granddad’s doctor saw her as a daughter, just as she was, trying to help a parent make the best end-of-life decision.