235227 Relationship between Health Literacy and Health Status Among Participants in a Congestive Heart Failure Disease Management Program

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:48 PM

Kevin Hawkins, PhD , Advanced Analytics, OptumInsight, Ann Arbor, MI
Ronald J. Ozminkowski, PhD , Advanced Analytics, OptumInsight, Ann Arbor, MI
Janelle G. Ekness, MS , Health Care Innovation and Information, Ingenix, Eden Praire, MN
Frank G. Bottone Jr, PhD , Health Care Innovation and Information, Ingenix, Ann Arbor, MI
Cynthia E. Hommer, MSW, LICSW , UnitedHealth Group Alliances, Minneapolis, MN
Richard J. Migliori, MD , Health Services, UnitedHealth Group Alliances, Minnetonka, MN
Charlotte S. Yeh, MD , AARP Services Inc., Washington, DC
To better understand the relationship between self reported health literacy and health status among Medicare enrollees with an AARP® Medicare Supplement Insurance (i.e. Medigap) plan insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (or UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York), we surveyed 649 Medigap members in a Heart Failure (HF) disease management pilot program. The surveys assessed the members' health status, health literacy, satisfaction with the HF program, and perceptions of how the HF program helped them manage their health. 410 members (65.8%) responded to the survey. Nearly two-thirds (64.3%) of the respondents were ‘extremely' or ‘quite a bit' confident in filling out medical forms by themselves (a measure of health literacy), while the rest were either ‘somewhat' (23%), ‘a little bit' (5%), or ‘not at all' (8%) confident in filling out forms by themselves. Only about 10% reported ‘excellent' or ‘very good' health status, while 44% reported ‘good' and 46% ‘fair' or ‘poor' health status. The health status responses were stratified by responses to confidence in filling out medical forms to establish a relationship. As a result, 84% of those in ‘excellent' or ‘very good' health were ‘extremely' or ‘quite a bit' confident filling out medical forms. Meanwhile, 66% of those in ‘good' and 58% of those in ‘fair' or ‘poor' health were ‘extremely' or ‘quite a bit' confident filling out medical forms, respectively (P<0.05; Chi-Square test). Health literacy appears to decline with health status. This is problematic, as those in the poorest of health often require the most extensive care.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the relationship between self reported health literacy and health status.

Keywords: Elderly, Health Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Kevin R. Hawkins, Ph.D., Senior Director at Ingenix has over 20 years experience designing, conducting, and managing health services research. Dr. Hawkins has conducted a variety of research and evaluation projects, specifically health-economic, quality-of-life, disease burden, pharmacoeconomics and retrospective database analyses. Dr. Hawkins has authored over 40 peer-reviewed articles and presentations, and is a reviewer for several medical-scientific journals. Before joining Ingenix, Dr. Hawkins worked for IMS Health, Medstat, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dr. Hawkins received his Ph.D. in Health Economics from Wayne State University. I contributed substantially to the planning and evaluation of the submitted work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.