Illiteracy among Medicaid recipients and its relationship to health care costs.

Barry D Weiss, J. S. Blanchard, D. L. McGee, G. Hart, B. Warren, M. Burgoon, K. J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poor literacy is associated with poor health status, but whether illiteracy is also linked to higher medical care costs is unclear. We characterized the literacy skills of 402 randomly selected adult Medicaid enrollees to determine if there was an association between literacy skills and health care costs. Each subject's literacy skills were measured with a bilingual (English/Spanish) reading-assessment instrument. We also reviewed each subject's health care costs over the same one-year period. The mean reading level of this Medicaid population was at grade 5.6. Mean annual health care costs were $4,574 per person. There was no significant relationship between literacy and health care costs. While there are compelling reasons to improve poor reading skills among Medicaid enrollees, illiteracy in this population does not appear to contribute to the high cost of providing government-sponsored care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994

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illiteracy
Medicaid
Health Care Costs
recipient
health care
literacy
costs
Reading
medical care
health status
Literacy
Population
Health Status
school grade
human being
Costs and Cost Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Weiss, B. D., Blanchard, J. S., McGee, D. L., Hart, G., Warren, B., Burgoon, M., & Smith, K. J. (1994). Illiteracy among Medicaid recipients and its relationship to health care costs. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 5(2), 99-111.

Illiteracy among Medicaid recipients and its relationship to health care costs. / Weiss, Barry D; Blanchard, J. S.; McGee, D. L.; Hart, G.; Warren, B.; Burgoon, M.; Smith, K. J.

In: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1994, p. 99-111.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weiss, BD, Blanchard, JS, McGee, DL, Hart, G, Warren, B, Burgoon, M & Smith, KJ 1994, 'Illiteracy among Medicaid recipients and its relationship to health care costs.', Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 99-111.
Weiss, Barry D ; Blanchard, J. S. ; McGee, D. L. ; Hart, G. ; Warren, B. ; Burgoon, M. ; Smith, K. J. / Illiteracy among Medicaid recipients and its relationship to health care costs. In: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 1994 ; Vol. 5, No. 2. pp. 99-111.
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