This policy analysis from the Center for Health Care Strategies was commissioned by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy, and examines the sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that address health literacy.   According to the National Library of Medicine, health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”  Several provisions of the ACA directly acknowledge the need for greater attention to health literacy, and many others imply it.  The law includes provisions to communicate health and health care information clearly; promote prevention; be patient-centered and create medical or health homes; assure equity and cultural competence; and deliver high-quality care.  This policy analysis identifies both the direct and indirect links, and provides those concerned about health literacy with provision-specific opportunities to support advancements.

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