Person-centered language is a strategy to improve communication between health plans, providers, and the individuals in their care. By emphasizing that people are experts in their own health and identity and by placing any diagnosis, condition, or disability in the context of the whole person, it comprises an essential component of a person-centered care model. This strategy can be particularly helpful in connecting with vulnerable populations, like individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Placing the person at the core of communication and acknowledging individuality before any diagnoses or conditions can help health plans and providers cultivate meaningful partnerships with individuals and empower them to achieve their health and wellness goals.1
This spotlight builds upon the Using Person-Centered Language tip sheet previously published by Resources for Integrated Care. Together, these resources offer health plans and providers serving dually eligible individuals helpful guidance and strategies to employ person-centered language in their organizations. This new spotlight highlights replicable examples from Commonwealth Care Alliance® (CCA), an integrated network of health plans and care delivery programs for individuals with significant health care needs. From CCA’s experience, health plans and providers can learn how to implement organizational initiatives and practices that leverage person-centered language to deliver person-centered care.
1 American Geriatrics Society Expert Panel on Person-Centered Care. (2016). Person-Centered Care: A Definition and Essential Elements. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 64(1), 15-8. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26626262/.