Listen to The Perfect Scam Podcast and Nominate It for a People’s Choice Podcast Award! Find Out More
by Michelle Diament, AARP Bulletin, September 2, 2008|Comments: 0
Before Toni Cordell, 66, had two moles removed this year, she diligently read every form that the nurse gave her. Even so, Cordell felt confused. With all the officialese tossed around in everything from the HIPAA form to the consent form for the procedure, Cordell certainly wasn’t feeling at ease.
"These legal papers, especially the HIPAA letters, in medical offices are designed for some legal need, not the need of the patient,” says Cordell, of Charlotte, N.C.
Cordell is not the only one confused by wordy documents. The issue has reached Congress, where a bill passed by the House and awaiting a Senate vote would require government agencies to use so-called “plain language.”
The idea is to simplify documents by using conversational language to get to the point quickly and without jargon.
If all government agencies are forced to implement plain language, the results could be huge, says Annetta Cheek, chairwoman of the Center for Plain Language. “The government would save time and money, and people would save time and money.”
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members save on eye exams and eyewear at participating locations.
Members earn points on select Walgreens brand health and wellness products.
Free telephone-administered confidential hearing test for AARP members.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at