Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Health Administration


College of Health Professions

First Advisor

Kit N. Simpson

Second Advisor

Walter J. Jones

Third Advisor

Mary Stefl


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) changed the landscape of healthcare in a number of ways. Among these was the inclusion of patient experience ratings in the Value Based Purchasing (VBP) program. With this change, it has become imperative for administrative and clinical leaders to understand the drivers and factors that impact patient experience ratings. One association that has been largely unexplored by researchers is the relationship of health literacy to patient experience. This project, using a dataset from the 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), examined the relationship between health literacy and ratings of patient experience. Using binary logistic regression, the results of the analysis showed those with self-reported low health literacy were 94% less likely to give a passing patient experience score (rating of 9-10) than those with self-reported high health literacy. From these results it is established that health literacy levels do play an important part in patient experience scores. As such, policy, operational and clinical leaders should consider targeting resources to education and improvement of health literacy. Future research should continue to explore the relationship between health literacy and patient experience ratings as well.


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