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Cultural competence guides now available to aid managed care plans

Contractors from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Integrated Delivery System Research Network have developed two guides to help managed care plans implement cultural competence interventions. The guides were commissioned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Designed by AHRQ, the Integrated Delivery System Research Network is a model of field-based research that links the Nation's top researchers with some of the largest health care systems to conduct fast-track research on cutting-edge topics in health care.

Each year, CMS identifies a topic for a national quality assessment and performance improvement project for Medicare+Choice organizations. In 2003, these organizations have a choice of conducting a QI project that addresses either clinical health care disparities or the provision of cultural and linguistically appropriate services. The following two guides have been developed to assist those organizations that choose to address cultural and linguistically appropriate services.

  • Providing Oral Linguistic Services: A Guide for Managed Care Plans. This guide outlines six steps for developing an oral linguistic services plan: identify oral linguistic needs of membership; assess the capabilities of the managed care plan; identify points of contact for members of the plan; consider different strategies; assemble a plan; and monitor oral linguistic services strategies..
  • Planning Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services: A Guide for Managed Care Plans. This guide is intended to assist plans in assessing the diversity of their population and their current level of cultural and linguistic competence; identifying feasible priority areas for improvement of cultural and linguistically appropriate services based on the assessment; and developing a plan to implement cost-effective, manageable interventions to address these priority areas.

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