The Role of Culturally Competent Communication in Reducing Ethnic and Racial Healthcare Disparities

Published in: American Journal of Managed Care, v. 10, special Issue, Sept . 2004, p. Sp1-Sp4

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2003

by Stephanie L. Taylor, Nicole Lurie

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Promoting culturally competent communication at the provider, care institution, health plan, and national levels is likely to contribute to success in reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the receipt of high quality care. Although some health plans recently have shown interest in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in care, very few have addressed how health plans can improve their cultural competency to reduce disparities. This commentary summarizes the importance of culturally competent communication across several levels of the healthcare system and details concrete steps that managed care organizations can take to maximize their ability to provide culturally competent communication and care.

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