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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