Category Archives: Language Access

Ensuring Meaningful Access to Health Care

There is a growing body of evidence that language barriers for individuals with limited English proficiency has a direct relationship to the quality of health care. Providing language assistance services can improve the quality of care and reduce health care disparities among individuals with limited English proficiency. Language assistance services include both verbal interpretation services and written translation services. There are many useful resources that can help support the many reasons for improving language access, including legal and regulatory requirements, patient safety, risk management, quality improvement and disparities reduction. Hospitals, health plans, community health centers and physician office practices have all demonstrated the feasibility and importance of ensuring language access.

HHS Request for Information on Affordable Care Act Section 1557 Prohibition Against Discrimination

Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. Section 1557(c) of the Affordable Care Act authorizes the Secretary … Continue reading

Posted in Health Care Reform, Language Access, Language Access: Standards, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health | Leave a comment

Health Research and Education Trust: Building a Culturally Competent Health Care Organization

This guide from the Health Research and Education Trust, the research and education affiliate of the American Hospital Association, describes how hospitals and other health care organizations can become more culturally competent.  A culturally competent health care system is one … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Cultural Competency: Assessments, Cultural Competency: Frameworks, Demographic Data, Demographic Data: Language Need, Demographic Data: Race and Ethnicity, Health Workforce Diversity, Language Access | Leave a comment

Office of Minority Health and Hogg Foundation for Mental Health: Eliminating Disparities through the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care

This literature review from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is a comprehensive resource on how the integration of behavioral health and primary care services for racial and … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Health Care Disparities, Health Care Disparities: Effective Interventions, Language Access | Leave a comment

National Academy for State Health Policy: State Policymakers’ Guide for Advancing Health Equity through Health Reform Implementation

This policy brief from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) describes opportunities for states to advance health equity through implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), profiling planning and implementation activities in Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Demographic Data, Demographic Data: Language Need, Demographic Data: Race and Ethnicity, Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Accountable Care Organizations, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Health Care Reform: Medical Homes, Language Access | Leave a comment

Texas Health Institute: Implementing Cultural and Linguistic Requirements in Health Insurance Exchanges

This comprehensive policy analysis from the Texas Health Institute examines the cultural competency and linguistic access requirements for health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, being established through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  There are eight provisions in the ACA … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Cultural Competency: Frameworks, Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards | Leave a comment

Office of Minority Health: Enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) has released its long-awaited “enhanced” National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care.  The original CLAS standards were issued by OMH … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Cultural Competency: Frameworks, Demographic Data, Demographic Data: Language Need, Demographic Data: Race and Ethnicity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards | Leave a comment

Commission to End Health Care Disparities: Appropriate Use of Physician’s Non-English Language Skills in Clinical Care

The Commission to End Health Care Disparities has released this publication on the appropriateness of physicians using their language skills in languages other than English while providing clinical care to patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). The Commission comprises more … Continue reading

Posted in Language Access, Language Access: Best Practices, Patient-Centeredness | Leave a comment

What My Father Taught Me About Health and Health Care, About Life and Death

Three months ago, my father Andrew Shih Lun Bau passed away, peacefully, in his own home.  Next week, on Christmas Day, we would have celebrated his 93rd birthday. As someone who now seeks to improve both health and health care … Continue reading

Posted in Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Medical Homes, Health Information Technology, Language Access, Language Access: Best Practices, Patient-Centeredness, The iBau Blog | 24 Comments

National Quality Forum Endorses 12 Healthcare Disparities and Cultural Competency Measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed twelve healthcare disparities and cultural competency quality measures.  With this NQF endorsement, payers, including federal government payers such as Medicare and Medicaid, and health plans, can use these measures in quality improvement activities … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Cultural Competency: Evaluation, Health Care Disparities, Health Care Disparities: Stakeholders Engaged, Language Access, Language Access: Standards | Leave a comment

HHS Advisory Committee on Minority Health: Recommendations for Health Insurance Exchanges

The following was my presentation to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health on November 29, 2012 regarding the implementation of health insurance exchanges and other national health care reforms.

Posted in Demographic Data, Demographic Data: Gender Identity/Expression, Demographic Data: Language Need, Demographic Data: Race and Ethnicity, Demographic Data: Sexual Orientation, Health Care Disparities, Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Accountable Care Organizations, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Health Care Reform: General Analysis, Health Care Reform: Medical Homes, Health Care Reform: Payment Reform, Health Care Reform: Quality Improvement, Health Information Technology, Health Information Technology: Meaningful Use, Health Literacy, Ignatius Bau: Presentations, Language Access, Language Access: Standards, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health, Presenter | Leave a comment