Health Quality Measures Addressing Disparities in Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services: What are Current Gaps?
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 28, Number 3, August 2017
- pp. 1012-1029
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Purpose. Disparities in health care persist among many at-risk groups. This study examines the current state of health quality measures addressing disparities and culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS), and identifies important gaps in existing measures and their implementation. Methods. We searched key quality reporting databases and websites to identify measures and structural program requirements addressing disparities or CLAS. We also conducted a dozen semi-structured interviews to obtain expert perspectives. Results. Twenty-four measures and eight private or public-sector programs with relevant structural requirements were identified. Half the measures focused on language needs. Few measures were used in national reporting programs and adoption of requirements has been limited. Barriers to implementation included lack of data among health plans, lack of health workforce training, and challenges in defining cultural competence. Conclusions. Future efforts should seek to enhance implementation of existing quality measures addressing disparities and CLAS, and address barriers to their adoption.