An emergent body of evidence and consensus among many in the health and mental health care community concludes that cultural competence and linguistic competence are key approaches in efforts to reduce health disparities and improve quality of care. Some states have either introduced or enacted legislation requiring cultural and/or linguistic competence for health care professionals as a policy imperative to address disparities.
Researchers at the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University analyzed efforts by 14 states to integrate cultural and/or linguistic competence into curricula, continuing education and licensure requirements for health and mental health care professionals.
Legislative champions who were knowledgeable about health disparities and cultural competence—and who possessed the skills to address attitudinal barriers and build needed coalitions and collaborations—were more successful in shepherding legislation to enactment.
States that introduced or passed legislation:
Barriers to passage of legislation included: