News & Announcements

IOM Race, Ethnicity, Language Report in Chinese and Spanish (posted 11/13)

Posted: November 13, 2009

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released it's recent report, Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement, in Spanish and Chinese.  The IOM developed the report as a step towards addressing the disparities that persist for specific population groups. The report recommends collection of more granular ethnicity and language need according to national standards in addition to OMB race and Hispanic ethnicity categories. The presence of data on race, ethnicity, and lan­guage does not, in and of itself, guarantee subsequent actions in terms of analysis of quality-of-care data to identify health care needs or actions to reduce or eliminate disparities that are found. The absence of data, however, essentially guarantees that none of those actions will occur.  To download the report in Spanish click here.  To download the report in Chinese click here.  For more information click here.

CMS Guidelines on Mental Health Parity in CHIP & Medicaid (posted 11/12)

Posted: November 12, 2009

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a letter to state health officials providing guidance on the implementation of the mental health parity requirements in the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) which imposes mental health and substance use disorder parity requirements on all Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Among other requirements, the letter specifies that CHIP plans must fully comply with the Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act, and Medicaid programs must comply only if the state contracts with managed care or prepaid health plans.  To download the letter click here.

Cultural Competence Video & Resources for Health Care Providers (posted 11/12)

Posted: November 12, 2009

Joint Commission, HHS Team Up in Language Access Education Effort

Amid growing concerns about racial, ethnic and language disparities in health care, The Joint Commission and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights have released a video, entitled "Improving Patient-Provider Communication," which supports language access in health care organizations. The Joint Commission and HHS agree that effective communication is a critical aspect of safe, quality patient care. Many patients of varying circumstances require alternative communication methods, and this new video will help health care organizations determine the best methods of care for meeting these communication needs. The video identifies tools that health care organizations can use to build effective language access programs.

To view the video click here. This page also includes related resources from the Hospitals, Language and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation study, a cross-sectional, qualitative study of how 60 hospitals across the country provide health care to culturally and linguistically diverse patient populations, conducted by The Joint Commission with funding from The California Endowment. Click here to access the study from the Joint Commission website. 

New HIV/AIDS Funding Data (posted 11/12)

Posted: November 12, 2009, a website of the Kaiser Family Foundation, has posted new data on federal funding streams for HIV/AIDS.  Collected in partnership with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), these data for Federal Fiscal Year 2008 are available by state and for the nation, and represent the latest available state-level data on all major federal funding streams for HIV/AIDS in the U.S.  Updated data include HIV/AIDS funding by state from the Ryan White Program, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, and the Office of Minority Health (OMH).  To view the data click here.

Child Health Disparities and Health Literacy in Children (posted 11/9)

Posted: November 09, 2009

The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University reports that the November 2009 supplement to Pediatrics examines health-disparity and health-literacy issues, problems, and opportunities specific to children and children's health. The supplement, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, contains commissioned articles that were presented at two conferences held in November 2008 to increase the attention given to health disparities and health literacy in children.  Contents include nine articles and discussant comments on conceptualizing child health disparities and approaches to solving them.  Recommendations for research on child health disparities and the infrastructure (funding and training) to support it are also addressed.  The supplement also includes a systematic review of the literature on the relationship between health literacy and child health outcomes and recommendations for action.  Additional topics include literacy and learning, the importance of encouraging and enabling health literacy among children and adolescents, parents' health literacy, pediatricians' health literacy and communication skills, the relationship of pediatric health literacy to child health promotion and prevention and targets for interventions, and the relationship between health literacy and quality of care, with particular reference to children with chronic illnesses and patient safety.  To download the introductory article on child health disparities and health literacy click here.  To read the supplement extracts and abstarcts click here.

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