CLAS STANDARDS. OVERVIEW. Culture and language are vital factors in how health care services are delivered. Health Care Organizations should respond with sensitivity to the needs and preferences of culturally and linguistically diverse patients/consumers.
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Obtaining and incorporating input from Stakeholders.
Hospitals, community-based clinics, managed care organizations, home health agencies, and others; physicians, nurses, and other providers; professional associations; State and Federal agencies and other policymakers; purchasers of health care; accreditation and credentialing agencies; educators; and patient advocates, advocacy groups, and consumers.Stages
“These standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) are proposed as a means to correct inequities that currently exist in the provision of health services and to make these services more responsive to the individual needs of all patients/consumers”.
“The standards are intended to be inclusive of all cultures and not limited to any particular population group or sets of groups; however, they are especially designed to address the needs of racial, ethnic, and linguistic population groups that experience unequal access to health services”.
The standards are also intended for use by:
“The collective set of CLAS mandates, guidelines, and recommendations issued by the HHS Office of Minority Health intended to inform, guide, and facilitate required and recommended practices related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health services”.
“The thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups. (Katz, Michael. Personal communication, November 1998).
The 14 standards are organized by themes: Culturally Competent Care (Standards 1-3),
Language Access Services (Standards 4-7), and
Organizational Supports for Cultural Competence (Standards 8-14).
There are three types of standards of varying stringency: mandates, guidelines, and recommendations.
CLAS mandatesare current Federal requirements for all recipients of Federal funds (Standards 4, 5, 6, and 7).
CLAS guidelinesare activities recommended by OMH for adoption as mandates by Federal, State, and national accrediting agencies (Standards 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13).
CLAS recommendationsare suggested by OMH for voluntary adoption by health care organizations (Standard 14).
Standards 4,5,6,7 or Language Access
1. The issue of reimbursement.
The hidden costs of not bridging language barriers for patients:
-Misuse of expensive bilingual staff.
-Misdiagnosis, expensive extra-testing, re-visits.
-Potential liability linked to medical errors.
-Longer hospital stays.
-Lower patient/customer satisfaction rate.
-Misuse of expensive Emergency Services.
-Unpaid bills due to lack of proper communication and mishandling of the insurance/financial status of the customer/patient.
1. Translation by a trained individual.
2. Back Translation.
3. Reviewing Committee by target audience persons.
4. Periodic Updates.