Health equity is built on the foundation of a culturally competent health care system that honors patients’ diverse values, beliefs, and health behaviors.

Cultural Competence and Quality Care

California’s diversity is one of the state’s greatest assets. Community of color represent more than 60 percent of the state’s population, with Latinos being the largest group at 39 percent, Asians at 13.1 percent, African Americans at 5.7 percent and Native Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders both at 1 percent. In addition, over 40 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home. As California’s diversity grows, the state has an increasing responsibility to address inequities in health outcomes and wellbeing. California’s communities of color have long been poorly served by a system that perpetuates racism, bigotry, and discrimination. A culturally competent health care system provides care and tailors services to meet patients’ diverse social, cultural, and linguistic needs. Ensuring that all patients receive information and services in a way they understand helps improve the quality of care, reduce complications, and increase patient satisfaction.

80% of Medi-Cal enrollees are from communities of color

40% of Medi-Cal enrollees speak English less than very well

Our Solution

Having Our Say advocates for policies that build a culturally competent health care system equipped to provide tailored care to diverse patients. Having Our Say’s 2019 policy agenda champions three bills that improve language access, strengthen cultural competence in mental health care, and hold health plans accountable to greater quality standards.   

     

AB 318 (Chu) Ensuring Readability of Medi-Cal Documents

At least 1 in 3 Medi-Cal beneficiaries speaks a language other than English as their primary language. This bill ensures fair access to benefits for Medi-Cal recipients by improving the readability of the most important Medi-Cal documents for consumers through a workgroup and field testing of translated documents.

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Status Update


AB 512 (Ting) Cultural Competence in Mental Health

Mental health is a critical component of health, yet California’s diverse communities face myriad challenges accessing care and maintaining well-being. This bill requires counties, in collaboration with stakeholders, to report on additional criteria in their mental health cultural competency plans and requires the Department of Health Care Services to annually review and monitor mental health disparities reduction.

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Status Update


AB 537 (Wood) Medi-Cal Quality Improvement and Disparities Reduction

California has rightly invested in expanding Medi-Cal, which now covers 1 in 3 people in our state. Now it is time to ensure that all enrollees receive high quality care. This bill holds Medi-Cal managed care plans accountable to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities and improving outcomes, regardless of the factors that determine one’s health.

Download the Factsheet

Status Update