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Kaiser Permanente Recognized by National Committee for Quality Assurance for Innovative Efforts to Reduce Health Care Disparities
Date:10/12/2009

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente has been awarded the prestigious "Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care Award" by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for efforts to reach across cultural and language barriers to provide health plan members with care that meets their unique needs.

"Kaiser Permanente's innovative efforts to improve care for its culturally diverse members is a model for the nation and other health plans across the country," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "One in five Americans speaks a language other than English at home. Racial and ethnic differences result in substantial health disparities for millions. It's imperative that more plans follow Kaiser Permanente's lead."

To address the lack of validated testing standards, measures, and tools for patient-provider language concordance - a critical component of language access in health care delivery - Kaiser Permanente led research and development of an overarching strategy in language concordance. With funding from The California Endowment, and in collaboration with Alameda Alliance for Health, standards and the systems foundation for assessing provider linguistic proficiency was established. The collaboration pioneered the development of a new tool, the Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment. The CCLA is the first and only validated and reliable language assessment tool specifically tailored to assess clinicians who self-report they speak a language other than English, and establishes a standard level in which they can communicate effectively independent of an interpreter. The CCLA tool is available in 14 languages and two additional languages are in development. So far, over 1,000 assessments have been completed inside and outside of Kaiser Permanente.

"What is meaningful and important about this recognition is that it awards our pioneering efforts to resolve the linguistic challenges faced by o
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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