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Developing cultural proficiency and linguistically appropriate services in your practice is the right thing to do, and there is also growing pressure to do so:

  • The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS Standards), issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, have focused greater attention on these issues.
  • The Office for Civil Rights' Policy Guidance on Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination as it Affects Persons with Limited English Proficiency focuses on eliminating language barriers to care.

AAFP members appreciate how addressing language barriers can influence medical outcomes by improving access and the quality of services provided, reducing medical errors and increasing patients' adherence with care regimens. Not only can providing this appropriate and needed interpretation service to your patients reduce liability and malpractice claims, it can also contribute to the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

For information about how to address language barriers in family medicine click here.


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