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Cultural competence

These days physicians are acutely aware of their patient population's diversity and recognize the challenge of providing appropriate care based on the individual patient's cultural, linguistic, educational and socioeconomic needs. Providers must use their best judgment to try to meet the needs of their patients on an individual basis, and must take steps to communicate effectively with patients.

At Keystone First we continue to assist in the delivery of effective health services to these diverse populations. When your practice has any questions pertaining to the provision of services to members with Limited English Proficiency, low literacy proficiency and/or sensory impairments, we are available to assist you.

Some important definitions as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services:

  • Cultural competence
    The ability of an individual to understand the social, linguistic, moral, intellectual, and behavioral characteristics of a community or population, and translate this understanding systematically to enhance the effectiveness of healthcare delivery to diverse populations
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
    A designation referring to a member who primarily communicates in a language other than English and has a limited ability to communicate in English
  • Low literacy proficiency
    In Public Law 102-73, the National Literacy Act of 1991, Congress defined literacy as an individual's ability to read, write and speak English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one's goals and develop one's knowledge and potential. Those lacking these levels of proficiency would be considered to have low literacy proficiency.
  • Sensory impaired
    A person who is deaf or visually impaired

If you have questions pertaining to the provision of services to members with Limited English Proficiency, low literacy proficiency and/or sensory impairments, please contact our Member Services department at 1-800-521-6860.