Tools and Education

Culture is a major factor in how people respond to:

  • Health services
  • How they experience illness
  • How they access care
  • How they approach the process of getting well

Patient satisfaction and even positive health outcomes are directly related to good communication between a member and his or her provider.

A culturally competent provider effectively communicates with patients and understands their individual concerns. It is incumbent on providers to make sure patients understand their care regimen.

The Medicaid population in Illinois is approximately 15 percent African American and 14 percent Hispanic. The Integrated Care Program population is largely disabled (more than 80 percent) with a significant elderly representation (17 percent). Many live in long-term care and residential settings (11 percent) and participate in HCBS waiver programs (approximately 13 percent). Each segment of this population requires special sensitivities and strategies to embrace cultural differences.

Training resources for our providers

As part of our cultural competency program, we provide information to our providers on the Office of Minority Health's web-based A Physician's Guide to Culturally Competent Care. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians endorse this program, which provides up to 9.0 hours of category 1 AMA credits at no cost.