Welcome to Aetna’s Cultural Competency Training
At the end of this presentation, you will be able to
- Define cultural competence
- Explain members’ rights in the health care environment
- Explain your responsibility in providing culturally competent care
- Explain Aetna’s commitment to cultural competence, and
- Identify current Aetna programs that promote cultural competence as well as racial and ethnic equality
Good health begins with a good doctor/patient relationship and members knowing their rights. Among them is being treated with:
- Respect, and
Keep in mind, federal and state laws prohibit unlawful discrimination in the treatment of patients based on:
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Mental or physical disability and
- Socioeconomic status, just to name a few
As a health care professional, you can demonstrate your cultural competence by identifying and understanding the cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs and preferences of your patients and their families, and by embracing the principles of equal access and nondiscriminatory practices in your service delivery.
As an Aetna provider, you are also responsible for:
- Recognizing your personal views about others and how they impact your professional interactions
- Respecting the cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs of your patients and
- Incorporating your patients’ language, race, ethnic and cultural preferences in your service delivery strategies
Cultural factors that impact the doctor/patient relationship and patients’ health care decisions are broad and extremely varied. Common factors may include:
- Socioeconomic status
- Values and
- Sexual orientation
But there are also other factors, like:
- Concepts about modesty
- Concepts of justice
- Concepts of cleanliness
- Interpretations of body language
- Gender identity and
- Personal space preferences, just to name a few that also play a role in the patient’s overall health care experience
It is important that you remain mindful of these factors as you develop your service delivery strategies.
In order to maintain our NCQA accreditation, we are required to show how our provider network meets the cultural needs and preferences of our membership.
To demonstrate our commitment to meeting these standards and to monitor, track and improve upon our members’ experiences, we conduct an annual member outreach campaign using the Consumer Assessment of Health Plan Survey. Members are asked to provide feedback about their satisfaction with their access to care, as well as their in-network providers’ ability to meet their cultural needs and preferences.
In addition, we also fax an annual Physician Satisfaction Survey to ensure we are adequately providing you with tools and resources to meet your patients’ cultural needs. Your feedback is vitally important to us, so upon receipt we ask that you complete the survey and return it to us by the requested due date.
To further demonstrate our commitment to supporting our members’ cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs, we also provide members with:
- Access to translation and interpretation services
- Access to TTY and TDD services for the hearing impaired, and
- The option to search for prospective providers using specific criteria such as the language(s) spoken by the provider
We also provide our internal health care professional staff with ongoing cultural competency training to deepen their understanding of the social determinants of health and other disparities among racial and ethnic groups.
As part of our commitment to creating a health care environment that supports our members cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs, Aetna has created several programs to align this organizational strategy. Let’s review a few.
The first is our Aetna Maternity Program, which provides education and culturally competent outreach to at-risk mothers in communities with known health care disparities such as chronic underlying health conditions to help decrease the risk of premature delivery and other complications associated with the social determinants of health in these communities.
One element of this program focuses on African American women, and results have shown that moms enrolled in the program were more likely to have full-term babies than moms not enrolled in the program.
Next, we have the Care Considerations℠ Program.
Through this program, clinical alerts are sent to physicians and members based on highly respected sources of evidence-based medicine that identify potential gaps in care, medical errors and quality issues.
Examples of Care Consideration alerts for racial and ethnic minorities include:
- Clinical reminders for sickle cell disease in African Americans
- Medication therapy reminders for chronic heart failure in African Americans, and
- Screening reminders for Asian patients with hepatitis B who have a high risk for liver cancer
And last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget the Aetna Compassionate Care℠ Program, which offers service and support at no additional cost to members who are facing trying times such as serious illness. The program enlists our amazing nurse case managers, who provide patients and their families with expanded culturally sensitive resources to help them make tough health care decisions, including advanced care planning.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about cultural competence and how a thoughtful service delivery strategy that acknowledges your patients’ cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs and preferences can help improve their health care experience. As we close out the course, we invite you to take a moment to view this short video entitled Cultural Awareness for Health Care Professionals to hear directly from patients about the importance of cultural competence in the health care environment. You may access the link for the video at the top of the page. Once the video ends, you may close the page and exit the course.