National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (National CLAS Standards)
The National CLAS standards were initially published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2000. Culturally and linguistically appropriate health care and services, broadly defined as care and services that are respectful of and responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of all individuals, is increasingly seen as essential to reducing disparities and improving health care quality. The National CLAS Standards have served as a catalyst and conduit for the evolution of the field of cultural and linguistic competency over the course of the last 12 years. In recognition of these changes in the field, the HHS Office of Minority Health undertook the National CLAS Standards Enhancement Initiative from 2010 to 2012.
The enhanced National CLAS Standards seek to set a new bar in improving the quality of health to our nation’s ever diversifying communities. Enhancements to the National CLAS Standards include the broadening of the definitions of health and culture, as well as an increased focus on institutional governance and leadership. The enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care are comprised of 15 Standards that provide a blueprint for health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services that will advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities.
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