UnitedHealthcare Supports U.S.Department of Health & Human Services’ Effort to Address Health...

UnitedHealthcare Supports U.S.Department of Health & Human Services’ Effort to Address Health Disparities Through Continuing Physician Education Focusing on Culturally Competent Care

Collaboration supports physicians' continuing education through online curriculum to enhance knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural issues that affect patient care A shared commitment to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities Education courses made available to more than 520,000 physicians through UnitedHealthcare Web sites


Minneapolis, MN–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–March 15, 2007–In an effort to help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care, UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) company, is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health to disseminate cultural competency education modules for health care professionals.

UnitedHealthcare is publicizing the Office of Minority Health’s new online, self-directed education modules titled “A Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care” that enable physicians and other health care professionals to more effectively provide treatment for the country’s increasingly diverse population. With themes on Culturally Competent Care, Language Access Services and Organizational Supports, these modules are available online and at no cost at Office of Minority Health’s “Think Cultural Health” Web site, http://www.thinkculturalhealth.org.

To further awareness of these tools, UnitedHealthcare has created links in its Spanish-language Web site, http://www.uhclatino.com, and physician portal, http://www.unitedhealthcareonline.com. In addition, UnitedHealthcare is promoting the modules to the more than 520,000 physicians nationwide with whom it contracts.

According to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health Garth N. Graham, M.D., the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is committed to the pursuit of cultural competency for patients from other cultures. “Cultural competency is a key issue for the U.S. health care work force, and this new guide to culturally competent care empowers health care professionals with the knowledge and skills to better treat our increasingly diverse population,” Graham said.

Physicians can log in anytime, anywhere to complete the courses, which contain a variety of self-assessments, case studies, video vignettes, learning points, and pre- and post-tests. Physicians are eligible to receive up to nine American Academy of Family Physician- and American Medical Association-accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.

“We at UnitedHealth Group respect the desire of physicians to provide the best possible care to all of their patients regardless of ethnic or cultural backgrounds,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., UnitedHealth Group’s executive vice president and chief of Medical Affairs. “We applaud the Department of Health & Human Services for developing the Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care, and we are excited to do our part to make this information more available so as to optimize health care outcomes for all Americans.”

“Studies show that patients respond better when care instructions are delivered in their own language and their cultural background is taken into account,” said Russell Bennett, vice president of UnitedHealthcare’s Latino Health Solutions. “Regardless of their patients’ language preference, physicians and other health professionals need access to relevant information about their patients’ cultural needs. UnitedHealthcare is proud to join the Office of Minority Health in bringing a heightened sense of awareness to this issue that we firmly believe will play a critical role in improving our nation’s health.”

About the Office of Minority Health

The mission of OMH is to improve and protect the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will eliminate health disparities. OMH was established in 1986 by HHS. It advises the Secretary and the Office of Public Health and Science on public health program activities affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare (http://www.unitedhealthcare.com) provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services. The company organizes access to quality, affordable health care services on behalf of more than 28 million individual consumers, contracting directly with more than 520,000 physicians and care professionals and 4,700 hospitals nationwide to offer consumers broad, convenient access to services nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

UnitedHealthcare Supports U.S.Department of Health & Human Services’ Effort to Address Health Disparities Through Continuing Physician Education Focusing on Culturally Competent Care