The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) developed National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (National CLAS Standards) to provide meaningful and practical guidance on delivering culturally and linguistically appropriate Services.
The National CLAS Standards, which are targeted toward health and health care organizations, were revised in 2013 to account for increasing diversity in the U.S. population, the growth in cultural and linguistic competency fields and the changing landscape with respect to new national policies and legislation. OMH commissioned the development of a framework and toolkit to guide efforts to evaluate the National CLAS Standards across four settings – ambulatory care, behavioral health, hospitals and public health.
The National CLAS Standards were intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and HCOs to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services. The essential goal of the National CLAS Standards is framed in the Principal Standard: Provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy,
and other communication needs. The remaining 14 Standards span the themes of governance, leadership, and workforce; communication and language assistance; and engagement, continuous improvement and accountability (HHS OMH, 2013).