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cultural needs of an evolving patient base. This lack of
updated social and cultural knowledge by health care
professionals impacts communities of color, people of
diverse faiths, people with disabilities, immigrants with
or without status, people who are intersex, people living
with HIV, and LGBTQ+ people, among other populations.
(2) According to a citation in "I Am Not The Doctor For
You: Physicians' Attitudes About Caring for People With
Disabilities" in the October 2022 edition of Health
Affairs, regarding care for people with disabilities, only
41% of physicians reported that they were very confident
about their ability to provide the same quality of care to
people with disabilities as those without, and just 57% of
physicians strongly agreed that they welcomed people with
disabilities into their practices.
(3) According to the Center for American Progress,
about half of transgender people in the United States have
been mistreated by a health care professional. Per the
2015 U.S. Transgender Survey data for the State, 33% of
those who saw a health care provider in the past year
reported having at least one negative experience related
to being transgender, and 24% of respondents did not see a
doctor when they needed to because of fear of being
mistreated as a transgender person.
(4) According to a survey by Healthgrades in 2022, 25%
of patients said their doctors could benefit from more
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training. The number jumps to 29% among non-white patients
in the survey.
(5) Many providers recognize the importance of
cultural competency for their personal education.
According to the Healthgrades survey, 31% of physicians
agree that their level of cultural competency can impact
their ability to provide optimal patient care somewhat or
a lot. Furthermore, the generational divide among
physicians is strong on additional training that would
better equip them to care for patients of different
gender, racial, sexual, or cultural identities. Two in 5
younger physicians with less than 10 years of training are
interested in additional training. Only one in 5 of older
physicians with more than 20 years of practice express
interest in cultural competency training.
(6) In 2019, the American Medical Association adopted
a policy that included recognition of the importance of
cultural competency to patient experience and treatment
plan adherence and encouraged the implementation of
cultural competency practices across health care settings.
(7) Furthermore, many thousands of health care
professionals in the State, including tens of thousands of
physicians and nurses, are already required to comply with
the cultural competency requirements in the State's
contract with managed care organizations, which states
that contractors shall implement a cultural competence
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plan, and covered services shall be provided in a
culturally competent manner by ensuring the cultural
competence of all contractor staff, including clerical to
executive management, and providers.
(8) As a next step to ensuring all health care
professionals are trained and equipped in cultural
competency, the State should join jurisdictions like
Connecticut, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia to
require that health care professionals be trained in
cultural competency as part of continuing education.
Having such a requirement will increase the ability of
medical providers to meet the social and cultural needs of
their diversifying patient base.
(b) As used in this Section:
"Cultural competency" means a set of integrated attitudes,
knowledge, and skills that enables a health care professional
or organization to care effectively for patients from diverse
cultures, groups, and communities. "Cultural competency"
includes, but is not limited to: (i) applying linguistic
skills to communicate effectively with the target population;
(ii) utilizing cultural information to establish therapeutic
relationships; (iii) eliciting and incorporating pertinent
cultural data in diagnosis and treatment; and (iv)
understanding and applying cultural and ethnic data to the
process of clinic care.
"Health care professional" means a person licensed or
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registered by the Department of Financial and Professional
Regulation under the Nurse Practice Act, the Clinical
Psychologist Licensing Act, the Illinois Dental Practice Act,
the Pharmacy Practice Act, the Illinois Physical Therapy Act,
the Physician Assistant Practice Act of 1987, the Acupuncture
Practice Act, the Illinois Athletic Trainers Practice Act, the
Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, the
Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act, the Naprapathic Practice
Act, the Nursing Home Administrators Licensing and
Disciplinary Act, the Illinois Occupational Therapy Practice
Act, the Illinois Optometric Practice Act of 1987, the
Podiatric Medical Practice Act of 1987, the Respiratory Care
Practice Act, the Professional Counselor and Clinical
Professional Counselor Licensing and Practice Act, the Sex
Offender Evaluation and Treatment Provider Act, the Illinois
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act, the
Perfusionist Practice Act, the Genetic Counselor Licensing
Act, the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act,
the Marriage and Family Therapy Licensing Act, the Behavior
Analyst Licensing Act, the Music Therapy Licensing and
Practice Act, the Environmental Health Practitioner Licensing
Act, the Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Practice Act,
and the Medical Practice Act of 1987.
(c) The cultural competency training required by this
Section shall include information on sensitivity relating to
and best practices for providing affirming care to people in
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the person's preferred language, communities of color, people
of diverse faiths, people with disabilities, documented or
undocumented immigrants, people who are intersex, people
living with HIV, and people of diverse sexual orientations and
gender identities, including, but not limited to, lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual, asexual, and
(d) For every license or registration renewal occurring on
or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 103rd
General Assembly, a health care professional who has
continuing education requirements must complete at least 5
hours in cultural competency training.
(e) The hours required by this Section may count toward
meeting the minimum credit hours required for continuing
education. Any cultural competency training applied to meet
any other State licensure requirement, professional
accreditation or certification requirement, or health care
institutional practice agreement may count toward the
requirements under this Section.
(f) The Department may adopt rules for the implementation
and administration of this Section.
This Act takes effect January