Cultural Competence

People dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are more diverse in race and ethnicity, languages spoken, health condition, disability status, and other characteristics as compared to Medicare-only beneficiaries.1 Providing culturally competent care and services is critical, and requires respecting individuals’ varying beliefs and meeting their social, cultural, and linguistic needs.

Lack of cultural competence within health systems and organizations can result in poorer quality of care, exacerbating existing disparities and leading to negative health consequences.2 Providing culturally competent care that understands, respects, and addresses the values, beliefs, and needs of individuals can help to address and close these disparities in access, quality, and outcomes. Cultural and linguistic competence training helps providers and health plans to better communicate with and meet the needs of the people they serve.

RIC features resources for providers and plans on cultural competence, including resources related to cultural competence in long-term services and supports (LTSS) settings and culturally competent caregiver supports.

  • Culturally Competent Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

  • Culturally Competent Caregiver Supports

1 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2019). Data Analysis Brief: Medicare-Medicaid Dual Enrollment 2006 through 2018. Retrieved from

2 Georgetown University, Health Policy Institute. Cultural Competence in Health Care: Is it important for people with chronic conditions? Retrieved from