During the past few years, Maryland legislation recommending cultural competency education and training for health professionals, and/or supporting cultural diversity in institutions of higher education have been signed into law:

  • 2012 Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reduction Act – This bill requires the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene to implement programs to reduce health disparities in the state and improve health care access and outcomes by focusing on Health Enterprise Zones in underserved communities. As an incentive to involve practitioners and health organizations to participate in the program, loan assistance repayment, tax credits, priority funding for electronic health records and preference to enter the Maryland Patient Center Medical Home Program will be offered.
  • 2012 Cultural Competency and Health Literacy – Education - this bill requires the Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to work in collaboration with universities and colleges of social work, public health, and allied health sciences to develop appropriate curricula. Additionally the bill requires changing the name of the Cultural and Linguistic Health Care Provider Competency Program to be the Cultural and Linguistic Health Care Professional Competency Program to ensure that the program includes cultural and linguistic competency and health literacy.
  • 2010 Patient Centered Medical Home Program - this bill requires the Maryland Health Care Commission to establish a Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home Program as a model of medical primary care to strengthen the patient-clinician relationship by offering patients long-term coordinated care instead of sporadic care. This model of care encourages teamwork and coordination among clinicians and support staff to give patients better access to care and support to encourage patients to take an active role in their own health care.
  • 2009: Cultural and Linguistic Health Care Provider Competency Program - this bill establishes a Cultural and Linguistic Health Care Provider Competency Program; encourages certain professional societies to identify training programs or to develop or collaborate in the development of training programs, if feasible; provides for the funding for the Program; requires the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to convene a workgroup; requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop a method through which training is recognized by licensing boards; and defines certain terms.
  • 2008: Institutions of Higher Education - Plans for Programs of Cultural Diversity (Chapter 580) - this bill requires public institutions of higher education in Maryland to develop and implement plans for programs of cultural diversity and requires independent institutions of higher education that receive State funding to report on the programs at the institutions that promote and enhance cultural diversity.
  • 2008: Health Disparities - Institutions of Higher Education - Report (Chapter 675) - this bill requires the Maryland Office of Minority Health to work collaboratively with universities and colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry in this State and other health care professional training programs to develop courses with cultural competency.
  • 2007: Workgroup on Cultural Competency and Workforce Development for Mental Health Professionals (Chapter 412) - this bill requires the Mental Health Transformation Working Group, in collaboration with the Mental Hygiene Administration and the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, to convene a Workgroup on Cultural Competency and Workforce Development for Mental Health Professionals.
  • 2006: Cultural Competency and Health Outcomes - Pilot Program (Chapter 497) - this bill requires the Family Health Administration in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, to provide technical assistance to specified community-based entities for a specified pilot program that addresses the cultural competency training of specified health care providers and addresses specified health outcomes; requiring the pilot program to be implemented in a specified hospital system.
  • 2003: Health Care Services Disparities Prevention Act (Chapter 453) - declares the intent of the General Assembly; authorizing specified institutions of higher education in the State to include courses in the curriculum or offer special seminars on health care services disparities of specified minority populations; requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with the Maryland Healthcare Foundation, to develop and implement a plan to reduce health care disparities.