Original ArticlesReducing Disparities through Culturally Competent Health Care An Analysis of the Business CaseBrach, Cindy; Fraser, IreneAuthor Information Cindy Brach, MPP, is a Health Policy Researcher, Center for Organization and Delivery Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland. Irene Fraser, PhD, is Director, Center for Organization and Delivery Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland. Acknowledgments: Thanks are due to Jan De La Mare for her research assistance, to Maggie Rutherford for her editing services, and to staff at the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, Brad Gray, and Jim Verdier who provided thoughtful comments on an earlier draft. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Quality Management in Health Care: Summer 2002 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 15-28 Buy Abstract Finding ways to deliver high-quality health care to an increasingly diverse population is a major challenge for the American health care system. The persistence of racial and ethnic disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes has prompted considerable interest in increasing the cultural competence of health care, both as an end in its own right and as a potential means to reduce disparities. This article reviews the potential role of cultural competence in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, the strength of health care organizations' current incentives to adopt cultural competence techniques, and the limitations inherent in these incentives that will need to be overcome if cultural competence techniques are to become widely adopted. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.