First Choice by Select Health Bolsters Industry Leadership Earning 6th Multicultural Health Care Distinction

July 7, 2021 - North Charleston, S.C.

Select Health of South Carolina and its First Choice Medicaid health plan have once again earned Multicultural Health Care (MHC) Distinction from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). For a sixth time, First Choice by Select Health earned this national honor, which recognizes health plans for excellence in the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to plan members.

In 2011, First Choice by Select Health became one of the first seven health plans in America and the first in South Carolina to formally receive the MHC Distinction. Select Health has maintained its designation through consecutive renewal cycles, beginning in 2013, and then again in 2015, 2017, 2019 — and now in 2021.

“We’re extremely proud to earn this coveted distinction because it acknowledges our longstanding commitment to providing First Choice members with culturally and linguistically appropriate care and services,” said Courtnay Thompson, market president at Select Health. “Our associates strive daily to remove cultural barriers to care, knowing that members are best served when we tailor our services to their personal preferences and needs.”

NCQA Distinction in MHC identifies organizations — health plans, Managed Care Organizations, Managed Behavioral Healthcare Organization, wellness and population health organizations, and others — that lead the market in providing culturally and linguistically sensitive services, and work to reduce health care disparities.

Recognizing the value that MHC Distinction brings to plan members and the quality of care and services they receive, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicaid managed care in the state, is requiring all managed care plans to achieve it by Jan. 1, 2023.

"Earning Multicultural Health Care Distinction six consecutive times shows that Select Health is making a breakthrough in providing excellent health care to diverse populations. I congratulate any organization that achieves this level of distinction," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care is essential to improving the quality of care overall."

NCQA awards Distinction in MHC to organizations that meet or exceed standards in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS). NCQA evaluates how well an organization complies with standards for:Collecting race/ethnicity and language data.

  • Providing language assistance.
  • Cultural responsiveness.
  • Quality improvement of CLAS.
  • Reduction of health care disparities. 

For more information about Select Health’s commitment to culturally competent health care, visit their website.  Read Select Health’s 2019-20 Annual Message to the Community (PDF).