A Virginia-based health center's quality improvement project was able to significantly improve depression care for a vulnerable multicultural population, research shows.
Annual societal costs associated with depression are estimated at $210 billion, and depression is the top cause of disability globally. For minority, immigrant, or refugee patients, cultural factors often impede depression treatment.
"Improving depression screening should lead to measurable outcomes for those who screen positive, including referral to mental health specialists, prescription of appropriate medications, and perhaps most importantly, scheduling of follow-up appointments to monitor signs and symptoms of depression," said Ann Schaeffer of the Harrisonburg Community Health Center.
"There are multiple barriers. These include clinics not prepared with screening tools in multiple languages; providers not culturally aware of the stigma attached to depression; lack of provider confidence in client engagement; and few referral options for multicultural populations."Read More
CMS performs the study between February and June by placing calls to Medicare Part C and D call centers to - among other thing - evaluate performance in assisting Limited English Proficient (LEP) and Deaf and Hard of Hearing callers.
A portion of the study measures the availability of an interpreter, as well as the accuracy of information provided by the customer-service agent. This portion is called the Accuracy and Accessibility Study.
There are massive financial and marketing implications to the CMS study, as plans earning four and five stars stand to net additional dollars in Quality Bonus Payments, as well as valuable opportunities to shop their plans. (Five-star plans are afforded the opportunity to enroll members throughout the year.)
Given these high stakes, it’s only natural that misconceptions would emerge as plans aim for the highest score possible.
Below are three misconceptions that we hear most often. We’ve researched each of these suppositions and are glad to explain the reality behind each of them.Read More
While many healthcare providers and insurers succeed at delivering a positive in-language experience when limited-English speakers are in the building, this is often not the case when patients and beneficiaries have to connect with them by phone.
To remedy this issue, several high-performing organizations have implemented customized call flows that empower limited-English speakers to contact them with a qualified interpreter already on the line. Their patients and beneficiaries now have a seamless in-language experience from one end of a call to the other, making hang-ups and lengthy call-handle times a thing of the past.
Our upcoming webinar, “How Customized Call Flows Are Fixing the Phone Maze for Limited-English Patients and Members,” (Tuesday, December 4, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT) will demonstrate how a top healthcare organization and insurer are using a tailored approach to improve the in-language experience for limited-English speakers.Read More
Alex Gonzalez is a registered nurse in the oncology unit at Salinas Valley Memorial Health System. SVMH is a public hospital that provides quality health services to patients of all ages throughout Monterey County, an agricultural hub where a quarter of the overall population are non-citizens and more than 40 percent are native Spanish speakers.
It’s no wonder that when Gonzalez was trained on LanguageLine InSight, a video-interpreting solution that delivers on-demand access to professional linguists in 36 languages at the touch of a button, he thought the technology was heaven-sent.Read More
Like physicians, pharmacies play an important role in empowering patients to take charge of their health
Unfortunately, language barriers often make it more difficult for non-English-speaking customers to ask important questions about their medication, take it as directed, and be aware of potential side effects.
As pharmacies serve increasingly diverse populations, language access is becoming more important than ever.
The Center for Immigration Studies reports that one in five Americans (65 million people) speaks a language other than English at home. Just over of 40 percent of these individuals is considered Limited English Proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English “less than very well” and are entitled to assistance. This LEP group constitutes about nine percent of the total U.S. population.
Language barriers can pose serious health risks to LEP customers. Research has shown that those with little knowledge of English often do not have a good understanding of their medication instructions.
Here are a few ways language access can help pharmacists empower their customers.Read More
Healthcare systems that serve diverse communities are tasked with the same three goals when implementing language-access programs:
One of America’s most respected healthcare networks has accomplished these three goals by implementing a forward-looking, comprehensive language-access program that serves patients who speak more than 150 languages.
In our next webinar, staff members who pioneered this program at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York will explain exactly how they did it.Read More
You care for patients at a community health center. You see many patients each day and strive to deliver the very best treatment.
Your center serves not only Spanish-speaking families, but recently many Vietnamese are coming in for services. You understand the basics of the language but are far from fluent—certainly not enough to have in-depth conversations about their health concerns.
Communicating effectively and efficiently with all your patients is a high priority, not only to deliver the appropriate care, but also for better health outcomes and patient satisfaction.
What if you had reliable, on-demand, easy to access qualified language interpreters anytime you needed them?Read More
Whether you have bilingual employees or use interpreters in your contact center, they are an extension of your organization—for better or for worse.
How confident are you that they are communicating clearly to your customers?
There are only two ways to know for sure: Be fluent in multiple languages yourself, or ensure your in-house interpreters have been tested and properly trained.
Whether you have an interpreter training program in place now or are looking to implement one, be sure it includes these five essential elements.Read More