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Five Takeaways from California's Groundbreaking Language-Access Law

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on November 14, 2017

More than 40 percent of California residents speak a language other than English. It is also a state in which there is a significant mismatch between the second languages spoken by its physicians and the primary languages spoken by its patients.

Nearly 7 million California residents are considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English “less than very well.” At last count, nearly a quarter of the nation’s total LEP population lived in this one state. In an effort to increase access to language services for these individuals, Governor Jerry Brown recently approved California Senate Bill No. 223 Chapter 771.

Here are five significant aspects of the law and their significance to healthcare organizations throughout the nation:

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Three Technologies That Are Improving Interpreter-Connect Times

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on November 9, 2017

When a customer takes time out of their busy day to call, every second matters, because every additional second they spend on hold stands to amplify their frustration.

It’s another second they’re not getting an answer to their question, another second to dwell on their problem, and another second to consider taking their business elsewhere.

For customers who need to connect with an interpreter, the wait can be even longer – but it doesn’t have to be.

Language access has evolved as the world has become more connected. Users are surrounded by smart, multi-function devices and expect to receive service anywhere and everywhere at any time. Fortunately, new technologies ensure that customer experience keeps pace with customer expectation.

When LSPs first came on the scene more than 30 years ago, the concept of a remote interpreter was novel. Decades later, our aim is to leverage technology in reducing wait times to mere seconds to ensure an optimal user experience.

Technological innovations are enabling faster connections to over-the-phone and video interpreters. Here’s a look at three of the latest advances and the impact they’re having on improving interpreter-connect times:

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Free Webinar: Onsite & Video Remote Interpreting - How to Choose the Appropriate Modality

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on November 8, 2017

To use an onsite interpreter or not to use an onsite interpreter?

This is a frequent question in healthcare settings when tending to patients who are limited English proficient (LEP), deaf, or hard-of-hearing. The advent of over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) and video remote interpreting (VRI) has given healthcare providers multiple options when it comes to providing these patients with the language access to which they are entitled.

These providers are left wondering: Do we still need to work with onsite interpreters? The answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

In what instances are onsite interpreters still recommended? This question will be addressed in full during our upcoming webinar, “Onsite and Video Remote Interpreting: Choosing the Appropriate Modality,” which will take place Thursday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. ET.  

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Switching Language Service Providers? 5 Steps for a Smooth Transition

Posted by Lulu Sanchez on November 6, 2017

You’ve done your homework on switching language service providers and feel confident you’ve chosen the right one. Now it’s time to sit back and trust them to take it from here, right?

Not quite.

Yes, most of the legwork is behind you, but it’s important to stay involved so you can ensure a successful transition with minimal impact on your staff and those you serve. Going through the exercise of thinking about language access as a whole with all the details that go into a smooth set-up and transition will enable you to have a more clear and structured program. 

Here are the five most important factors to consider as you switch language service providers:

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ACA Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 1, But Has the Nation’s Multicultural Population Heard the News?

Posted by Suzy duMont-Perez on October 30, 2017

Affordable Care Act open enrollment for 2018 starts Wednesday, Nov. 1, and runs through Friday, Dec. 15 — about six weeks shorter than the previous three-month window.

Many people who could enroll for insurance through the ACA (also known as Obamacare) don’t know this. With the current administration still pushing for repeal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cut funding for advertising that would promote the enrollment period by 90 percent.

The lack of information is apparently working, as 30 percent of uninsured people are unaware the ACA exists, and 60 percent of those already enrolled don’t know when the open enrollment period is, according to a recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that 4 million fewer people will sign up for private insurance through the ACA than previously forecast.

If this confusion exists for the general population, just imagine how acute the issue must be for those who are limited English proficient (LEP)?

Every challenge presents an opportunity. In this case, insurance companies and state health marketplaces have the chance to add new enrollees by getting the word out to LEPs.

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The Big Disconnect: New Study Finds Wide Gap Between Second Languages Spoken by Physicians and Their Multicultural Patients

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on October 27, 2017

It is no secret that physicians sometimes struggle to explain medical terminology to their patients. Imagine how insurmountable this challenge must feel when doctor and patient literally speak different languages.

According to a new study, a significant gap exists in America between patients’ languages and the languages doctors speak. The study also suggests that health care organizations are not doing all they are required to when it comes to providing meaningful language access to patients who are limited English proficient (LEP).

Fortunately, near-term remedies exist that can meaningfully diminish these language barriers between doctors and multicultural patients.

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Switching Language Service Providers? How to Choose the Right Alternative

Posted by Lulu Sanchez on October 27, 2017

The bad news is your language service provider isn’t right for you anymore.

Now the good news: You have an opportunity to start fresh with a new provider. And, if you do it right, you can make the switch seamlessly, without impacting the individuals you serve or inconveniencing your staff. Before making the switch, here are five steps you should take to ensure you select and transition to the right provider.

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Report: More Than 40 Percent of California Residents Speak a Language Other Than English at Home

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on October 26, 2017

More than 40 percent of residents of the nation’s most populous state speak a language other than English at home, according to data released this week by the United States Census Bureau. Nearly one in five of its residents age five and older are considered limited English proficient.

As of July 2016, California had a population of 39,250,017. Of this group age five and older, 44 percent spoke a language other than English at home. Meanwhile, 18.6 percent of California residents are considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English less than “very well.” California ranks first among all states in both of these categories.

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Why Price Can Be Misleading When Comparing Language Service Providers

Posted by Simon Yoxon-Grant on October 23, 2017

Price is obviously one of the biggest factors when making a business decision. But when choosing a language service provider (LSP), there is more to price than meets the eye.  

A bargain isn’t really a bargain if it means compromising on quality or security. And with so much on the line, selecting the wrong LSP based on price alone can have expensive consequences. This can include lawsuits, a negative reputation for your organization, and even a loss of life in some cases. 

These are the three most important themes when comparing price:

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How Marketers Are Using Language to Attract Multicultural Consumers

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on October 19, 2017

Driven by population growth and expanding buying power, multicultural consumers are transforming the ways marketers and advertisers use culture to connect with increasingly diverse consumer markets.  For businesses, this is why investments made now in language will pay off for decades to come.

Between 1990 and 2014, according to Nielsen, multicultural buying power increased from $661 billion to $3.4 trillion, and it will only continue to grow. Because the median age of the multicultural population is lower and the life expectancy longer than those of non-Hispanic whites, these consumers have significantly more effective years of buying power ahead of them.

We’ve already talked about why language services are critical to the future of retail, as well as how language services in retail can create the sort of personalized, experiential shopping environment that multicultural consumers are seeking these days.

 But no matter how wonderful your store’s shopping experience and customer service are, they’re only effective once someone is in the store. Let’s talk about how retailers are using language to market to multicultural consumers.

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