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Health Advocate, a leading provider of health advocacy, navigation, well-being and integrated benefits programs, has introduced an innovative new solution to support Spanish-speaking members. Through a partnership with LanguageLine Solutions, Heath Advocate will ensure members with limited-English proficiency have immediate access to an interpreter, making it easier to connect with a Personal Health Advocate and improving the call experience.

Personal Health Advocates provide expert, compassionate support to help members access and navigate the healthcare system. They also help members identify and engage with high-quality physicians and facilities, coordinate care, understand and fully utilize their health and well-being benefits, and much more. By implementing this new service with LanguageLine, Health Advocate is bridging the gap for Spanish-speaking members with limited English proficiency.

“The healthcare system is complex and difficult to navigate. When compounded with language barriers, members may not reach out or might miss opportunities to get the care they need,” said Matt Yost, President and CEO of Health Advocate. “We are committed to continuously enhancing our members’ experience, and introducing this service is one more way for us to provide inclusive, excellent customer service to more of our members.”

With the implementation of LanguageLine’s DirectResponse solution, a Spanish speaker’s voice is the first one that callers hear. They are greeted with a prompt in Spanish so they can easily select their preferred language and be directed to an interpreter. Together, the member and the interpreter are seamlessly connected with the Personal Health Advocate to help with whatever the member needs.

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As language and literacy skills are among the primary social determinants of health, limited proficiency in English can be a major barrier to accessing health and well-being resources. Introducing this new service further demonstrates how Health Advocate prioritizes helping people overcome these challenges to get the care they need.

The United States has the second-largest population of Spanish speakers in the world. Approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population speaks Spanish at home. Around 8 percent of the population – or 25 million individuals - are considered limited-English proficient (LEP), meaning these individuals are entitled to assistance when seeking health care and other services. Nearly one in 10 working adults is considered limited English proficient. Two-thirds of the LEP population speaks Spanish, according to recent research.

“We implemented LanguageLine in late February and have already seen significant numbers in utilization of DirectResponse,” Yost said. “They are now experiencing shorter wait times to connect to an interpreter and a Personal Health Advocate, and they are immediately speaking with someone in their native language, which is more supportive.”

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LanguageLine offers professional, on-demand interpretation in more than 240 languages. In addition to the DirectResponse initiative, the partnership with Health Advocate enables members to be connected with a LanguageLine interpreter in nearly any language.

“Health Advocate and LanguageLine Solutions are both concerned with compassionate care,” LanguageLine President and CEO Scott W. Klein said. “We are thrilled with this partnership, as it is a major step forward in lowering the language and cultural barriers that might otherwise impede access to services.”