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5 Elements of an Effective Language Access Plan

Posted by Jorge Ungo on January 4, 2017

At one time, having a language access plan was considered progressive and proactive. Now, it is increasingly becoming a standard for quality care and service.

For instance, health care entities that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS-administered programs, and Health Insurance Marketplaces are now required to comply with new federal language access requirements outlined in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

Having a written language access plan brings clarity to these requirements. It articulates unambiguously which members of your staff are responsible for meeting them. A written plan also shows auditors that your organization takes language access seriously so you can continue to maximize your federal funding.

A language access plan should address these five elements.

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Should You Use Phone, Onsite, or Video Remote Interpreting?

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on December 23, 2016

Having more options than at any other time in history is generally a good thing, but the “paradox of choice” has a tendency to paralyze us. (As the famous jam study illustrated, consumers were much more likely to buy a jar of jam when they saw only six options, compared to 24.)

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Three Good Reasons Not to Skimp on Language Services

Posted by Suzanne Franks on December 21, 2016

Bargains can sometimes be deceptive.

You were thrilled to take home a pre-lit Christmas tree you thought was a steal at 80 percent off—until you discovered only 20 percent of it actually lit up.

Or you bought a friend’s used car that seemed perfect for your 16-year-old daughter, only to spend twice the list price on repairs in the first two months.

Buyer’s remorse can also happen when it comes to shopping for language services—and sometimes the results are much worse.

Here are three costly consequences of choosing the lowest-cost language service provider without regard for quality.

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Who Should Lead the Implementation of Your Language Access Plan?

Posted by Jorge Ungo on December 16, 2016

 

Some organizations are just beginning to acknowledge the need for language access services in response to legislation like the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1557, and they don’t know where to start.

Providing meaningful language access to limited English proficiency populations and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing is not only the right thing to do - it’s required by law.

Someone needs to take ownership of and implement your organization’s language access plan. If you aren’t sure who that "someone" should be, here are a few questions to help you decide.

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Choosing a Language Services Provider? Consider These 4 Factors

Posted by Patti Geye on December 14, 2016

Language access is more than an amenity; it’s become a necessity for any organization that works closely with the public. Nowadays they need to meet people where they are, and in the language they speak.

Consider these facts:

  • More than 25 million people living in the United States have limited English proficiency, meaning they identify as speaking English "less than well," according to the most recent U.S. Census data.
  • At least 350 languages are spoken in U.S. homes, according to census data.
  • An estimated 37 million American adults report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The right language services provider can mean the difference between closing the language gap for your customers and clients, or adding to their confusion and frustration. There are thousands of providers, so how can you be sure your organization selects the right one?

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We Are Thankful in All Languages

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on November 23, 2016

'Tis the season for giving thanks. We would like to take a moment to share our gratitude for the all the essential components that comprise LanguageLine.

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LanguageLine’s Newest “Language” — Plain English

Posted by Charlene Haykel on October 27, 2016


LanguageLine Solutions has added a “new language” to the more than 240 we already offer our clients. The language is English, with a twist. It’s plain English and it helps you communicate in terms that your reader will readily understand. The benefits include streamlined documents, higher customer satisfaction, lower costs, compliance with regulations, and communications that are better structured for clear translation outcomes. 

Example:
  • Before:
    Your current dividend of $288.55 has purchased paid-up additional insurance in the face amount of $1,249.57. Your total paid-up additional insurance is $2,749.57.

  • After:
    We have bought more life insurance with your dividend: $1,249.57 since your last bill and $2,749.57 since you opened your account.

This example reflects an actual bill that was sent to thousands of clients across the American heartland. Sure, it’s in English but what kind of English? The 23 original words would confound the most fluent native speaker. Written in a more concise, easier to understand format through our new product, LanguageLine® Clarity℠, the revised information has only two fewer words. But they are straight-forward, real words, not acronyms or jargon, and they pack 100% more meaning for the life insurance customer receiving her bill. 



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Decisions...Decisions...Language Access Decisions...

Posted by Suzanne Franks on October 21, 2016

Making major decisions is always tough. Sometimes even just deciding what to wear is an issue. But when it comes to deciding on the best Language Services Provider to help your organization effectively communicate with the Limited English Proficient and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, the task can be daunting. The investment you make in language services is an important decision because it has impact on your business. Speaking your customer’s language can improve staff productivity, boost customer satisfaction, allow you to comply with laws and regulation, and maximize revenue. Where do you start? Is the best place really the internet? You can find a plethora of information, but is it enough to make a well-informed choice? If you need to make an educated assessment of the very best partner that affects you, your staff, the organization, and those you serve, you require some keen insight into all the competition.

But, if it’s only price that determines the result, that’s easy. Pick the lowest and you’re done. Few decisions are made that way. Many take ample time and research.

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Language Speaks Many Flavors

Posted by Patti Geye on September 15, 2016

Before I became part of the language services industry, I really didn't even know it existed. I speak English and never came up against a language barrier. Everyone around me spoke my language and even regional dialects are easy to comprehend. Although I wasn't angry that others didn't speak English, I figured if they wanted to, they could adapt. What an eye-opener it was when I actually learned about the difficulties of those that didn't speak English well or at all.

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How Fast Can a Translator Translate if a Translator Translates Fast?

Posted by Zac Westbrook on September 8, 2016

The Need for Speed – Olympics Edition

The Olympics were great, weren’t they? For 3 weeks we watched athletes from all over the world push the limits of what is humanly possible. For many Olympians, such as sprinters, speed is the ultimate goal and they train for thousands of hours and invest countless resources in the hopes of shaving mere milliseconds off their times. In fact, between 1896 and 2012 the world record for the 100 meter dash improved by only 2.37 seconds. That’s right; in 116 years and despite incredible innovation in nutrition, technology, and sports medicine, sprinters only managed to improve their times by an average of two one-hundredths of a second per year.

Don’t get me wrong. The point here is not to malign the best athletes on the planet, but rather to demonstrate that when we’re talking about human endeavor, there are very real physical limitations that constrain what we can do.

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