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16 Stats That Show The Language Access Needs of Medicare Beneficiaries

Posted by Mike McMahon on September 5, 2017

Communication is an important part of health literacy, so it’s not surprising that Medicare beneficiaries with challenges in this area are at a greater risk for poor health outcomes.

Removing those barriers tends to improve health outcomes and may even contribute to higher CMS star ratings, which impact an organization’s reputation and reimbursement.

A recent report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health presents useful data that can help prescription drug and health plans better understand Medicare beneficiaries and their language needs.

Here are 16 telling statistics and what they mean for providers.

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Hispanic Student Enrollment in U.S. Doubled Over Last 20 Years

Posted by Scott Brown on September 1, 2017

Labor Day Weekend typically signifies the end of summer and the start of a new school year.  As our kids fill their backpacks, pose for first-day pictures, and board school buses, it’s worth visiting a rather remarkable statistic released this week by the United States Census Bureau:

Hispanic student enrollment in U.S. schools has more than doubled in the last 20 years (1996-2016).

According to the Census Bureau, the number of Hispanic students enrolled in U.S. schools and colleges soared from 8.8 million in 1996 to 17.8 million in 2016 – a 102 percent increase. 

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What Does Meaningful Access Really Mean?­­

Posted by Greg Holt on August 30, 2017

Nearly all government agencies and organizations that receive federal funds are required by law to provide limited-English-proficient (LEP) persons “meaningful access” to their services.

What exactly does that mean?  Where did this requirement come from?

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Case Study: Texas Town Sets Language-Access Example

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on August 25, 2017

Houston is a city whose staggering growth and immigration have made it the most ethnically diverse major metropolis in the country, surpassing New York seven years ago.

U.S. Census figures indicate that 37 percent of the Houston metro area population age 5 and over speaks a language other than English at home, with nearly 150 total languages spoken by local residents. The Brookings Institute estimates that 17.8 percent of the region’s population is considered limited English proficient, meaning they speak the language “less than very well.”

Writes the Los Angeles Times:

Census projections have opened a window into the America of 2050, “and it’s Houston today,” said Stephen Klineberg, a sociology professor at Rice University.

Houston suburbs are among the fastest-growing cities in the country. This includes the community of Katy, which is located 29 miles west of Houston. As the ethnic complexion of Katy changes, so must the area’s school district, emergency services, and businesses.

Katy has embraced the shift, providing an excellent language-access example.

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Evaluating Video Remote Interpreting Providers: 5 Factors To Consider

Posted by Scott Brown on August 24, 2017

More companies are recognizing the power of video remote interpreting (VRI) as a way to connect with people face-to-face. It’s especially useful for communicating with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as in situations when more personal interaction is needed but an onsite interpreter is not available.

As demand for this service increases, the number of video remote interpreting providers in the market is likely to grow as well. How can you be sure your organization chooses the right one?

Here are five important factors to consider.

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What Code of Conduct Do Language Interpreters and Translators Follow?

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on August 23, 2017

Organizations often seek language services when there’s a lot at stake, for instance: health emergencies, legal proceedings, business dealings and government interactions with the public. The language translators and interpreters who provide these services are professionals who should be held to high standards given the importance of their work.

Over the years, professional associations and language services agencies have developed codes of conduct and ethics to guide their work. If you have ever wondered about the standards that guide the translators and interpreters you hire, here’s a quick overview.

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Addressing Five Common Concerns Hospitals Have About Video Remote Interpreting

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on August 17, 2017

In a hospital setting, access to quality on-demand interpreting can be a matter of life and death. Interpreters must be able to relay information to physicians quickly and accurately under intense pressure while remaining calm and reassuring.

Many hospitals use onsite interpreters, but this isn’t always practical or cost-effective, particularly when a patient needs an interpreter immediately, or the patient speaks a language that is less common. In these scenarios, video remote interpreting can be a lifeline. More hospitals are using video technology to supplement onsite interpreting.

Here are five common concerns hospitals have as they contemplate video remote interpreting.

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Best Practices to Ensure Compliance When Using Video Remote Interpreting

Posted by Sylvana Stratton on August 17, 2017

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is a powerful technology that’s enabling healthcare organizations to better serve people who are limited English proficient, deaf, or hard of hearing.

As with any technology, however, VRI can have unintended consequences if not used with care.

The potential risks to patient and provider are apparent in Sunderland et al v. Bethesda Hospital Inc., a case in which a top court recently ruled that a hospital’s improper use of video interpreting amounted to discrimination against deaf patients.

This is an unfortunate experience that no hospital would want its patients to have. Fortunately the National Association of the Deaf and other groups offer best practices your healthcare organization can follow to ensure compliance when using VRI.  

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The Six Medical Documents You Must Translate to Remain Compliant

Posted by Suzy duMont-Perez on August 15, 2017

As a health care provider, the patient is always your main concern. Of course, the care you provide is also guided by laws and regulations. While some of these laws and regulations can make the jobs of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other providers more complicated, we can all agree that the majority of them help ensure that patients and health care professionals are protected and everyone can access the same high-quality medical care when it’s needed.

When Translation is the Law

An example of a legal requirement that benefits health care professionals and patients alike is the need to translate vital documents into the languages most commonly found in the area where a hospital or clinic is located. There are six vital documents that must be translated according to law.

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Case Study: How a Veteran School Nurse Used Language Solutions to Address Shifting Student Needs

Posted by Scott Brown on August 10, 2017

Alexandria, VA, has a growing populace that is increasingly diverse. Retiring school nurse Olga Wright had a front row seat for the changes over the course of her 40-year career, during which she says she "never experienced a boring day."

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