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Does Your Interpreter Training Program Have These Essentials?

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on February 23, 2018

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.

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Measuring the ROI of Language Services in Health Care

Posted by Matthew Riley on December 1, 2017

A Somali man rushes into the emergency room with his young son, who has fallen from the balcony of their second-story apartment. Although the boy has no visible injuries, his father is concerned he may have a concussion and internal bleeding. He tries frantically to communicate with emergency room personnel using gestures and the few English phrases he has learned since moving to the United States six months before.

The triage nurse quickly places a video call to a Somali interpreter, who can relay the man’s concerns to her. Within minutes, the boy undergoes a CAT scan and receives appropriate treatment and monitoring. He is able to return home with his father later that evening.

Without video remote interpreting, this scenario could have played out much differently. While other industries demand to see a return on investment in hard dollars, the ROI of language services in health care is often measured by the absence of something.

Here are seven ways healthcare professionals measure the impact of their investment in language services.

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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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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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Study: Patients and Physicians Don't Speak the Same Language

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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Case Study: Doctor, Patient Break Down Communication Barrier with the Help of Dual-Handset Phone

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 26, 2017

Eight percent of all people living in the United States are considered limited English proficient, meaning they speak English less than “very well.”

This language barrier poses challenges in all aspects of life for LEPs, and especially when they visit a physician. One Cantonese patient at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has been faced with this obstacle again and again as he has dealt with a leg deformity that has required multiple operations to correct.

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Report Shows Diverse Language Preferences Among Insurance Consumers

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 18, 2017

If your insurance plan is preparing for open enrollment, you could be missing opportunities to reach new customers from diverse populations if you aren’t speaking their language.

Recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reveal telling insights on the language preferences of consumers who enrolled in HealthCare.gov. These statistics are based on self-reported data from last year’s enrollment period for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Here are some key things providers should know about language preferences among insurance consumers.

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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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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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Could Your Organization Benefit from Video Remote Interpreting? Ask Yourself These Questions.

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on August 2, 2017

One in five of our neighbors here in the United States speak a language other than English at home. That’s more than 61 million people – 25 million of whom say they speak English less than well. Another 28 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing.

The influence of these diverse audiences is enormous and growing. They are citizens, patients, and consumers. Meeting them in their preferred language builds loyalty, achieves compliance, and increases staff productivity while reducing expenses. The opportunities are clear, but the challenge is that – with hundreds of languages spoken in America today – it is very difficult for any organization to meet this demand.

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is an on-demand platform that provides communication to limited English proficient, deaf, or hard-of-hearing individuals by connecting to a professional interpreter in an offsite location. This is done via camera and microphone on a tablet, smart phone, or desktop, using an Internet or cellular connection. VRI reduces the risk of misunderstanding by capturing body language and facial expressions to read visual cues.

Before implementing VRI, your organization should discuss the needs of your audience and how video will fit into your language access plan. Take the time to have this discussion with your front-line staff and any other key stakeholders. Here are a few questions to prompt discussion:

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