Last week, the Trump Administration announced a rollback of language access notifications for limited-English speakers and other important civil rights protections. The regulations were included in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the ACA. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities, including those that receive federal funding.
One aspect of this international health crisis that should stick in our minds is the fact that maintenance of public health means all members of the public. Viruses do not discriminate. To be successful in mitigating them, public health initiatives should not, either.
To this end, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has provided a bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities know that civil rights laws around language are not set aside during an emergency.
Like physicians, pharmacies play an important role in empowering patients to take charge of their health.
Unfortunately, language barriers often make it more difficult for non-English speaking customers to ask important questions about their medication, take it as directed, and be aware of potential side effects.
When it comes to investing in language interpretation and translation, “price” and “cost” are two very different things.
Price is obviously one of the biggest factors when making a business decision. But when choosing a language service provider (LSP) to interpret the various business languages you serve, there is more to price than meets the eye.
This year’s open-enrollment period for Medicare will run from October 15 through December 7. Studies show that a large number of Medicare enrollees are considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English “less than very well” and are entitled to assistance.
Healthcare Open Enrollment Period is coming soon. Starting Nov. 1, plans participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace will be flooded with inquiries. Agents are no doubt readying themselves for questions in every shape and form.
But are they prepared to field these same questions in a variety of languages?
This is an altogether different matter – one that has a great deal to do with providing an ideal customer experience and reaching a previously underserved market.
A non-English-speaking mother-to-be arrives at a hospital to give birth, unaware that her pregnancy is high-risk. The clinic where she had her pre-natal appointments did not use professional interpreters. Instead the clinic relied on the serious news being conveyed by the woman’s sister-in-law, who did not have the heart to explain the diagnosis. The woman is told at the hospital that her child will not make it.
A 9-year-old Vietnamese girl arrives at the emergency room with what appears to be a severe stomach flu. The girls’ parents do not speak English. Instead of using a professional interpreter, hospital staff instead speaks only to the girl and her 16-year-old brother about her prescription, sending them home with instructions that the girl should return if she experiences specific side effects. The girl ends up having a negative reaction to the drug. She suffers a heart attack and dies.
These real-life outcomes seem as if they should have happened in days gone by. Sadly, these events took place recently. Even worse, they are not uncommon despite readily available on-demand language services.