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February 28, 2020

Medical Translators a Must When Providing Best Healthcare to Non-English Speakers

There are challenges when bridging a language gap, especially during medical visits for non-English speakers. To help provide them with the care they need, there are laws and processes, such as providing medical translators, to help patients make informed and important health decisions. 

Receiving Language Assistance

Patients have a legal right to request an interpreter or translation of any health documents during their care. In fact, nondiscrimination provisions in federal law require programs that receive federal assistance “to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency.” There are a couple of different options to provide translation, such as an in-person translator, video remote interpreting or telephonic interpreters. 

Use a Certified Medical Interpreter

Trained and certified medical interpreters have the skills to interpret and relay complicated medical information to the patient and the provider. Miscommunication between health care provider and patient could be detrimental, so using a certified medical interpreter is vital. Hospitals can sometimes be reimbursed for their expenses for hiring an interpreter by the patient’s Medicaid coverage. 

In conclusion, the use of certified interpreters results in more efficient patient care and protects not only the patient, but health care organizations. Utah is a state in which Medicaid/CHIP programs will reimburse health care or language service providers for interpreter costs. If you have any questions about medical translations or how we can help, email us at [email protected].

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