Modern Healthcare: Hospitals often ignore policies on using qualified medical interpreters

Modern Healthcare: Hospitals often ignore policies on using qualified medical interpreters

By Sabriya Rice

A Spanish-speaking male patient entered the emergency department at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md., in December 2012 suffering from vomiting, abdominal pain and shortness of breath. Over two days in the hospital, he had blood drawn, underwent an abdominal CT scan, received IV fluids and had a urinary catheter inserted. But it’s possible that he never fully understood that fluid was building up in his abdomen and lungs and that his condition could be fatal.

In addition, every state has laws on language access in healthcare settings. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia directly reimburse providers for language services used by patients on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. “The fact that states can pay directly for interpreters is a great opportunity to help hospitals meet federal requirements and help them offset the costs,” said Mara Youdelman, managing attorney for the National Health Law Program. Read the full article here. »

Related Content

For almost 50 years, the National Health Law Program has fought to expand access to quality health care to low-income individuals and underserved communities. Today we are pleased to launch a newly designed website for our future work to make health care a reality for all people. Please take time to peruse our new site, and sign up for our email updates to learn about us, watch the work we do, and become engaged.

Continue to site