Language Services for Patients with Limited English Proficiency: Results of a National Survey of Internal Medicine Physicians

Executive Summary

Fifty-two million people, 19.4% of the U.S. population, speak a language other than English at home. Of these, 44.6% speak English “less than very well.” Estimates of the number of people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) range from 11 million to 21 million people. To determine whether internal medicine practices of members of the American College of Physicians provide language services and to better ensure effective communication for LEP patients, the College conducted a survey of its members during late 2006.

The study was made possible through a grant from the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) with funds provided by The California Endowment.

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