Promising Practices: Providing Language Services Report Series

Executive Summary

Numerous studies have found that inadequate language services can negatively affect access to and quality of health care and may lead to serious health consequences. Not surprisingly, the recent influx of immigrants has brought with it a growing demand for appropriate and effective language services.

A number of factors hinder such services, however, including an increase in the number of languages spoken, costs associated with providing such services, lack of knowledge on the part of heath care providers of legal requirements for providing language services, and lax enforcement of federal and state laws, which has allowed many health care providers to neglect the issue.

Support for this research was provided by The Commonwealth Fund. The views presented here are those of the authors and should not be attributed to The Commonwealth Fund or its directors, officers, or staff.

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