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Providers must address language barriers



Sign  at locations offering VRS or VRI services.

Medical Economics reports:

“Language barriers may undermine a patient’s ‘meaningful access’ to federally funded healthcare services, because these barriers may prevent patients from understanding medical treatment and advice received from providers. Therefore, HHS mandates that providers take reasonable steps to overcome language barriers and ensure that Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients have timely and meaningful access to healthcare services.”

The publication says  that “Providers should arrange for oral and/or written language assistance services to communicate effectively with LEP patients concerning the delivery of healthcare services. HHS allows a provider some flexibility in determining the appropriate mix of language assistance services to facilitate communications depending upon:

  • “The percentage of LEP individuals served.
  • “The frequency of services provided to LEP individuals.
  • “Whether the services provided are important or emergent.
  • “The resources available to the provider.”

Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass