Category Archives: Language Access

Ensuring Meaningful Access to Health Care

There is a growing body of evidence that language barriers for individuals with limited English proficiency has a direct relationship to the quality of health care. Providing language assistance services can improve the quality of care and reduce health care disparities among individuals with limited English proficiency. Language assistance services include both verbal interpretation services and written translation services. There are many useful resources that can help support the many reasons for improving language access, including legal and regulatory requirements, patient safety, risk management, quality improvement and disparities reduction. Hospitals, health plans, community health centers and physician office practices have all demonstrated the feasibility and importance of ensuring language access.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Integrating Health Literacy, Cultural Competence, and Language Access Services

The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) has published a summary of a workshop on integrating health literacy, cultural competence, and language access services. Health care organizations are searching … Continue reading

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Office for Minority Health: Compendium of State-Level Activities and Legislation on National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) has published a compendium of state-sponsored activities and an interactive map listing state legislative activities implementing its National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Cultural Competency: Frameworks, Cultural Competency: Training, Demographic Data, Health Care Disparities, Health Care Disparities: Stakeholders Engaged, Health Workforce Diversity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards | Leave a comment

National Health Law Program: Analysis of ACA Section 1557 Final Rule

This is the National Health Law Program’s initial analysis of the final rule implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibiting discrimination in federally funded health programs and services on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, … Continue reading

Posted in Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health | Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights: Final Rule Prohibiting Discrimination Under Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has issued its final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and … Continue reading

Posted in Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health | Leave a comment

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Final Rule for Managed Care in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule, updating requirements for managed care plans funded by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  The updated requirements are aligned with requirements enacted by the Affordable Care Act … Continue reading

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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Technical Guidance for Marketplaces to Ensure Meaningful Access by Limited-English Proficient Speakers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided updated technical guidance to health insurance marketplaces, qualified health plans, and online health insurance brokers for ensuring meaningful access to their products and services by individuals with limited English proficiency … Continue reading

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Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity: Making CLAS Happen

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity has published an updated guide to implementation of the national culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) standards developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Demographic Data, Demographic Data: Language Need, Demographic Data: Race and Ethnicity, Health Workforce Diversity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards | Leave a comment

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Cultural and Linguistic Access Requirements under Affordable Care Act

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated the requirements on group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure cultural and linguistic access in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Section 2719 of the Public Health Services … Continue reading

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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Improving Patient Safety Systems for Patients with Limited English Proficiency – A Guide for Hospitals

This guide, commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, describes how hospitals can improve patient safety by focusing on meeting the language assistance needs of their patients with limited English proficiency (LEP).  Research suggests that adverse events affect patients with … Continue reading

Posted in Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Health Care Reform: Quality Improvement, Language Access, Language Access: Best Practices | Leave a comment

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health has published this first-ever Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.  The Equity Plan focuses on Medicare populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, lower quality of care, … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Competency, Demographic Data, Demographic Data: Gender Identity, Demographic Data: Language Need, Demographic Data: Race and Ethnicity, Demographic Data: Sexual Orientation, Health Care Disparities, Health Care Disparities: Stakeholders Engaged, Health Care Reform, Health Care Reform: Advancing Equity, Health Workforce Diversity, Language Access, Language Access: Standards, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health | Leave a comment