As I previously mentioned, the upcoming open enrollment season will bring heaps of newly-eligible health consumers, many of whom do not speak English as their native tongue. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that as many as one in four new consumers who will apply for health coverage in the new exchange will speak a language other than English in their home. Removing language barriers for LEP populations is a must for states and health insurance providers to truly ensure equal access to information and healthcare services.
With already so much to prepare for by October’s open enrollment date, those involved with the new health exchange may benefit from some quick tips and proven practices on how to best address their new LEP consumers. And fortunately, Families USA and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) have developed a “Language Access Checklist for Marketplace Implementation”. This checklist provides a full set of recommendations on how to ensure LEP consumers can successfully enroll in, use and retain coverage. And for even more best practices on managing your multilingual healthcare communications as well as your budget, get your copy of our complimentary guide: Beyond Translation: Best Practices for Healthcare here.
Whether you’re on the provider side of the business, or on the health plan side, your audiences represent the widest range of languages and cultures in the history of U.S. healthcare. Your challenge of communicating with those audiences is exponentially increased by the range of languages, worldviews, traditions, communication preferences, and all the other nuances involved with those different cultures.
Which means translation is not as simple as just transferring your communications, word for word, from one language into another. And, between the demands of keeping current with the regulatory landscape, containing costs, meeting business objectives, and managing risk, you have less time to do more work than ever before.
So we wrote a primer on healthcare translation and localization to try and make your job a little bit easier. In this booklet we outline the best practices based not only our deep experience, but also drawn from a wide range of industry sources, to take the uncertainty out of addressing language access challenges for written and web-based communications. Most of all, we hope the information in this booklet is a practical aid, providing a framework to help you get the most from your healthcare translation and localization efforts.
Get your free copy here.
A headline from the Orlando sentinel “What we think: Immigration is America’s story” caught my eye last week.
It starts with reminding us “On this 237th birthday of the United States of America, with a debate raging in Congress over immigration policy, it’s worth remembering that we are a nation of immigrants. Everyone in the last 600 years, except Native Americans, either came here from somewhere else, or is the descendant of someone who came or was brought here.”
The article continues to discuss the pending immigration bill. I promise – I won’t go into a political discussion here! But continuing along this vein, at this time each year there are numerous articles reminding us of our rich history here in the US as well as the continuing growth in diversity. I also loved learning more about Portland Oregon’s formative years and our deep Chinook Native American history from a recent article in the Oregonian.
There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background. Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.
-John F. Kennedy, 1958
As opposed to past decades and generations, we truly are a global society today. It’s not only the immigrants living in the US we live and work with – its people, communities and corporations all over the world. VIA is proud of the role we play in furthering communication and to that end, we support written translations into 125 different languages each year.