Reduced quality of care, adverse health outcomes, and health disparities can persist unless communication barriers are addressed in the delivery of health services. In fact, more than 23 million Americans have limited English proficiency (LEP), which leads to a plethora of healthcare challenges.
A new policy brief from independent research firm, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., assesses emerging national efforts to address language barriers and looks specifically at three states — California, Minnesota, and New York. The study highlights challenges, successes, and implications for future policy and activities related to providing language services.
According to Mathematica, in 2008 all 50 states had at least two laws in place for providing these services in healthcare settings, up from 43 states in 2006. However, the laws vary greatly. California, Minnesota, and New York have been at the forefront of these efforts and are considered leaders in providing language services.
The study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and written by Au, Erin Fries Taylor, and Marsha Gold. To learn more, check out the study here: “Improving Access to Language Services in Health Care: A Look at National and State Efforts.”
About the author: Reymond the Marketing Manager and is the administrator for VIA's Speaking Healthcare blog and claims no authorship over this post. Read more from this author