Are Your Health Benefit LEP Materials Accessible and Compliant?

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Avantpage blog, Avantpage Events, Avantpage Services, Company News, Healthcare News, LEP Translation, Professional Translation

A comprehensive health and benefits package is key to attracting and retaining the best workers in your industry. However, employee benefits packages are fraught with some of the most complex and challenging compliance regulations Human Resources faces today. Are your materials accessible and compliant? Avantpage Client Manager Lucas Eaton will be on hand at this month’s Health and Benefits Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, NV to talk with companies about how to translate compliance-ready benefit package documentation to reach their limited-English proficient (LEP) workers.   Healthy workers = Healthy company Smart executives know that promoting health and wellness initiatives raises productivity, improves performance, and increases job-satisfaction at every level of the organizational chart. A wide variety of new apps, fitness trackers, and wearables give employees more control over their health than ever before and provide companies new ways of supporting worker health through benefit programs and opt-in opportunities. As the LEP population across the US continues to grow, it’s critical for companies to reach out to workers through communication in their own language.  Once LEP employees fully understand the healthcare options available to them, they can utilize their benefits appropriately to become healthier, more productive workers.   Compliance is crucial When translating health and benefits materials into other languages, there’s no margin for error. It’s critical that all your documentation is compliant with federal, state, and local regulations because poor translations can lead to misunderstandings and may even expose your company to legal action. Our proven healthcare and medical translation services ensure your benefits package materials meet all regulatory guidelines and can pass auditing inspections with flying colors. We have the expertise to examine the laws surrounding your translation projects and the resources to make sure you’re in compliance every step of the way. If you’re attending this year’s event, be sure to stop by our booth for a chance to win an Amazon Fire and to learn more about Avantpage’s translation expertise in the Human Resources and Healthcare space. Can’t make it this year? No problem! We’re always available by email or phone to provide you with a free quote on your next project. Image: Michael Havens...

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Avantpage Bundles Up for the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Avantpage blog, Avantpage Events, Avantpage Services, Avantpage Team, Company News, Elections, LEP Translation, Professional Translation

The fishermen on Deadliest Catch have nothing on the hard working men and women advocating for the economic development of Southwest Alaska and its residents. Businesses and government agencies from across the region are coming together next week for the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference in beautiful Anchorage, and Avantpage is pleased to be among the event’s attendees and exhibitors. With operational offices in nearby Seattle, Avantpage is keenly aware of the close economic and social ties Southwest Alaska has with neighboring cities. In fact, Avantpage provides elections translations in Tagalog for the Aleutians East Borough and understands firsthand the challenges and opportunities of providing translation services to Alaska’s diverse limited-English proficient (LEP) population. Thousands of Filipino and Spanish speakers make their home in the Aleutians to work in commercial fishing, a staple of the local economy. In fact, Filipinos are the largest ethnic group in the area. Another 3.5 percent of Alaska’s residents speak Spanish as a first language.   Discussions, presentations, and ice cream Each year, Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference members come together to discuss regional issues, including how to best serve the region’s LEP population. Topics on the table during the 2016 event include sessions on the state of the local fishing industry, the health and wellness of area residents, and how to support a diverse workforce on federally-funded projects. Avantpage’s team of translation experts will be on hand to discuss how our quality translation services can help local businesses and government agencies provide translated documentation in a myriad of settings from healthcare and elections to education and human resources. We’re also looking forward to the ice cream social at the end of the event! The theme for this year’s event is Making Our Own Way and highlights how important it is for Southwest Alaskan communities to come together to meet the area’s economic challenges. Making your own way doesn’t mean you have to go it alone, though. Avantpage can help. Can’t wait til the conference? Contact us today for a free, no obligation quote on your translation project. Image: Paxon...

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California patients now get prescription drug information translated to their own language

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Avantpage blog, Avantpage CEO, Avantpage Events, Avantpage Services, Avantpage Team, Company News, Healthcare News, LEP Translation, Professional Translation

Great news for Californians! Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last month ensuring all patients will get prescription drugs with labels and instructions in their own language. As we’ve mentioned before, providing comprehensive medical care every step of the way in a patient’s own language is the right thing to do. It’s simply good business and in many cases, it’s the law. California has more immigrants than any other state in the US. More than 10 million immigrants — one in four of all the foreign-born population nationwide — call California their home. In 2011, a full 27 percent of California’s population was born outside of the United States, which is about twice the percentage nationwide. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the Limited English Proficient (LEP) population of California reached 6.8 million by 2013, or 27 percent of the total state population. Immigration is clearly an important engine of growth for the United States, especially as our birth rate dips below the replacement level. Providing services that integrate immigrants into our society makes us a more welcoming and desirable place, as well as providing long-term economic gains for the country. New York passed the Safe Rx Act in 2012 and now California stands with them as a progressive and forward-looking state where immigrants will increasingly come to settle and integrate. It’s important that the remaining 48 states do all they can to ensure immigrants have access to safe and reliable information during every step of their healthcare journey.   Image: Charles...

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Healthcare Translation: Not only good business, it’s the law!

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Avantpage blog, Avantpage CEO, Avantpage Events, Avantpage Services, Avantpage Team, Company News, Healthcare News, LEP Translation, Professional Translation

As healthcare in the United States increasingly becomes available to lower income and immigrant populations via the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans are removing barriers to eligibility and increasing benefits. As a result, they’re gaining millions of new customers and many of the new enrollees are recent immigrants with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). In order to best serve the LEP population, health insurance plans are providing translated materials to new members to help them understand the terms, benefits, and details of their new health care plans. Forward looking plan providers are discovering that LEP members are loyal and profitable. Language access is a small expense that pays huge dividends. A series of upcoming bills in California makes it the law to provide even more translation support: SB 388: Translating the Summary of Benefits of Coverage — This bill, sponsored by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), requires health insurance providers to provide a plan’s summary of benefits and coverage in non-English languages. SB 137: Provider Directories — Sponsored by CPEHN, Consumer’s Union, and Health Access, this bill requires accurate and updated provider directories for enrollee’s to use when selecting doctors and hospitals. AB 389: Hospital Language Assistance — This bill, also sponsored by CPEHN, directs acute care facilities to post their LEP language assistance policies online and to also file a copy with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. AB 1073: Translating Prescription Drug Labels  — Sponsored by the California Board of Pharmacy, this bill requires pharmacists to provide translated prescriptions to patients.   We expect Governor Jerry Brown to sign these measures to provide even better and more accessible information to the newly insured LEP populations of California. Over the next few weeks and months we will discuss each of these bills in greater detail and explain the effect they will have on patients and healthcare providers alike. Image: Shawn...

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Breaking Down the Barriers to Translation for LEP Patients

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Avantpage blog, Avantpage CEO, Avantpage Services

Numerous studies show that communicating with patients in their own language results in better health outcomes, leading to healthier patients and lower medical costs for the patient and their insurers. When reflecting on why this is so, it occurs to me that it is just plain old common sense.  When patients, doctors, and medical staff have the ability to communicate, either through well-translated documents or the use of an interpreter, patients receive better medical care. They are able to communicate to their caregivers exactly what is wrong, and in turn doctors and nursing staff are able to explain the diagnosis and treatment clearly so that the patient understands and can follow through with medication and appropriate after-care. So why is it that health care professionals sometimes drag their feet regarding language services? Numerous providers see language services as a burden and an added cost for which they do not get reimbursed. In addition, in our current fee for service system, providers actually lose money if the patient consumes less or lower cost services! Talk about perverse incentives. In truth, provider reimbursement for language services occurs in nontraditional ways: patients come in for treatment earlier before medical situations reach emergency status; they are less likely to ignore discharge instructions because of lack of understanding, and they recover more quickly. All of which leads to lowered costs incurred by insurers and health care organizations. By translating signage, documentation and other media into languages other than English, health care organizations promote clear communication and good will while breaking down language barriers that lead to confusion for LEP patients. Furthermore, when patients know they have access to medical care that is presented in a language they understand, they are more apt to seek out needed care earlier, rather than waiting until a situation reaches emergency status. Now in it second year, the Affordable Care Act encourages better outcomes through proactive care and wellness initiatives. And in today’s new health care marketplace, providers must compete with each other for LEP patients, and to do so they must be able to offer information, services and documentation in languages understood by these groups. Insurance providers now have an added incentive for reaching out to the LEP patients in their own languages. LEP patients are a critical part of Obamacare, and they make up a large number of the newly insured. Again, common sense dictates that language services play a critical role in attracting LEP patients and keeping them happy and healthy.  Addressing language barriers in the health care industry should be part of every provider’s strategy moving...

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