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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Avantpage Attends Vegas Health & Benefits Conference

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in Avantpage Events, B2B, Company News, Healthcare News, LEP Translation

Recently, Avantpage representatives David Serra and Lori Ann Reinhall attended the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference at the prestigious Aria Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. This conference was a great chance for Avantpage to connect with leaders in the healthcare benefit space. We listened, learned and spoke with professionals from a variety of healthcare, benefits and insurance areas. The Health & Benefits Leadership Conference is one of the industry’s most important conferences, drawing attendees from all over the country.  Innovations, trends and new approaches in the healthcare benefits industry were highlighted. Topics included: wellness programs, compensation and financial security, lifestyle health issues, and innovative strategies for improving workforce health.   Why health & benefits are good for business: During the two-day conference, we found that supporting and sustaining a healthy workforce begins with communication, understanding and commitment on the part of human resource and benefits professionals. From there, establishing a corporate culture that champions health and wellness lies on the shoulders of an organization’s top tier executives. Smart organizations choose to promote health and wellness initiatives from within. They create company-wide policies that support and encourage healthy workers in all areas. As a result, performance, productivity, job satisfaction and general well-being all increase as workers take charge of their health with the help and support of the organizations they work for.   Health & Benefits Conference takeaways: Healthcare benefits are one of the most important factors in employee recruiting, retention and performance Employers are looking for the means to manage costs as well as to give employees opportunities to make appropriate health choices for themselves The promotion of both financial literacy and healthy lifestyles are smart ways to increase employee well-being both on and off the job Communication is key to providing employees with the information they need to take advantage of their organizations’ benefits and health programs There is a wide array of fascinating new software, apps, and other tech breakthroughs that give employees more control over their health and fitness than ever before What Avantpage can bring to health & benefits: We also spent time talking to many conference participants about the growing LEP (Limited English Proficient) populations in the U.S. and the need to reach out to these individuals through communication in their own languages.  Once LEP employees fully understand the healthcare options available to them, they can utilize their benefits appropriately to become healthier, more productive workers. Not only are LEP clients a very important part of the workforce, the outreach to them has tremendous business/growth potential for those in the healthcare and insurance industries. For more information on Avantpage’s translation expertise in the healthcare space and our linguistic services, download our brochure, or email David...

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Your Favorite Avantpage Blog Posts (So Far!) of 2015

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Avantpage blog, Avantpage Services, Company News

Everybody likes a good story and readers of the Avantpage blog are no exception. We work hard to bring you the most informative industry news and insight so you can make informed decisions about your important translation projects. Here are some of our posts from 2015 that you’ve told us you like best. Enjoy! E-learning Is Going Global … Are You Ready? E-learning is growing in popularity across the globe. So has the need to produce coursework in a variety of languages, but translating e-learning materials is more than just linguistics. Learn why.   Translation Resources Can Improve Education for Millions New laws that make it possible for undocumented students to attend college and a jump in the number of LEP public school students has led to an unprecedented rise in the need for translation resources in educational settings. Education translation has the potential to improve the school experience for millions of students nationwide. Find out how.   The Importance of Preserving Endangered Languages The preservation of endangered languages is important for safeguarding the native tongues of cultures around the world. It’s a mission critical task for linguistics and translation professionals around the world. Learn how you can help.   Avantpage Enhances HR and Customer Service with Casino Translation When the Avantpage team stepped up to help translate maps, flyers, training materials, and signage for a Seattle-area casion into six different languages, no one realized the tremendous and positive impact it would have on both guests and staff members. Continue reading to find out what happened.   Translation or Transcreation: Which is Right For You? Translation and transcreation seem like similar terms but they actually mean very different things. The former compares apples to apples while the latter embraces the whole apple tree. Read on to find out what we mean.   Avantpage Forges Partnerships in Healthcare Translation The results are in from our 2014 survey and we are excited to report that more than 97 percent of our healthcare translation clients were fully satisfied with our medical translation services. But the good news didn’t stop there! See the full results of our survey.   Making the Most of Your Website Localization Project Professional website localization entails much more than simply changing words into another language. We put together some helpful tips that cover what you need to know to make your website localization project shine. Continue...

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Healthcare Translation: What Are Your Options?

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Avantpage Services, Case Studies, Company News, Healthcare News

Now that access to quality medical care in the U.S. has become easier under the Affordable Healthcare Act, health providers are increasingly faced with the challenge of treating patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). Fortunately, there are several healthcare translation options that help ensure patients receive information and advice in their native language.   Healthcare translation option #1: In-person In an ideal world, each patient would have access to a native speaker of their language throughout their medical journey. Patients often use family members to help interpret during medical visits, but the risk of translation error is quite high. Some hospitals provide on-site professional medical interpreters, but staffing for every possible language need is nearly impossible. In many cases, the cost of professional in-person interpreter services is prohibitive. According to Modern Healthcare, “an American Medical Association survey found that costs of $150 or more for interpreter services often exceeded a physician’s payment for the visit, presenting what the AMA called a ‘significant hardship’ for practices.”   Healthcare translation option #2: Video In an effort to keep costs down while still providing professional language services, many hospitals are turning to video technology. “West Chester Hospital [in southeast Ohio] since November has used a handful of iPads at patients’ bedsides to access certified translators in over 10 languages through LanguageLine Solutions. The iPads are on wheels and stand about three feet tall, said Rosemary Bake, interpretive services coordinator,” reports Hannah Poturalski of the Journal-News. Video interpretation is a more cost-effective way for healthcare facilities to provide language services without sacrificing the quality and expertise professional interpreters bring to the table. It also provides access to a wider range of languages without requiring hospitals and doctor’s offices to be staffed with several different in-house interpreters.   Healthcare translation option #3: Written documentation While in-person or video translation options are helpful, they aren’t practical for every healthcare environment or budget. Furthermore, they’re of little use once the patient leaves the facility. This is where written documentation has a serious edge over other types of language services.  All 50 states have laws regarding language access in healthcare settings. Some simply require medical providers to provide basic translation services while other state regulations are far more comprehensive. For instance, all California health plans must provide translation and language assistance services to enrollees with limited English proficiency. As of 2011, hospitals and healthcare facilities seeking accreditation by the Joint Commission must translate all forms, documentation, signage, and patient care instructions into languages appropriate to the community it serves. Written documentation that has been translated by professional linguistic experts is not only the law, it’s an important step in providing safe, quality patient care. Professional healthcare translation doesn’t...

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