Hospitals In Connecticut, Oklahoma Seek To Address Language Barriers In Health Care Through Interpretation Programs

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sat May 10 12:19:58 UTC 2008

Hospitals In Connecticut, Oklahoma Seek To Address Language Barriers
In Health Care Through Interpretation Programs
08 May 2008

The following summarizes recent news coverage of language
interpretation services at hospitals in Connecticut and Oklahoma.

Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Social Services has sent
letters to state hospitals requesting information about each
facility's use of interpretation services, the Connecticut Post
reports. According to the Post, a "growing number of Connecticut
hospitals are relying on certified medical interpreters ... to act as
intermediaries, conveying critical patient information to doctors and
vice versa." The state's request for information will help officials
assess the need for the services, the Post reports. The Connecticut
Health Foundation estimates that hospitals in the state spend about
$4.7 million on interpretation services annually. Patricia Baker,
executive director of the foundation, said the state's Medicaid
program does not allow hospitals to bill for interpretation services,
meaning that hospitals must absorb much of the cost. The Post featured
Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn., which recently signed a
five-year contract with Ohio-based Language Access Network to receive
video-based interpretation services on demand in any foreign language,
as well as sign language. According to the Post, "71 languages and an
untold number of dialects are spoken" in the city, and more than
53,000 residents have limited English proficiency (Brown, Connecticut
Post, 5/7).

Oklahoma: The Oklahoman on Sunday examined the growing need for
interpretation services in Oklahoma hospitals and profiled efforts to
provide those services at Oklahoma University Medical Center.
According to the Oklahoman, the state's hospitals "have various ways
of serving non-English speakers, from trained interpreters on the
phone -- called 'language lines' -- to using nonmedical bilingual
employees." OU Medical Center employs 12 interpreters trained in
medical terminology who take calls from staff in need of
interpretation services. The interpreters also meet with patients. The
center averages 2,000 to 2,200 interpretation sessions monthly, up
from 300 monthly when the interpretation program began four years ago.
Migali Salazar, interpretation services coordinator for the hospital,
said the interpreters also help increase cultural competency at the
hospital (Raymond, Oklahoman, 5/4).

Reprinted with kind permission from You
can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the
archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser
Daily Health Policy Report is published for, a free
service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

(c) 2008 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All
rights reserved.

Article URL:

N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list