How a professional translator can help with Medi-Cal notices

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid healthcare program. This program pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Medi-Cal is supported by federal and state taxes.

California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) requires that communication between Medi-Cal-receiving managed healthcare plans (MCPs) and patients be translated into the patient’s preferred language. Any failure to do so means that the plan is out of compliance with state and federal laws.

To stay compliant with managed care regulations and requirements for coverage, these MCPs need to demonstrate that they are clearly communicating with members about grievances and appeal requirements, as well as their “rights” and other notifications.

The DHCS  recently tried to simplify their communication, resulting in changes to the state’s “grievances and appeals” and “your rights” notifications.

The challenge for MCPs is that these notices must now be revised and translated into the top 15 languages spoken in California. Most systems that manage these letters are only capable of exporting PDF templates, meaning the source document cannot be easily extracted or edited.

MCPs must also provide interpretation of the spoken word free of charge as needed in these languages. The linguists must be professionally qualified.

The top 15 non-English languages spoken in California are Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Working with a Language Services Provider

Fortunately, MCPs do have an option when it comes to managing these translation projects. By partnering with a language services provider (LSP) like LanguageLine Solutions®, these and future edits can be handled smoothly and with limited operational discomfort. Doing so will ensure that MCPs remain in compliance.

The process is quite simple.

READ MORE: Plain English is the Language You May be Missing

Existing clients can contact their LanguageLine representative for support. We customize our translation portal to allow for the copying and pasting of text into a field. Our linguists process the English source text and return the translated copy in as fast as four hours, depending upon the request.

Before supplying their documents, MCPs must first make sure that their English-language correspondence and templates reflects the DHCS requested edits.

Non-clients can explore translation options by contacting us via our website or 800-752-6096.

Interpretation Is Also Available

It is vital that MCPs have a relationship with a professional interpretation provider in order to remain in compliance. MCPs are prohibited from asking a minor or accompanying adult to interpret these notices unless it is an emergency and not possible to get an interpreter quickly.

READ MORE: Translation Extends the Reach of E-Learning

Fortunately, LanguageLine provides on-demand, one-touch access to professional interpretation in more than 240 languages. Live interpreters can be accessed in seconds, with no appointment necessary. Our medically-qualified linguists are available in-person or via phone and video formats. They are ready and waiting to assist limited English speakers who have questions about their MCP notifications.

LanguageLine Can Help

LanguageLine works with 18 of the top 22 healthcare systems in the U.S.

Our company sets the global standard for phone, video, and onsite interpreting, as well as translation, localization, and testing and training for bilingual staff and interpreters. LanguageLine is trusted by more than 30,000 clients to enable communication with the limited English proficient, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing communities. LanguageLine provides the industry’s fastest and most dependable access to more than 35,000 professional linguists in more than 290 languages - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Please do not hesitate to contact us

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