The right to communcate…

Bobby Caina Calvan of the Sacramento Bee had the write-up about the new regulations on language access finally getting the force of law.

Millions of Californians with limited English proficiency now have the right to an interpreter from their commercial health and dental plans – made possible by a first-in-the-nation law aimed at dismantling the language barriers that get in the way of good medicine.

The new regulation – implemented New Year’s Day after five years of hearings, delays and wrangling among insurance companies, regulators and consumer advocates – is widely hailed as a milestone in reducing mistakes because of miscommunication.

We were happy to be part of the broad coalition in support of the original law, SB852(Escutia), and the ongoing regulatory process at the Department of Managed Health Care.

Health Access has also been pleased to work to pilot and implement video medical interpretation at various public hospitals, providing an example of how providers can meet these requirements in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Now we need to make sure that patients know their rights–that they don’t have to mime their way through a doctors appointment, or bring their child to translate inappropriate information.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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