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Interpretation Requirements

  • Provider Based Interpretation

    • A professionally trained interpreter must be offered when a LEP participant is accessing care in any health care professional setting (pharmacy, physician office, ER room, etc.) Use of family and friends as interpreters should be discouraged, especially minors.

    • Document interpreter refusal in the patient medical record when a patient prefers to use a family member or friend (for example) to provide interpretation services, after s/he has been told that a trained interpreter is available free of charge. This not only protects you and your practice, it also ensures consistency when your medical records are monitored through site reviews/audits by contracted health plans to ensure adequacy of the plan’s Language Assistance Program.

    • Smart practice tips:

      • If a CIGNA patient prefers to use family/friend as an interpreter, consider using a telephonic interpreter in addition to ensure accuracy of interpretation.

      • Document the patient’s preferred language in paper and/or electronic medical records (EMR) in the manner that best fits practice flow.

        • i.e. for paper records, post colored stickers on pt chart to flag when an interpreter is needed (Orange=Spanish, Green=Russian etc). 19

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