Financial Reimbursement for Language Services
A crucial and lesser-known responsibility of healthcare systems is the provision of necessary language services to patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2016, directly mandates that any healthcare provider or health insurance company receiving federal aid must provide LEP patients with a qualified interpreter, free of charge.In turn, healthcare providers must heed the call to ensure language services are readily accessible for all LEP patients. For many healthcare institutions, the language services department is viewed as a cost center. However, there are cost saving avenues for healthcare providers offering language services and additional ways to secure financial reimbursement—strengthening overall financial stability in the process.