Provider responsibilities for cultural and linguistic services
Health care providers are responsible for ensuring that patients fully understand their diagnoses and treatment guidelines regardless of their preferred language. In order to ensure that all CKC Members receive access to covered benefits, Plan providers are expected to comply with federal and state requirements regarding cultural and linguistic services. It is not permissible to turn a Member away or limit participation because of language barriers; to subject a Member to unreasonable delays due to language barriers; nor to provide services to CKC Members that are lower in quality than those offered in English.
Following the tips below will help providers and their staff communicate effectively with CKC patients and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
- Contact California Kids Care (CKC) if you need help in providing language assistance services (interpretation, translated documents, etc.) for any of your CKC patients.
- Document all requests and refusals in patients’ medical charts.
- Document language requirements in patients’ medical charts.
- Inform patients of their right to interpreter services, at no cost to the patient, even when a patient is accompanied by a family member or friend who can provide interpretation services.
- Inform patients that they may call CKC Member Services 1-844-225-5430 (TTY 711) to request translated documents at no cost them and register their preferred languages with the plan.
- Post signs in appropriate languages informing CKC patients of the availability of free interpreter services.
- Prior to meeting with a patient, look to see if his or her language needs information has been documented in the file.
- Provide periodic training to office staff on cultural competency and use of interpreters.
- Remember that a patient should never be required to bring his or her own interpreter, and that a patient’s family members should not be encouraged to serve as interpreters. In addition, minors should not be used as interpreters.
- To decrease the wait time and to provide timely access to care, arrange for interpreting services at the time appointments are made.