Linguistic Competence

Over 1.8 million individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid speak a language other than English at home or do not speak English fluently.[1] Limited English Proficiency (LEP) is associated with lower quality of care and decreased access to health care services.[2],[3]

Linguistic  competence refers to the ability of organizations to provide “readily available, culturally appropriate oral and written language services to LEP individuals through such means as bilingual/bicultural staff, trained medical interpreters, and qualified translators.”[4] Communicating with individuals in their preferred languages is an important part of person-centered care and key to ensuring beneficiaries have access to high quality health care services. These resources describe actionable strategies plans and providers can use to deliver linguistically competent services.

 
References
[1] Proctor, K., Wilson-Frederick, S. M., & Haffer, S. C. (2018). The Limited English Proficient Population: Describing Medicare, Medicaid, and Dual Beneficiaries. Health Equity, 2(1), 82-89. Retrieved from https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/heq.2017.0036
[2] Ibid.
[3] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Providing Language Services to Diverse Populations: Lessons from the Field. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/OMH/Downloads/Lessons-from-the-Field-508.pdf 
[4] AHRQ. Planning Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/primary-care/cultural-competence-mco/planclas.html

 

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