Health and Human Services Equal Access for Limited English Proficiency Patients

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mission is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. They fund programs for health insurance coverage, social services, prevention and wellness programs, public health and safety programs, and more.

Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 require HHS funded institutions to provide equal access to individuals of limited English proficiency to their programs or services. If you are a hospital, nursing home, managed cared organization, health agency or other institution receiving financial assistance from HHS, you must provide program or service access to patients of limited English proficiency (LEP) via an interpreter or with translated materials.

The Office for Civil Rights issued a policy guidance for Title VI compliance for institutions to follow. HHS assisted institutions must inform the patient of free interpreting services. If a patient requires an interpreter, the medical interpreter must be familiar with medical terminology and understand patient confidentiality issues. Medical interpreters help avoid miscommunication between the patient and the health and human services institution.

In addition to interpreting services, the Office of Civil Rights has outlined factors that also require the institution to translate written material for patients of limited English proficiency. Institutions that provide care or a service to a certain number of LEP individuals are required to translate written material that may be vital to the patient. Some of these forms include consent and patient information forms that are important to providing the patient with proper care.

Interpreter and translation services plays an important role in preventing medical errors and providing standard care for patients of limited English proficiency.

Learn more about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Title VI by visiting

Universal Language Services ™ (“ULS”) Medical Interpreters and Health Interpreters work in healthcare settings and help patients communicate with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. Our interpreters have a strong grasp of medical terminology and the common words for those medical terms in both languages.

Call our office at (954) 749-9199 to discuss your medical interpreter needs or click on the button below to Contact Us about Medical Interpreters.

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