In 2019, nearly 66 million people in the US reported speaking a non-English language at home. Despite the linguistic diversity of the US, most healthcare communication in the US is conducted in English which may result in significant gaps for many to understand their care and treatment options.
“Language barriers pose challenges in terms of achieving high levels of satisfaction among medical professionals and patients, providing high-quality healthcare and maintaining patient safety.” Although many larger healthcare institutions offer interpreter services with the aim of improving healthcare communication, it’s impractical to provide this level of service across the continuum ranging from individual practices to larger medical groups and surgery centers.
The goal of recent CMS price transparency requirements and the delivery of Good Faith Estimates (GFE’s) within the No Surprises Act (NSA) is to help foster more effective consumer-driven health care built on a foundation of clear communication about the cost of treatment options. Price transparency builds trust, and it helps people understand their treatment as well as expectations for recovery. Clear language around prices for care and billing are a key part of a quality patient experience.
Connecting and communicating with patients in their native language has been shown to improve care through fewer medical errors, increased understanding of illness and the treatment plan, adherence to the treatment plan, and satisfaction with care.
That’s why at HealthMe, we made the investment to assure that our GFE Engine can enhance patient/provider communications with GFE’s available in 11 of the most commonly spoken languages in the US. Additionally, the NSA includes language about providing GFEs to patients in their first language; HealthMe is the only price transparency solution in the market actually doing so.
Because unfamiliar language can prevent people from seeking appropriate medical care, there is a lot to gain from effective communication with non-English-speaking patients especially around reducing barriers to effective clinical care. By automating the GFE process in multiple languages, HealthMe helps clients assure that staff operates at peak efficiency at vital patient touchpoints.