If you have a deaf or hard of hearing patient or a patient with limited English proficiency, you have a legal obligation to secure services that enable effective communication. Riverside has certified signing and interpreting services available to all providers.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act require that physician practices that receive federal financial assistance, including physicians participating in Medicare, Medicaid or any other joint federal-state program, must:
- Provide reasonable accommodations at their own expense, to create effective communication for disabled individuals including the deaf or hearing impaired
- Provide reasonable access at their own expense to interpreting services for patients who are not English language proficient.
Signing Services for the Hearing Impaired
Although the regulations do not require that an interpreter be provided if other means of communication are acceptable, it may be necessary for physicians to hire qualified interpreters for deaf patients seeking treatment.
Hampton Roads has 18 certified signers who will come to your practice or other location at a pre-arranged time. For more information or for assistance regarding specific services, please contact Rebecca Genteline – Ramirez.
Non English Speaking Patients
Effective communication is ultimately the physician's responsibility. If you are not bilingual, the best alternative is to use a trained medical interpreter, translator or telephone based remote interpreting service available at a number of locations throughout Riverside. The cost of the interpreting service rests with the physician practice.
Whether a qualified interpreter is required generally depends on the seriousness or urgency of care required. In complex cases such as surgery or where a complex diagnosis or treatment decision must be made, an interpreter may be warranted where in cases of a routine office visit it may not.
For more information or assistance regarding specific services, please contact Rebecca Genteline – Ramirez.
To read more about these topics, see the April issue of American Medical news, "Making sure your patients know what you're saying."