Provider Manual

Persons with limited english proficienty (lep) policy

All providers must take reasonable steps to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate in their services, activities, programs and other benefits. All providers must have a policy to ensure meaningful communication with LEP members/clients and their authorized representatives involving their medical conditions and treatment.  The policy must also provide for communication of information contained in vital documents, including but not limited to, waivers of rights, consent to treatment forms, financial and insurance benefit forms. (Provider must list those documents applicable to their facility when creating their Policy). All interpreters, translators and other aids needed to comply with this policy shall be provided without cost to the person being served, and members/clients and their families must be informed of the availability of such assistance free of charge.

Language assistance must be provided through use of competent bilingual staff, staff interpreters, contracts or formal arrangements with local organizations providing interpretation or translation services, or technology and telephonic interpretation services. All agency staff must be provided notice of this policy and procedure, and staff that may have direct contact with LEP individuals must be trained in effective communication techniques, including the effective use of an interpreter.

Some LEP persons may prefer or request to use a family member or friend as an interpreter. However, family members or friends of the LEP person must not be used as interpreters unless specifically requested by that individual and after the LEP person has understood that an offer of an interpreter at no charge to the person has been made by the facility. Such an offer and the response must be documented in the member’s file. If the LEP person chooses to use a family member or friend as an interpreter, issues of competency of interpretation, confidentiality, privacy, and conflict of interest must be considered. If the family member or friend is not competent or appropriate for any of these reasons, competent interpreter services must be provided to the LEP person.

Children and other members/clients/patients/residents must not be used to interpret, in order to ensure confidentiality of information and accurate communication.

VBH-PA will conduct regular reviews of the language access needs of our members, as well as update and monitor the implementation of this policy by our provider network as necessary.