As the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) cracks down on LEP noncompliance, video remote interpreting (VRI) company Stratus Video Interpreting offers a cost-effective solution for equal language access.
November 03, 2014, Clearwater, FL – Recent compliance reviews and complaint investigations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reflect a continuing crackdown on noncompliance with limited English proficiency (LEP) standards in the healthcare sector. Amid the ongoing challenges faced by healthcare providers and their LEP patients, video remote interpreting (VRI) services have emerged as a cost-effective solution for equal language access. Stratus Video Interpreting supports a growing number of hospitals, medical centers and healthcare systems in fulfilling LEP requirements and avoiding OCR noncompliance penalties and lawsuits.
To highlight its efforts toward nondiscriminatory access for LEP and deaf/hard-of-hearing patients, OCR has published online summaries of its recent civil rights resolution agreements and compliance reviews (1) as well as enforcement activities and results for select LEP cases (2). Healthcare providers found to be in violation of LEP standards risk penalties such as fines and loss of Federal funding; however, OCR will first attempt to resolve the case through corrective action under a voluntary agreement. Among the entities that have signed resolution agreements to improve interpretation services are Mee Memorial Hospital, Genesis HealthCare, Memorial Health System of Colorado, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital and Resurrection Health Care.
“While most healthcare providers recognize the need to support patients with limited English proficiency, many don’t realize their current LEP systems are inadequate until OCR initiates a compliance review or complaint investigation,” noted Sean Belanger, CEO of Stratus Video Interpreting. “At that point, they’re not only challenged with implementing corrective action, but they may also face the added pressures of negative publicity, fines and other noncompliance penalties.”
For these reasons, Belanger advises healthcare administrators to take a proactive approach in analyzing their LEP programs and improving their interpretation services. “There is no need for organizations to risk LEP violations when video remote interpreting provides an easy and economical way to achieve compliance.
The ability to access qualified interpreters on demand enables healthcare systems and their patients to enjoy greater efficiency and cost savings without sacrificing quality of care.”
To illustrate the value of video interpretation services, Belanger cites a Stratus client that replaced face-to-face interpretation with VRI in one hospital department and achieved a 72% cost reduction, saving $6,500 over a three-week period.
“The advantages and affordability of video interpretation services are driving a market shift in the language services industry, as a growing number of organizations facilitate their from face-to-face and phone-based interpretation services with VRI to accommodate more LEP patients,” asserted Belanger.
According to the latest reports from Common Sense Advisory, the size of the global language services and technology market stands at US $37.19 billion and is growing at a rate of 6.23% (3) – a growth which Stratus executives attribute to the ever-increasing LEP population which has created a market in which VRI is quickly becoming the modern interpreting technology. As such, the company has continued in its efforts to provide effective interpreting services to those who need them by recently acquiring Capiche, a company which represents the forefront of modern interpreting systems and offers the first WebRTC-based interpreting platform that connects LEP individuals with interpreters. The integration of the Capiche platform expands Stratus’ technical capabilities into WebRTC, a leading edge communications platform, and will provide critical technology enhancements to meet the rapidly growing demand for VRI.
Stratus has also been very vocal in pushing for nationwide standardization with regard to language services within healthcare and court systems, which the company deems necessary due to the rising diversity of the U.S. population.
For more information on Stratus and its video remote interpretation services, visit http://www.stratusvideo.com.
About Stratus Video Interpreting
Stratus Video Interpreting provides on-demand interpreter services by using technology to connect clients with interpreters in over 175 spoken and signed languages in less than 30 seconds. Stratus’ cloud-based video solution delivers an array of unique features to virtually any Internet-enabled PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet. Stratus clients use the technology to connect with their own staff interpreters, as well as with Stratus interpreters, who have years of healthcare and courtroom experience and hold multiple certifications. With Stratus, state-of-the-art video remote interpreting is made available with virtually no capital investment. Stratus averages 65,000 video calls a day, up from 40,000 in mid-2013. Stratus Video is the sister company of The Z® (CSDVRS, LLC, dba ZVRS), which was established in 2006 and developed by and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, setting the industry standard as the nation’s premier Video Relay Service Provider and the first VRS Provider to receive a 5-Year certification from the FCC. In 2014, Stratus was recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies, ranking #3,827 on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list. For more information, visit http://www.stratusvideo.com.
1. HHS Office for Civil Rights. “Recent Civil Rights Resolution Agreements & Compliance Reviews”; last updated August 21, 2014; accessed October 6, 2014. hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/activities/agreements/
2. HHS Office for Civil Rights. “Enforcement Success Stories Involving Persons with Limited English Proficiency”; last updated August 21, 2014; accessed October 6, 2014. hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/activities/examples/LEP/
3. Hedge, Vijayalaxmi. “At the Stands Now: The Language Services Market: 2014.” 2014. N.p., 26 June 2014. Web. 9 Oct. 2014. commonsenseadvisory.com/Default.aspx?Contenttype=ArticleDetAD&tabID=63&Aid=21545&moduleId=390.
Karla Jo Helms
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