Maria Vertkin quoted in newsletter article on medical interpretation in MA

Today, Found in Translation was featured in the Patient Safety Beat, a newsletter for healthcare professionals by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety. In the article, experts in the interpreting and healthcare fields discuss language access needs in MA and how this access (a legally-protected civil right) is now under threat with recent proposed changes to federal mandates.

According to the article, “Under the proposed rule, providers would still be required to offer qualified interpretive services free of charge to patients but notifying patients that services are available would be optional. In addition, fewer people would have the right of access. The new rule would allow organizations to limit their interpretive services to the average need of their patients—not in response to the need of individuals—and fewer federal programs would be regulated.”

It is terrifying how this proposed regulation change would chip away at the civil rights of people who already face so many barriers and who, due to a language barrier, would have a very hard time trying to get the services we are all entitled to. Thankfully, Massachusetts has resources like Found in Translation and other interpreter programs and providers to address some of these challenges.

Read the full article here.