A new federal law that requires hospitals, small provider practices, and dentists to offer interpreters to non-English-speaking patients for free is putting a strain on some struggling rural providers, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. In a letter to Congress, the American Medical Association argues that insures should pick up the tab, rather than providers.
In about 21% of homes in the country, a language other than English is spoken. Framers of the law, which applies to providers serving Medicaid beneficiaries (among other patients who receive federal funding), hope that this will lead to better preventive services for populations not currently getting them.
Source: Pew Charitable Trusts