Covered Sign and Foreign Spoken Language Interpreter ServicesPrimeWest Health covers sign and foreign spoken language interpreter service with the following conditions:
- Providers are responsible for arranging the interpreter service and paying the interpreter. Use the same principles that you normally use when hiring, contracting, or arranging with a person to provide services to your patients.
- Three people must be present for the service to be covered: the provider, the patient, and the interpreter
- For sign language interpreter services, the interpreter may be on a video screen when using video remote interpreter services
- For foreign spoken language interpreter services, the interpreter may be on the phone
- Staff members at the provider's office who are qualified in sign language or competent in foreign spoken language interpretation may interpret the medical service
- Minor children should never be used as interpreters. Providers may not require a patient to use a family member or friend as an interpreter. However, some people may feel more comfortable when a family member or friend acts as an interpreter.
- Providers must initiate an offer to provide free and timely language assistance when patients and staff are having difficulty understanding each other or when patients ask for language (sign or foreign spoken) assistance
PrimeWest Health also covers language interpreter services for the parent/guardian when the patient is a minor.
In some cases, interpreter services need to be made available on an expedited/emergency basis.
Translating documents (paper to paper) is not a covered foreign spoken language interpreter service.