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Interpreter - Can I bill for an interpreter

sbicknell

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You can bill the patient but no insurance is going to pay. The physicians may not want to bill the patient and just put this down as an expense of doing business

I suggest explaining to the patient that she/he needs to bring someone to interpret for them. That this is their responsibility, not the physician's. Tell them you won't charge for the interpreter this time but it is an expense they will be billed for on future visits and quote them the amount they will be charged.
 

RebeccaWoodward*

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Typically...no

This falls under the ADA Act...

Sec.36.303 Auxiliary aids and services.


(a) General. A public accommodation shall take those steps that may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that taking those steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense.


(b) Examples. The term "auxiliary aids and services'' includes --


(1) Qualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices, assistive listening systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD's), videotext displays, or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;

http://www.ada.gov/reg3a.html#Anchor-97857


A HCPCS code does exist...T1013; however, Medicare does not pay for this. The HCPCS manual does state that this code can be used for private carriers. Payment (if any) will certainly be carrier discretion.
 

sbicknell

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Good point.

But the poster stated this was for a non-english speaking patient. This is not an ADA issue.
 

RebeccaWoodward*

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True...This was implemented by an executive order signed by President Clinton prior to his leaving office that requires health care providers to provide interpretation services for their non-English speaking patients.
 

sbicknell

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Rebecca, Are you saying that non-english speakers are covered under the ADA? I missed this. Do you have a link to more info on this as I don't find anything

thanks
 

sbicknell

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Never mind....found something.

The ADA does not require this but the CRA does.

http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/practicemgt/regulatory-compliance/ada.html

For others interested, scroll down

Does the ADA require a practice to provide translators for non-English speaking patients?

No; however, title VI of the Civil Rights Act does. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination by any program that receives money from the federal government and requires that health and social service providers give their limited-English-proficient (LEP) patients meaningful access to their services, which may entail offering translation services. These services must be provided to the patients free of charge.
 

RebeccaWoodward*

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Rebecca, Are you saying that non-english speakers are covered under the ADA? I missed this. Do you have a link to more info on this as I don't find anything

thanks
No...You are correct on the non-english patient's. I should have included the 1st government requirement in my 1st post.

There are two government requirements for you to provide interpreting services to your deaf or hard-of-hearing patients. One is the executive order signed by President Clinton that requires health care providers to provide interpretation services for their non-English speaking patients. The other is Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires physician practices and other health care providers to provide appropriate "auxiliary aids and services" when necessary to ensure that communication with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing is as effective as communication with others (28 C.F.R. § 36.303(c), according to the National Association for the Deaf). The link below only address' the ADA...

http://www.nad.org/issues/health-care/providers/questions-and-answers
 

RebeccaWoodward*

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For your records...

Executive Order 13166 is the administrative order that was signed by President Clinton in the waning days of his administration that forces every recipient of federal funds to provide interpreters and translations for people who don't speak English, or face prosecution for civil rights violations. The order would apply to almost every federal state and local government agency in the country as well as non-governmental institutions and contractors receiving federal assistance and medical service providers receiving Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement.

http://www.proenglish.org/news/spring2002.html

http://www.justice.gov/crt/cor/Pubs/eolep.php
 
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