A person who is hearing impaired has rights under the Americans With disabilities Act (ADA) and complaints about violations have been filed with the Department of Justice. You cannot charge for interpreter services. The physician's office has to eat the cost. I know it's not fair, because it will cost you more for an interpreter than you will be able to collect from Medicare but if you violate this law, you can be turned in and fined heavily. There are people who make a living by going around to various businesses specifically looking for ADA violations and suing them or threatening to sue and then settling out of court. Check out this weblink: http://www.cdhh.idaho.gov/documents/...to_medical.pdf it gives a pretty good overview and directs you to the Department of Justice website and their guide.
Oh, and by the way, it's not just hearing impaired patients that you have to provide interpreters for. If you do business with the government (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) you may have to provide an interpreter in any language for a patient who is not fluent in english and requires or requests it -- at no charge. It's called LEP - Limited English Proficiency. If you don't comply it can be considered a civil rights violation.
Civil Rights Clearance is now a requirement for Medicare participation. See: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/r...amainpage.html
Check out these websites:
Hope this helps.
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