Interpreter services

Providers are required to ensure spoken language and American Sign Language (ASL) access according to Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our Interpreter Service Program supports you in this effort by offering interpreter services for Medicaid covered and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) social service appointments. 

Note: For language access or ADA questions or to file a complaint, visit our nondiscrimination webpage.

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Program changes effective July 1, 2018

The Health Care Authority (HCA) has selected Universal Language Service as the new contractor to provide in-person language access services. 

Starting on Monday, June 18, Language Link will cancel all requests for interpreters for date of service after June 30, 2018. These appointments will be transferred to Universal for processing and will be posted online no later than June 25 2018.

To have the appointment transferred, health care providers MUST register as a requester with Universal

To remain the assigned interpreter for transferred jobs, interpreters MUST register as a interpreter/translator with Universal and complete all documentation requirements no later than June 22

Note: The same interpreter will not be assigned to transferred jobs if all their required documents are not received by June 22. For assistance with submitting documents, please contact interpreter@ulsonline.net

New requests for July 1 and after

All new requests (July 1 and after) for interpreter services must be requested through Universal. Requests are made online through a web-based platform.

Interpreters: Getting ready to accept HCA jobs through Universal 

You must register as a new interpreter/translator with Universal to continue receiving jobs for Medicaid medical and DSHS and DCYF social service appointments. 

Note: Your registration will not be automatic and your documentation will not be transferred from Language Link to Universal. For questions about registering or submitting documents to Universal, please contact interpreter@ulsonline.net.

Providers: Getting ready to request Interpreters through Universal

You must register as a new requester with Universal in order for HCA to pay for interpreters for your clients attending Medicaid or DSHS/DCYF social service appointments. 

Note: Your will need to identify which staff need access. They will all require new, unique login information. For questions about registering and setting up staff with Universal, please contact accounts@ulsonline.net

We will update this page with information about the new contractor. Please check back often. For ongoing updates, please sign up for email notifications.

Providers

As a provider, you are required to provide interpretive services to any client that:

  • Experiences trouble speaking or understanding English.
  • Is deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing.
  • Has a ProviderOne services card.

Types of appointments

You and your patient will choose the appropriate method of communication for their visit.

In-person interpreting

In-person interpreting is most appropriate for complex, sensitive and life-threatening situations.

  • Sharing bad news / worsening health conditions.
  • Family conferences.
  • Speech therapy / neuropsychologic testing.
  • Conscious sedation procedures.
  • Hands-on teaching or demonstrations.
  • Delicate or complex cultural brokering.
  • Medically necessary for specific interpreter request.

Telephonic interpreter

Telephonic interpreter is appropriate when the method of communication does not put the care of the client at risk.

  • For situations where the method of interpretation will not compromise the care provided.
  • For rare or hard to serve languages.
  • When in-person interpretation is not available.
  • For last minute requests.
  • Any time to avoid delay in patient care.

Family member appointment

When the authorized requester schedules two (2) or more consecutive appointments to see multiple family members.

Block time appointment

When the Department of Social and Health Service (DSHS) schedule an on-site appointment at a DSHS Economic Services Administration Office (ESA). These appointments are for a specific amount of time rather than for a specific patient or client.

Services

In order for HCA to pay for interpreter services, the following criteria must be met:

  • The client is an eligible Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) client.
  • Services are an eligible Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) medical benefit.
  • The health care provider must be an HCA enrolled provider.
  • Services are authorized and provided under the HCA contractor.

HCA will NOT pay for interpreter services when:

  • The interpreter is a member of the family.
  • Inpatient hospital services.
  • Nursing facility services.
  • Administrative services:
    • Answering or responding to general phone inquiries.
    • Scheduling appointments.
    • Making reminder calls.
    • Filing.
    • Copying.
    • Cleaning.
    • Miscellaneous tasks.

Interpreters provided through HCA's contractor are required to provide services within the scope of practice as defined by the Interpreter Code of Ethics. Providers may not ask them to perform non language related tasks.

Languages available, by county

Use the following information to determine the languages available in your county.

Adams

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Benton

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic  
ASL 1
Kurdish 1
Russian 5
Spanish 24

Chelan

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 13

Clallam

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Clark

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 1
ASL 2
Bosnian 3
Cambodian (Khmer) 2
Cantonese 5
Chinese 3
Croatian 3
Farsi 4
Laotian 1
Mandarin 7
Persian 1
Romanian 2
Russian 46
Serbian 3
Serbo Croatian 3
Somali 2
Spanish 35
Tagalog 1
Ukrainian 2
Vietnamese 5

Cowlitz

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 5

Douglas

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 5

Franklin

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1
Spanish 28

Grant

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 2
Spanish 13

Grays Harbor

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Island

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Jefferson

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

King

Languages Number of interpreters
Amharic 22
Arabic 29
Armenian 1
ASL 2
Bosnian 2
Bulgarian 1
Burmese 4
Cambodian (Khmer) 4
Cantonese 37
Chinese 13
Dari 9
Farsi 23
French 6
Hindi 5
Ilocano 1
Japanese 6
Korean 17
Kurdish 2
Laotian 1
Mandarin 57
Nepali 3
Oromo (Oromifa) 5
Polish 1
Portuguese 4
Punjabi 19
Romanian 4
Russian 82
Somali 35
Spanish 173
Swahili 1
Tagalog 4
Thai 3
Tigrinya 4
Toishanese (Toishan, Toisanese) 1
Turkish 1
Ukrainian 15
Urdu 4
Vietnamese 31
Yi 1

Kitsap

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 2
Spanish 4
Ukrainian 1

Kittitas

Languages Number of interpreters
ASL 1
Spanish 1

Lewis

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 4

Mason

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 2

Multnomah

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1
Spanish 2

Okanogan

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 2

Pierce

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 4
ASL 4
Cambodian (Khmer) 2
Cantonese 2
Farsi 1
French 2
Hindi 2
Japanese 2
Kirundi (Rundi) 1
Korean 10
Laotian 1
Mandarin 5
Portuguese 1
Punjabi 3
Russian 33
Somali 1
Spanish 68
Swahili 2
Tagalog 1
Thai 1
Ukrainian 4
Vietnamese 16

Skagit

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 3
Spanish 7

Snohomish

Languages Number of interpreters
Amharic 2
Arabic 20
ASL 1
Azerbaijani 1
Bosnian 1
Cantonese 6
Chinese 2
Croatian 1
Dari 1
Farsi 4
French 1
French-Canadian 1
German 1
Hindi 3
Indonesian 1
Korean 12
Mandarin 7
Punjabi 3
Romanian 2
Russian 13
Serbian 1
Serbian Croatian 1
Spanish 56
Swahili 1
Tagalog 2
Thai 1
Ukrainian 1
Urdu 2
Vietnamese 9

Spokane

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 11
Bosnian 1
Burmese 1
Cantonese 1
Croatian 1
Farsi 3
French 3
Kinyarwanda 1
Kirundi (Rundi) 1
Mandarin 2
Nepali 1
Romanian 3
Russian 33
Serbian 1
Spanish 20
Swahili 1
Ukrainian 2
Vietnamese 5

Stevens

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1
Spanish 1

Thurston

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 2
Cantonese 1
Japanese 1
Korean 2
Mandarin 2
Russian 1
Spanish 21
Vietnamese 1

Walla Walla

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 2
Spanish 3
Ukrainian 1

Washington

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Whatcom

Languages Number of interpreters
Mandarin 2
Punjabi 1
Russian 3
Spanish 10

Yakima

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 47

Adams

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Benton

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 2
ASL 1
Kurdish 1
Russian 1
Spanish 14

Chelan

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 12

Clallam

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Clark

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 1
ASL 2
Bosnian 1
Cambodian (Khmer) 2
Cantonese 4
Chinese 2
Croatian 1
Farsi 4
Mandarin 4
Persian 1
Romanian 2
Russian 22
Serbian 1
Serbo Croatian 1
Somali 2
Spanish 18
Ukrainian 1
Vietnamese 6

Cowlitz

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 3

Douglas

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 2

Franklin

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 15

Grant

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1
Spanish 12

Grays Harbor

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Jefferson

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

King

Languages Number of interpreters
Amharic 15
Arabic 13
ASL 2
Burmese 3
Cambodian (Khmer) 2
Cantonese 11
Chinese 5
Dari 5
Farsi 12
French 4
Hindi 3
Japanese 4
Korean 6
Kurdish 2
Laotian 1
Mandarin 25
Nepali 2
Oromo (Oromifa) 4
Punjabi 5
Romanian 2
Russian 37
Somali 13
Spanish 70
Swahili 1
Tagalog 2
Thai 3
Tigrinya 2
Turkish 1
Ukrainian 7
Urdu 2
Vietnamese 14

Kitsap

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 2
Samoan 1
Spanish 4
Ukrainian 1

Kittitas

Languages Number of interpreters
ASL 1
Spanish 1

Lewis

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Mason

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 1

Multnomah

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1

Okanogan

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 4

Pierce

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 2
ASL 4
Cambodian (Khmer) 1
Cantonese 2
French 2
Hindi 1
Japanese 1
Kirundi (Rundi) 1
Korean 4
Laotian 1
Mandarin 3
Portuguese 1
Punjabi 2
Russian 19
Spanish 27
Swahili 2
Thai 1
Ukrainian 2
Vietnamese 5

Skagit

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 3
Spanish 3

Snohomish

Languages Number of interpreters
Amharic 1
Arabic 11
ASL 1
Cantonese 3
Chinese 2
Farsi 3
French 1
French-Canadian 1
German 1
Hindi 3
Korean 5
Mandarin 4
Nepali 1
Punjabi 3
Romanian 1
Russian 7
Spanish 31
Swahili 1
Tagalog 2
Thai 2
Tigrinya 2
Ukrainian 1
Urdu 1
Vietnamese 4

Spokane

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 6
Bosnian 1
Croatian 1
Farsi 2
French 3
German 1
Kinyarwanda 1
Kirundi (Rundi) 1
Mandarin 1
Romanian 1
Russian 11
Serbian 1
Serbo Croatian 1
Spanish 14
Ukrainian 2
Vietnamese 2

Stevens

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1

Thurston

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 1
Cantonese 1
Darsi 1
Farsi 1
Japanese 1
Korean 1
Mandarin 2
Russian 1
Spanish 9
Vietnamese 1

Walla Walla

Languages Number of interpreters
Russian 1
Spanish 2
Ukrainian 1

Whatcom

Languages Number of interpreters
Mandarin 1
Punjabi 2
Russian 2
Spanish 5

Whitman

Languages Number of interpreters
Arabic 1

Yakima

Languages Number of interpreters
Spanish 25

Interpreters

In order to be eligible as a Medical or social service interpreter you must be certified, authorized, or a registered interpreter. For spoken language, DSHS Language Testing and Certification is the certifying authority. For ASL, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is the certifying authority.

Once you have completed the certification, authorization, or registering process contact Universal Language Service to register to accept medical and social services appointments, or email them at interpreter@ulsonline.net

Resources

Program updates

Interpreter services sends updates via our email communications tool, GovDelivery.

Past notifications are available to view through our RSS feed.

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