Interpreter services

Providers are required to assure language 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 appointments through our contract with CTS LanguageLink.  

If CTS LanguageLink is unable to find an interpreter or the appointment is urgent, you must still provide language access services and HCA recommends you have a backup process to use.

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.

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

  • On-site interpreting is most appropriate for complex, sensitive and life-threatening situations.
  • Video remote and telephonic interpreter is appropriate when the method of communication does not put the care of the client at risk.

For questions about the program or to sign up as a participating provider, contact CTS LanguageLink or email hcaproviders@ctslanguagelink.com.

Method of communication

In-person appointment: when an interpreter provides services face to face to a specific patient or client(s).

  • 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 necessity for specific interpreter request.

Telephonic and video appointment: when using telephone or video remote technologies.

  • 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. These appointments are for a specific amount of time rather than for a specific patient or client.

Services

We will pay for interpreter services when:

  • The client is an eligible Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) client.
  • Services are an eligible Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) medical benefit.
  • Interpreter is DSHS certified, qualified, or recognized.
  • Services are authorized and provided under the HCA contract with CTS LanguageLink.

We will NOT pay for interpreter services when:

  • The interpreter is a member of the family.
  • The interpreter is not contracted with CTS LanguageLink.
  • The medical service is not covered by the client's medical benefits package.
  • The interpreter is requested by someone other than the requester.

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

  • Answering or responding to general phone inquiries.
  • Scheduling appointments.
  • Making reminder calls.
  • Filing.
  • Copying.
  • Cleaning.
  • Miscellaneous tasks.

Interpreters

In order to be eligible as a Medical or social service interpreter you must be certified, authorized, or a registered interpreter with DSHS Language Testing and Certification.

Once you have completed the process contact CTS LanguageLink to register to accept medical and social services appointments, or email them at hcainterpreters@ctslanguagelink.com.

Resources