Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

HHS Releases First Annual Language Access Report

Faridat Animashaun
May 30, 2023

The Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights on May 24, 2023, issued its first annual report on efforts to increase language access for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP).

The report summarizes the agency’s benchmarks and progress toward improving the provision of meaningful access to language assistance services to individuals with LEP. Highlights include increasing the amount of in-language online content and modifications to the HHS homepage.

Throughout the report, HHS emphasizes the necessity for effective communication in health care to prevent misdiagnosis, improper or delayed medical treatment, and barriers to necessary services and programs. The agency calls to reduce barriers in four key areas:

  • Internet access.
  • Telephone access.
  • Access to programs and activities.
  • Federal funds to provide needed language services.

The agency highlights next steps to continue progress, including:

  • Creating a new HHS language access coordinator position.
  • Revising HHS’ 2013 language access plan.
  • Creating a centralized language access center hub for HHS.

Throughout the report, HHS emphasizes the necessity for effective communication in health care to prevent misdiagnosis, improper or delayed medical treatment, and barriers to necessary services and programs.

Contact Director of Policy Rob Nelb, MPH, at rnelb@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

Keep up with the pulse of America's Essential Hospitals

Members: Sign up for email updates.