Category Archives: Medical interpreting

News

Updates to the OHA Health Care Interpreting Certification Program

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has updated its application form to match the requirements of the latest Health Care interpreting law.

There have been changes to the following items:

  • Language proficiency level required
  • Certification exams accepted
  • Background checks are now required
  • Hours of interpreting experience required
  • Continuing education requirements

This document explains the rationale for the changes.

This document lists the requirements for Qualified and Certified Health Care Interpreters in Oregon.

This page has the links to the current application forms.
 

These links were verified on September 21, 2016

News

OSTI: Supporting All, Including a Vietnamese Interpreter in Eugene

By Bradley Owen

My name is Bradley Owen and I am a new interpreter working in the Eugene/Springfield sister-city area in the lower Willamette Valley.  I moved to this beautiful multicultural community from the East Coast in 2014. I’ve been doing Vietnamese medical interpreting here for about a year, and on a voluntary basis for the last nine years in Vermont and Oklahoma.

After breaking into the professional interpreting field in 2015, I was introduced to OSTI after reaching out to the Oregon Healthcare Interpreter Association (OHCIA) for advice on how to launch as a full-time professional. Then, several members of OSTI, including the President, were kind enough to visit my home for an informational interview a few weeks later in the fall of 2015.

Beginning with our first meeting that evening in September 2015, OSTI has been my main source of information that I trust and rely on for my interpreting work in Oregon. OSTI members form a large professional network throughout the state of Oregon and neighboring states, and they have even helped me make professional connections in other states far and wide around the Pacific Northwest. OSTI is a professional network resource utilized by nationally certified court and medical interpreters, ATA-certified translators, and other professionals who have decades of experience at the leading edge of the industry.

But more importantly, OSTI is a group of professionals seeking to scale up the impact of the work we do for our stakeholders. OSTI works to raise professional standards for the industry, help interpreters and translators be in a position to negotiate appropriate compensation, and provide education and training as well. Without the support of OSTI, I would have had a very hard time climbing the ladder in this extremely dynamic and diverse profession.

Bradley Owen, Vietnamese Interpreter

Bradley Owen, Vietnamese Interpreter

 

 

News

Federal regulations for translation and interpreting in medical settings

Below please find the new federal regulations for interpreting and translation services in health programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Through agencies such as the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS provides federal financial to health programs and activities of local governments, state governments, and the private sector. An entity may receive federal financial assistance from more than one component in the department. For instance, federally qualified health centers receive federal financial assistance from CMS by participating in the Medicare or Medicaid programs and also receive federal financial assistance from HRSA through grant awards.

US HHS rule on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On September 8, 2015 US HHS posted the proposed rule online and opened it for public comments. The comment period closed on November 9, 2015. On May 13, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights issued the final rule implementing of Section 1557. There were 2,166 comments received by US HHS. Comments can be found at this link.

The following language organizations submitted their comments:
• National Association for the Deaf (NAD) 11/17/2015 HHS-OCR-2015-0006-1824
• National Language Access Advocates Network (N-LAAN) 11/17/2015 HHS-OCR-2015-0006-1834
• National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) 11/13/2015 HHS-OCR-2015-0006-1008
• Washington State Coalition for Language Access (WSCLA) 11/17/2015 HHS-OCR-2015-0006-1561
• Language World Services, Inc. 10/30/2015 HHS-OCR-2015-0006-0254

Full text of the rule:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/18/2016-11458/nondiscrimination-in-health-programs-and-activities#sec-92-201%20

Code of Federal Regulations TITLE 45 PUBLIC WELFARE
Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities
A Rule by the US Health and Human Services Department (HHS) published on May 18, 2016

Highlights of the rule applicable to language access in translation and interpreting for healthcare:

This final rule clarifies and codifies existing nondiscrimination requirements and sets forth new standards to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in health programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS or the Department) and entities established under Title I of the ACA.

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News

How can I become a licensed translator or interpreter in Oregon?

Recently, one of our readers asked this question and we thought others might benefit from this answer.

In Oregon, the steps to obtaining health care interpreting certification are listed here while information on becoming a certified court interpreter is available here.

OSTI strives to announce all trainings available for interpreting and translation at the OSTI calendar page. It’s also worth pointing out that many courses offered by the Oregon Court interpreting program are beneficial not only to court interpreters, but to those wishing to improve their medical interpreting skills as well.

There is no translation license in the United States. The American Translators Association has a certification process of its own for translators interested in strengthening their resume in this way. OSTI has a study group that is preparing for the ATA certification exam, and we have put together a wealth of information on how to get ready for it here.

There is more information on translation and interpreting certifications on the OSTI website.

News

Workers Compensation Rules Review

Recently, OSTI President Helen Eby met with the Workers Compensation Rules Committee and submitted an Interpreter Rules Clean proposal because the Compensation rules lack minimum requirements for interpreters. Under the current rules, any neighbor or friend can interpret.
2015 11 23 Workers Compensation Interpreting Rules Clean

During the meeting on November 23, she recommended that interpreters be certified or qualified by the standards of the Oregon Health Authority or the Oregon Courts.

In addition to the input regarding qualifications, she recommended making payment practices more flexible because of complaints that not all interpreting appointments scheduled under Workers Compensation were actually being paid. Since interpreters are not responsible for determining whether an appointment qualifies for Workers Compensation or not, she felt changes needed to be made.
She also proposed that a clarification be made as to when the quarter hours start, and make it easier for interpreters to understand and be compatible with other areas in which they practice.
During the discussion, the issue of interpreters not being able to answer questions about their appointments came up. Some of the stakeholders were not aware that professional interpreters follow a code of ethics. Helen Eby, OSTI President, submitted a comparison of the codes of ethics followed by professional interpreters in Oregon.
Interpreting Codes of Ethics that Apply in Oregon

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News

How to work with an interpreter

Both interpreters and users of interpreter services can take proactive steps to ensure that a session stays on track. Professional interpreters follow certain protocols to ensure this, and users of interpreting services can elicit these protocols when they are not followed. Interpreters provide their services in a variety of fields, so the examples provided come from several fields to illustrate these principles. Interpreting is interpreting, as Holly Mikkelson says.

I have interpreted the following exchanges in some sessions:
– You surely must have understood what you were doing when you signed this document. After all, you were working with an interpreter!
– Well, they interpreted for me, but I didn’t really understand that this is what it would mean!

How can we reduce the likelihood of this situation?

First, I introduce myself as an interpreter and make these statements:

– I am the voice of the interviewee in English and the voice of the investigator in Spanish.
– I am not there to explain or clarify anything, but I am there to help them both communicate clearly.
– I am there to interpret everything: insults, joy, side conversations, everything.

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News

Health Care Interpreter Rules Advisory Committee

The review of the Rules that regulate that Health Care Interpreter law is open.

The Oregon Health Authority is seeking input through the Rules Advisory Committee. OSTI has representatives on this Committee.

The following file outlines changes recommended by OSTI based on the current law, the current implementations of the Rules by the Oregon Health Authority, and other updated knowledge. These regulations were written in 2001, when some of this information was not as complete as it is now, so it is in need of updating. Continue reading

News

Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters Application Forms

There are vacancies on the Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreter Interpreters.

In 2016, the composition of the Council changes to reflect the new law:

(1) The Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters is created in the Oregon Health Authority. The council shall consist of no more than 15 members, appointed by the Director of the Oregon Health Authority, representing: Continue reading