This section includes documents pertaining to persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). This means persons who are unable to communicate effectively in English because their primary language is not English and they have not developed fluency in the English language. A person with Limited English Proficiency may have difficulty speaking or reading English. An LEP person will benefit from an interpreter who will translate to and from the person’s primary language. An LEP person may also need documents written in English translated into his or her primary language so that person can understand important documents related to health and human services. Information on OCR’s work in the area of nondiscrimination on the basis of national origin can be found at www.hhs.gov/ocr/nationalorigin
LEP Resources and Tools
- Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affection Limited English Proficient Persons
- Questions and Answers Regarding the Department of Health and Human Services Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons
- Summary of the Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons
- Fact Sheet on Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons
- Limited English Proficiency Video (captioned)
- Summary of Selected OCR LEP Complaint Investigations and Compliance Reviews
- OCR Guidance
- HHS Strategic Plan To Improve Access To HHS Programs and Activities By Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons (2000)
- HHS Language Access Plan (2013)
- Other Federal resources (includes documents, references from other HHS components, promising practices and other Federal agencies)
- State and Local Government resources (includes documents, references from State and Local Governments and promising practices)
- Non-Government resources (includes documents, references from Non-Government agencies and promising practices
Teaming up for Language Access Education
- · HHS Press Release – 11/7/09
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Resources for Effective Communication
- Breaking Down the Language Barrier: Translating English Proficiency Policy into Practice Video (CC) – A collaboration of the Departments of Agriculture, HHS, and Justice.
- Chart for Bilingual Interpreters – Sample notification list for providing information on staff and outside interpreter services. (PDF document)
- Civil Rights Clearance for Medicare Provider Certification – Technical assistance, forms, guidance, and educational materials and resources to assist Medicare Providers and Provider Applicants.
- Guidance and Information to Assist Providers of Health and Social Services Serving LEP Persons
- HIPAA Privacy Rule FAQ: Disclosure of Protected Health Information to an Interpreter.
- Improving Patient-Provider Communication Video: Part1 | Part2 | Part3 | Part4 – A collaboration between OCR and the Joint Commission to promote language access education.
- Sample Policy and Procedures for Effective Communication with LEP Persons
Other Federal Resources
- Addressing Heath Literacy, Cultural Competency, and LEP – A Unified Health Communication on-line training course to improve patient-provider communication. (the Health Resources and Services Administration)
- CMS Policy Guidance on Medicaid for LEP Persons
- Medicaid and CHIP Guidance on Increase Federal Matching Funds for Translation and Interpretation Services (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
- Health Care Language Services Implementation Guide – An interactive web-based planning tool for implementing language access services. The Office of Minority Health Guide includes:
- Resources for implementing language access services annotated bibliography;
- Language access services needs assessment planning and implementation worksheets;
- List of websites with non-English language patient education materials; and
- Funding sources for language access services information.
- LEP.gov – A clearinghouse for information, tools, and technical assistance on LEP Proficiency and language services for federal agencies, recipients of federal funds, users of federal programs and federally assisted programs, and other stakeholders. (the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP)
- The Office of Minority Health National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services – A site for examples of effective practices for health care providers and health care organizations to increase access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
Other Organizational Resources
Please note: External links to other sites are intended to be informational only and do not have the endorsement of HHS and OCR.
- Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, & Patient-and Family-Centered Care (A Joint Commission resource site)
- Data Collection and Use Disparities Toolkit – A web-based tool to collect race, ethnicity, and primary language data from patients. (The Health Research and Educational Trust)
- Medical Interpreters Training Program for Bilingual Hospital Staff – Information request form. (the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust)
- I Speak – Language Identification Guide. (A collaboration between the State of Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, and the American Translators Association.)
- Language Services Resource Guide for Health Care Providers – A publication for providing language services, developing language access plan, identifying language services, training programs, and assessment tools. (The National Health Law Program)
- Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Database – HealthTranslations.com contains more than 650 translated documents and 70 resources. (the Missouri Hospital Association)
- Straight Talk: Model Hospital Policies and Procedures on Language Access – A publication of best practices on policies and procedures to address language access service issues. (The California Health Care Safety Net Institute)
- Tools for Improving Language Services Delivery – A publication for hospitals to facilitate effective, efficient, and timely communication with LEP patients. (the Speaking Together: National Language Services Network)
Effective Communication in Hospitals
Good medical care depends upon effective communication between patients and providers. Ineffective communication can lead to improper diagnosis and delayed or improper medical treatment. Effective communication with persons who have limited English proficiency, as well as persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, often requires interpreters or other services. Many hospitals are actively taking steps to address these needs. However, hospitals face increasing challenges to meet the communication needs of an increasingly diverse population.To help hospitals meet these challenges, OCR is collaborating with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its affiliates in an Effective Communication in Hospitals Initiative. OCR also is making information, resources and tools available to all healthcare organizations that assist persons with limited English proficiency, and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, to help ensure the effective communication that is essential to quality health care for all persons.
- OCR-AHA Collaboration: “Effective Communication in Hospitals Initiative”
- Effective Communication Resources for Health Providers
- Civil Rights Laws and Regulations