Navigation Links
Language Assistance Lacking at Resurrection Hospitals
Date:11/12/2007

Systematic failures in language assistance services affect quality of patient care

CHICAGO, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One of Chicago's largest hospital chains is failing to provide language assistance services required by federal law, according to a complaint filed today with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The complaint, which was filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, alleges that Resurrection Health Care (RHC) has systematically failed to provide the most basic forms of language assistance services to ensure equal access to health care for all patients regardless of English language proficiency.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez joined AFSCME in calling on the eight-hospital Resurrection chain to reform its policies which effectively discriminate against those who do not speak fluent English.

"When people in our communities need health care, they should be assured that the quality of the care they receive won't be compromised because of a language barrier. That's what federal law provides --- and that's the right thing to do," Rep. Gutierrez said.

"I have been very disappointed to learn that Resurrection Health Care hospitals, which serve communities with large numbers of Latinos and other ethnic groups, do not appear to be making a sincere effort to provide the necessary language assistance services," he added.

The complaint alleges that Resurrection's failure to provide these services is a violation of Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits recipients of federal funding, such as Medicare and Medicaid, from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The failure to provide adequate language assistance services to patients in need in the health care setting has been recognized by the courts as a violation of Title VI's ban on national origin discrimination.

Language assistance services include providing trained medical translators and interpreters and providing consent forms and discharge instructions in commonly encountered languages.

Resurrection hospitals treat more Latino patients than any other Chicago health care network, yet employees report only two of RHC's eight hospitals employ professional interpreters. Among other area hospitals that treat high numbers of Latino inpatients, the average percent of revenue spent on language assistance services is five times higher than that at Resurrection.

Leticia Gonzales sought care for severe stomach pain at RHC's St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital. Because of the language barrier the medical personnel were never able to effectively diagnose her condition. After months of suffering she was finally brought to another area hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe gallbladder infection that had spread to the kidneys. She underwent an operation and spent 15 days hospitalized in critical condition.

"Resurrection Health Care has more resources than other community hospitals but is doing far less in assuring that patients can get appropriate treatment no matter what language barriers may exist," said AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director, Henry Bayer.

Rev. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church, also joined in calling for Resurrection to reform its policy.

"We should demand more of any hospital, but we should expect more from a hospital system with a spiritual mission," Father Dowling said. "Beyond the obligation Resurrection has to the public health, they have an obligation to be a beacon of quality health care, administered clearly and understandably, no matter what language you speak."

Idida Perez, Executive Director of West Town Leadership United, summarized the door-to-door survey on barriers to health care access that was conducted over the summer.

"We asked residents who were not fluent in English if they had experienced any difficulties understanding doctors and nurses or reading hospital forms. Over 30% responded that they did experience problems," she said. "This is not acceptable. Patients have a right to professional translation services and failure to provide those services can have a tremendous impact on their health."

Patients who have experienced difficulties receiving language assistance, such as interpretation services or translations of vital health care forms, can call 1-800-899-9728 for more information about their rights and to support the campaign for quality language assistance services at Resurrection Health Care hospitals.

Resurrection employees have been working to form a union with AFSCME Council 31. For more information, visit http://www.reformresurrection.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE HEART/AFSCME
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Insight into the struggles of children with language impairments
2. Babies raised in bilingual homes learn new words differently than infants learning one language
3. Toy Blocks Might Boost Toddlers Language Skills
4. GetWellNetwork Expands Foreign Language Support for the PatientLife System
5. Hospitals Say New Cordless Phone Helps Communication With Patients Who Speak Diverse Languages
6. JGIM: studies show importance of language services on disparities, quality of care
7. Studies Show Importance of Language Services on Reducing Disparities, Increasing Quality of Patient Care
8. USAID Provides Additional Wildfire Assistance to Greece
9. PA Department of Public Welfare Begins Outreach to Medical Assistance Consumers Following Burglary at State Office Building
10. HHS Provides Over $131 Million In Energy Assistance
11. Free Prescription Drug Program Uses Internet to Deliver Cards - Offers Assistance to Uninsured
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, ... the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional ... a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified ... be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major ... only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over ... Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 , , , WHEN: ... 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, ... , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global ... Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager ... pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: