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:5/24/2017)... ... ... Myers Jackson is well known for auctioning homes that people move and ... the planet. The luxury home market is alive and well and there are mansions ... of “11 Spyglass Hill Auction will enlighten you on the dynamics of how to ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Lake Orion, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... is a disease affecting the female reproductive tract in which the endometrial ... the pelvic structures causing inflammation and pain. Patients experiencing painful intercourse, painful ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Accordant Technology, a trusted IT solutions ... an analytics-first approach, layered with machine learning, that provides real-time visibility into the ... cloud to the edge. Through the new partnership, customers get the real-time situational ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Adelberg-Montalvan ... dentistry options for its patients on Long Island, New York. , Holistic ... being, and is one of the biggest trends in dentistry today. , ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The CFOs included on this list lead ... the nation and help their organizations navigate the challenges in healthcare today. These ... developing successful hospital and health system strategy. , Becker's Hospital Review has published ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... -- MACRA replaces the outdated sustainable growth rate ... Black Book Research crowdsource-surveyed 8,845 physician practices from February ... for MIPS Compliance Technology is Booming ... or more clinicians seek to buy Merit-Based Incentive Payment ... of the changes, the hunt is on for the ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017  May is Stroke Awareness Month and Omron ... important methods to prevent a stroke: monitor and manage ... Control and Prevention, undetected and uncontrolled hypertension is a ... global leader in personal heart health technology, recently evolved ... attack and stroke and is advancing a national public ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... 2017  A recent study published in the ... light as a means of disinfection anesthesia workstations ... bioburden on anesthesia workstations. In the study, UVC ... medical equipment surfaces contaminated with three (3) organisms ... study further validates the body of literature supporting ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: