Governor’s proposal to cut interpreters faces opposition

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An article on reports on Friday’s press conference by legislators opposing Governor Rell’s proposal to cut $4.7 million for medical interpreters in Medicaid. At last week’s Medicaid Managed Care Council, CT Voices for Children presented on the very high and growing rate of costly emergency room visits by Medicaid Managed Care/HUSKY patients. 38% of HUSKY children under age 21 visited an ER at least once in 2006; that rate has increased from 33% in 2003. Spanish-speaking children were at special risk of needing to access care at an ER. Comments at the Council meeting suggested that many doctor’s offices do not have medical interpretation resources and that patients who do not speak English well may be forced to get care at the ER, costing taxpayers far more than an office visit. The legislators made the point that the federal government reimburses states for half the cost of Medicaid translation services.

Posted by Ellen Andrews