News Headlines Article

Pérez bill could add to health reform costs
Sacramento Bee

Assembly Bill 1263 by Speaker John A. Pérez seeks to improve and expand medical interpreter services for Medi-Cal patients. The measure highlights a real health care dilemma. Access to care can be difficult if patients don’t speak English well.

Without a qualified interpreter, it’s sometimes difficult for non-English speaking patients to describe their symptoms or for health care providers to make sure, for example, that patients understand a drug regimen.

A University of California, Los Angeles, survey in 2009 found that 12 percent of Medi-Cal patients had a hard time understanding their doctors because of limited English skills. That number is expected to swell as the federal Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in coming years.