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Medical Policy and Clinical UM Guidelines

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Interpreter Services

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These services are free for UniCare Medicaid members. 
Download and print an Interpreter Services Desktop Reference with individual language aids for patients.  
 
Telephone Interpreter Services
During business hours, call the UniCare Customer Care Center at 1-800-782-0095. 
After business hours, call MedCall┬« at 1-888-850-1108.  
1. Give the customer care representative the member’s ID number.
2. Explain the need for an interpreter and state the language.
3. Wait on the line while the connection is made.
4. Once connected to the interpreter, introduce the UniCare member, explain the reason for the call, and begin the dialogue.
 
Face-to-Face Interpreters Including Sign Language
Call the UniCare Customer Care Center at 1-800-782-0095 to schedule during business hours. 72 working business-day hours are required to schedule, and 24 business-day hours to cancel.  
Interpreter Attendance Verification Form - Interpreters are to complete this form and submit with their invoice.
 
TTY and Relay Services (for members with hearing loss or speech impairment)
During business hours, call UniCare’s TTY service 1-866-368-1634. The West Virginia Relay Service is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-982-8772. 
 
Tips for Working with Interpreters
Brief the interpreter in private before the member’s visit. Provide relevant information about the member.
Encourage the interpreter to ask questions or clarify a message whenever necessary.
Address the member directly. Avoid directing all comments to the interpreter.
Talk in short sentences. Discuss one concept at a time.
Be patient. Careful interpretation may require the interpreter to use long phrases. It can take more words or time to describe a concept in another language.
Avoid using medical jargon when possible. It may be difficult for the interpreter and member to understand.
Be aware of nonverbal cues from the member, such as head nodding, smiles, body position, etc. These may indicate how much information is being understood.
 
Tips for Communicating with Patients Who Speak Limited English
Speak slowly, not loudly.
Organize what you are going to say first. Use short, simple sentences. Keep in mind that what is said at the beginning and end of a discussion is remembered most.
Face the patient and watch facial expressions and body language. If these don’t agree with the words the patient is using, or if the patient’s expressions indicate that he or she does not understand you, slow down and start again.
Try to ask questions that cannot be answered “yes” or “no.” Instead, ask questions in a way that requires the patient to respond with information. For example, ask questions that begin with “why,” “how,” or “what.” The answers you get will help you know whether the patient properly understands the question.
Rephrase and summarize often.
 
 
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