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January 26, 2020

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are scheduled through Washington State's coordinating entity, currently ULS and formerly CTS LanguageLink. The contract performance reports and fill rate by language and by county are posted on HCA’s website


July 2019                  $41.00

July 2018                  $39.76

July 2017                  $38.50

July 2016                  $38.00

July 2015                  $37.10

July 2014                  $32.50
July 2013                  $32.00
July 2012                  $31.50
July 2011                  $30.00

        2010                  $21.00


SFY2018                    406,007

SFY2017                    383,583

SFY2016                    359,750

SFY2015                     327,737

SFY2014                     282,636

SFY2013                     228,561

SFY2012                     201,576
SFY2011                     196,000


SFY2016                 15,836

SFY2015                 16,782

SFY2014                  15,943

SFY2013                  15,556

SFY2012                  10,234

SFY2011                  17,700

 HCA (Medicaid) BUDGET

Jul 2013/Jun 2015             $25.1M

Jul 2011/Jun 2013             $18.1M

Jul 2009/Jun 2011             $23.0M

A modified procurement model began on July 1, 2011

The coordinating entity procurement model began on September 24, 2012.

The new coordinating entity, ULS took over the contract on July 1, 2018.

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The Business Case for Using Trained Interpreters
Updated On: Jan 19, 2015

There is a ‘business case’ to be made for the implementation of professional and coordinated interpretation services in the public services sector such as health care,  legal proceedings, educational settings and social welfare programs. The use of bilingual personnel (whose language skills have not been tested by a third party) as opposed to trained interpreters can cause potentially fatal errors as well as increase the cost of services due to miscommunication. There is conclusive medical research on this topic.

A study published by the American Association of Pediatrics[i] listed certain types of errors that untrained interpreters make:

  • Omission: not interpreting a word or phrase
  • Addition: adding a word or phrase not uttered
  • Substitution: substituting a word or phrase for a different word or phrase
  • Editorialization: providing personal or idiosyncratic views as the interpretation of a word or phrase
  • False fluency: using a word or phrase that does not exist in the language or is incorrect and substantially alters the meaning.

In this study, there was an average of 31 errors per interpreting encounter. 18% of the errors had potential clinical consequences overall.

Another study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine[ii], found that the interpreter’s years of experience made no difference. Only training made a difference. The proportion of errors of potential consequence was as follows:

  • Ad hoc interpreter (in this study, less than 40 hours of training): 22%
  • No interpreter: 20%
  • Professional interpreter with 40 to 99 hours of training: 12%
  • Professional interpreter with at least 100 hours of training: 2%. For interpreters with over 100 hours of training, 0% of the false fluency, substitution or editorialization errors had potential clinical consequences.

Another study by the University of Massachusetts Medical School[iii] has found that professional interpreting services, at both admission and discharge, reduced a patient’s length of stay by 0.75 to 1.45 days. These patients were also less likely to be readmitted within 30 days.

The savings in misdiagnosis, length of stay and readmission rates are significant. According to Becker’s Hospital review, in Oregon, for example, the average cost per inpatient day is approximately $2500. Working with an interpreter, from this perspective, is very cost-effective. [iv]

[i] Errors in Medical Interpretation and Their Potential Clinical Consequences in Pediatric Encounter. Glenn Flores, MD, M. Barton Laws, PhD, Sandra J. Mayo, EdM, Barry Zuckerman, MD, Milagros Abreu, MD, Leonardo Medina, MD, Eric J. Hardt, MD. Pediatrics Vol. 111 No. 1 January 1, 2003, pp. 6 -14, (doi: 10.1542/peds.111.1.6).

[ii] Errors of medical interpretation and their potential clinical consequences: a comparison of professional versus ad hoc versus no interpreters. Flores G, Abreu M, Barone CP, Bachur R, Lin H. Ann Emerg Med. 2012 Nov; 60 (5):545-53. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.01.025. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

[iii] Professional language interpretation and inpatient length of stay and readmission rates. Lindholm M, Hargraves JL, Ferguson WJ, Reed G. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Oct;27(10):1294-9. Epub 2012 Apr 18.


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