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December 09, 2019

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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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Between 2003 and 2012, DSHS and HCA-Medicaid were paying interpreters through a brokerage system with two layers of intermediaries. The brokerage system was unmanageable, expensive and of low interpreting quality.

The current procurement model for DSHS and HCA-Medicaid was implemented on September 24, 2012. All requests for interpreting services are scheduled, invoiced and paid through a web portal. This scheduling includes both spoken and sign language interpreters delivering their services on-site and remotely by phone or video. This program operates with one statewide coordinating entity, currently CTS LanguageLink headquartered in Vancouver, WA. You can read the contract here.

For HCA-Medicaid, the coordinating entity reviews HCA contracted healthcare providers' requests to ensure that the patient is Medicaid eligible and the interpreting is for a service that HCA will pay. HCA then seeks reimbursement from the federal government. There is no need to verify eligibility for DSHS requests.

The brilliance of the coordinating entity procurement model is that it divorces interpreters’ pay from the intermediary’s pay. The state has negotiated a flat fee not to exceed 15% of the entire program’s budget paid in monthly installments to the language company for the leasing of the web portal regardless of the volume of requests. Payment to interpreters simply passes through the language services company. Interpreters’ rates of pay are now collectively bargained between the Governor and the Washington Federation of State Employees  / AFSCME Council 28 AFL-CIO. Sign language interpreters are not included in the bargaining unit. Accordingly, there is no union contract covering sign language requests. Sign language interpreters' rates, however, are double than those for spoken languages and were established by a contract amendment in December 2012. Despite this, their filled rates hover around 40% because the lack of 100% reimbursement for patient/provider no shows and late cancelations makes the HCA-CTS contract a risky proposition for sole proprietors.

The statewide consolidation and centralization of requests, invoicing, and payment processing has made it easier for the state, the interpreters, and the public at large to constantly audit the contract’s performance. Summary reports are publicly posted  by the state and the data is subject to public disclosure.
ASL rates HCA-CTS K618-Amendment #2 2012-12-17.pdf
SFY 2015 Signed Language Filled Rates & Pay.pdf
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