Working to Meet Patients’ Language Needs

calloutOur quality improvement efforts are designed to ensure a high level of care and member satisfaction. To achieve these goals, we continually review the aspects of our plan that affect member care and satisfaction and look for ways to improve them. One way to do that is to share details with network practitioners about the languages patients in their area may speak and to provide information on available interpreting services.

Highmark annually assesses languages spoken by the people living in our service area and compares them to the data that practitioners report on their network applications. Our 2022 analysis concluded that West Virginia had greater than 1,000 residents speaking the following eight primary languages, with available PCPs who were skilled in all of them:

Language PCPs available who speak the language:
Arabic X
Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) X
French, Haitian, and Cajun X
German or Other West Germanic X
Italian X
Nepali, Marathi, or other Indic languages X
Spanish X
Tagalog (Filipino) X

  • The above data are from the 2020 U.S. Census-American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates.
  • This information is based on county population and not Highmark membership population.

In 2021, Highmark received 31,826 requests for telephone translation. Following is a breakdown of the top 5 language requests: Spanish 28,562 (89.7%), Mandarin 486 (15.3%), Vietnamese 390 (12.3%), Arabic 378 (11.9%), and French 256 (8.04%). Spanish remains the number one language after English that members speak and require translation services for each year.