Enhanced Support: LSA is your Partner for CMS’ 2024 Call Center Monitoring

8 min read

Are You Ready for This Year’s Part C and Part D of Call Center Monitoring: Timeliness and Accuracy & Accessibility Studies?

Language Services Associates (LSA), a thought-leader in the language interpretation services industry, has been coordinating, planning, and establishing the best practices to meet and exceed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Call Center Monitoring requirements and expectations for years. With every call, onsite visit, or translation project, LSA provides the tools and guidance you need to succeed.

What are the Timeliness and Accuracy & Accessibility Studies?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services place test calls to audit health plan call centers from February until June. These calls are to ensure that Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug plans (part C and D) offer clear communication quickly and accurately to their beneficiaries.

What Does this Mean and What Role Does my Language Services Provider Play?

  • There are two parts to CMS’ Part C and Part D Call Center Monitoring initiative. First is the Timeliness Study, which focuses on average hold times and disconnect rates.
  • The second part is where your language service provider plays a vital role – the Accuracy & Accessibility Study. This measures Part C and Part D prospective beneficiary call center telephone lines to determine interpreter availability for Limited English Proficient (LEP) callers, teletypewriter (TTY) efficiency, and the accuracy with which customer service representatives (CSR) convey plan information to their LEP consumer.
  • During a test call a CMS surveyor will evaluate how efficient your Customer Service Representative (CSR) is at connecting an interpreter or TTY operator to the call. The CMS Call Center Monitoring Study first measures interpreter availability. Upon connection to a call (when the CMS Surveyor reaches a Customer Service Representative), your CSR has eight minutes to successfully demonstrate that they can answer questions about plan benefits using an interpreter. Once an interpreter is on the line, the CMS surveyor will assess the accuracy of the information communicated from the interpreter to the beneficiary.
Partnering with a language service provider that has experience and expertise in servicing calls as part of CMS’ Call Center Monitoring Study is critical to ensuring the greatest success during the study, and in servicing your beneficiaries throughout the year. LSA has a well-executed plan put into place each year that is reviewed and revised to accommodate any changes or updates for each season. With a team of dedicated employees and highly trained interpreters with CMS experience, LSA is your ideal partner in attaining the highest rating possible.

How LSA Improves Your CMS Star Rating

  • LSA’s dedicated team is devoted to CMS testing with the tools to offer guidance and support to attain a higher score and improve overall communication with LEP beneficiaries. Our staff is constantly monitoring, growing, planning, and keeping up to date with any changes or updates to CMS star rating protocols year-round.
  • Our highly qualified interpreters, who’ve completed rigorous assessments, are prepped, and provided with additional resources for CMS testing season. These interpreters understand the significance of these calls and are more than proficient in the terminology and nuances required to succeed.
  • Careful coordination, open communication, and experience are key factors when choosing a language service provider to partner with during CMS test call season. LSA expertly delivers on all three and invites you to contact us to determine the best course of action in attaining the highest star rating possible.

How Does CMS Testing Affect My Organization?

  • CMS Star Ratings
  • QBPs: Quality Bonus Payments
  • MA Rebates
  • Health Plan Reputation
CMS ratings are done on a scale of one to five stars, with one being below average and five indicating a plan that goes above and beyond. These results are available to the public during open enrollment as a guide to determine the best plan for beneficiaries to choose from. These results also determine the Quality Bonus Payments and MA rebate a plan will receive. Established in 2012, as part of the Affordable Care Act as an incentive to improve quality standards, QBPs and MA rebates are based on these CMS star ratings – the higher rating a plan receives the more funding they’re awarded.

Languages to be Tested in 2024

  • Spanish
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
  • Vietnamese
  • French
  • Tagalog
  • English
Contact Jodi Bralow (Vice President of Contracting & Compliance) at  Jodi.Bralow@lsa.inc to learn more about how LSA’s CMS Test Season process will help you reach your goals.

About LSA

For over three decades Language Services Associates (LSA) has offered a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, sports, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

LSA 101: Why Your Call Center Needs a Language Service Provider

5 min read

With 1 in 5 Americans speaking a language other than English at home, your call center’s success depends on your staff’s ability to communicate with a multilingual customer base. Incorporating language services into your program will Improve important KPIs like First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Call Abandonment Rate, while reducing hang ups and shortening your average call length. 

Partnering with a trusted language service provider (LSP) gives you access to hundreds of languages around the clock. With a multilingual client base that is only going to get larger, ensuring access to qualified interpreters is imperative to improving your contact center’s efficiency, retaining your clientele, and expanding into new markets. 

Language Services Associates (LSA) can help you build trust with diverse callers by providing seamless language integration into your core contact center business. LSA’s interpreter network has the skills to quickly and efficiently scale to your call center demands. Our team will partner with you to provide clarity and insight for your customers, and ensure fast, accurate communication.  

With LSA’s Language Services You Will: 

  • Boost Agent and Customer Satisfaction 
  • Improve Your Call Center’s Metrics 
  • Increase Agent Productivity 
  • Have Access to 7000+ Carefully Vetted Interpreters, 24/7/365 
  • Increase Brand Awareness 

LSA provides cost-effective solutions to successfully incorporate language services into your offerings. Fast connections to highly qualified on-demand interpreters in over 230 languages means your agents can spend more time helping customers while we take care of the rest. Improve customer satisfaction and KPIs with LSA’s expert call center team. 

LSA’S CALL CENTER LANGUAGE SERVICES 

Over-the-Phone Interpretation 

We provide fast access to on-demand interpreters in 230+ languages ready to take your call. For rare languages schedule a call at a time of your choosing. 

Language Assessments 

If you have bilingual employees who wish to act as interpreters, LSA offers language assessments to test the proficiency of your employees and ensure the best experience for your call center’s customers. 

Translation and Localization 

Have documents or a website that needs to be translated for multilingual customers? LSA provides translation and localization of any documents, website, or application in over 230 languages. 

Learn more about LSA’s call center language services today! 

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds. 

 About LSA 

For over three decades Language Services Associates (LSA) has offered a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. 

The Cost of High-Quality Interpretation: A Low Rate Doesn’t Mean Savings

5 min readInvesting in a strategy to help your limited English proficient (LEP) patients or customers is an admirable goal, and being sure you’re getting the best deal is integral to offering high-quality services without emptying your pockets.  

When considering a partnership with a language service provider the first thing an organization weighs is price. The price of interpretation is a fair consideration to make. But when thinking about cost, it’s important to contemplate more than just the number laid out before you. While a low hourly or minute rate may seem appealing, it can cost you more than you bargained for if that interpreter is not carefully vetted, experienced, or qualified for your situation. 

A qualified interpreter may have a higher per-minute rate than someone without a specialized skillset, but there are several reasons for this. Interpreting is more than just converting words from one language to another – it’s understanding meaning, context, cultural nuisances, and having a background in a particular field, like healthcare for instance. Medical interpreters have a broad knowledge of medical terminology and treatments and are well-versed in healthcare regulations and ethical standards. With a qualified medical interpreter, clear communication between a doctor and LEP patient is assured, which reduces costly readmissions and lengths of stay. These calls/sessions also tend to be shorter because a qualified medical interpreter doesn’t need as much time for clarification as an interpreter without a medical background (extra minutes add up even while an interpreter has a lower rate). In the long run, a more qualified interpreter saves you time and money even if their rate appears to be higher on the surface – and this applies to all sectors from legal to finance. 

At Language Services Associates (LSA) we hold our interpreters to a high standard, with a meticulous six-step assessment process, and only one in every 40 candidates making it through our qualification procedure. Our interpreters are carefully vetted, industry-specialized, and frequently monitored to ensure that we are providing the highest quality service possible.  

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  

About LSA 

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.  

Six Reasons You Need to Partner with a Language Service Provider

13 min readIn any industry, the ability to communicate with your clients, patients, or customers is critical to your success, and allowing language barriers to get in the way can be costly. The world continues to become more globalized every day. Employing the technological solutions and expertise of a language service provider will give you the necessary tools for offering clear communication with your limited English proficient (LEP) patients, clients, or customers, while also ensuring you’re in compliance with state and federal laws. Expanding your reach outside of one language group can be the difference between making it or getting left behind – not only for yourself, but for 67.8 million people that speak a language other than English at home. Providing language access via a language service provider is the best way to support equal access for limited English-proficient communities at your school, business, hospital, or practice. 

Here are Six Reasons to Partner with a Language Service Provider Today: 

 1. Access to Underserved Markets 

If your organization is looking to expand, it’s important to note that most consumers/patients prefer communicating in their language. Whether you’re looking to increase your reach globally, within the United States, or in your community, incorporating a language access plan into your services is a great way to avoid alienating a substantial portion of the population, while breaking into an often overlooked yet growing market. Language and cultural competency are fundamental to the inclusion of diverse people, and taking shortcuts when it comes to communication and outreach can have consequences.  

Businesses looking to target new markets with products or services geared towards a specific community or language group may benefit from expert cultural consultation. Even companies with the best intentions risk costly setbacks due to missteps in cultural competency – there have been several instances where large companies have had to pull or discontinue products due to cultural inaccuracies.  

At Language Service Associates (LSA) our interpreters and translation teams are language and cultural experts that can help you avoid errors and ensure that your efforts to reach a wider audience are successful.  

2.  Complying with State and Federal Laws 

Depending on your industry, you may be required by language access laws to provide interpreters for your limited English proficient (LEP) clients/patients. These laws include Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Executive Order 13166, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Primarily, businesses and organizations that receive federal funding typically need to abide by these laws – schools, healthcare facilities, government offices, etc. But states may have their own laws that can also apply to several other sectors. Partnering with a trusted language provider offers you consultative experts that complement your internal teams with expertise in language services. This assures you receive the appropriate solutions necessary for complying with mandatory state and federal laws, that fit seamlessly into your routine and budget. LSA offers guidance and support to ensure that you fully adhere to mandatory regulations, and have the tools necessary to support your LEP population. 

3.  Improving Customer or Patient Services 

Communication is key in business transactions or providing care for patients or customers that require native language support. The easier it is to communicate, the better the experience will be for everyone – this is especially true in the healthcare sector where jargon and complex terminology can be difficult to understand in any language. Miscommunication can lead to mistrust, loss of clients, misunderstood diagnosis or treatment, and numerous issues that can negatively impact your business or practice. A language provider offers interpreters trained and/or certified in different sectors that keenly understand industry terminology and standards. These interpreters help bridge a gap between staff/employees and their LEP clients/patients that often gets in the way of providing first-rate service or care. LSA’s interpreters are selected only after enduring a rigorous qualification process with only one in 40 meeting our standards. These interpreters are well-versed and highly experienced in their specialized sector and can be the difference you need. 

 4. Building Brand Trust 

In various cultures and languages, messages can be interpreted in many ways. While in English, your business may be sending a clear message to your customers, that same message may have an entirely different meaning in Arabic or Spanish. Partnering with a trusted language service provider will give you the tools to communicate clearly with LEP populations, breaking down language and cultural barriers. This will protect your brand’s reputation and build trust among consumers who seek out organizations that make an effort to communicate with them. Building consumer trust begins with clear communication in a variety of languages. Language Services Associates has a team of highly experienced translators and interpreters with expertise in the business sector to facilitate clear, culturally appropriate communication between your company and diverse clientele.  

5. Saving Money 

In most industries, encountering people who speak another language is fairly common. How an organization addresses their diverse clientele can be the difference between not only offering the right products or care, but also how much money is lost or spent. A bilingual employee may help with a customer or two, but remember that a bilingual employee doesn’t have the same range of knowledge and experience that a qualified interpreter brings to the table. Asking a bilingual employee to serve as an interpreter also puts pressure on them while taking time away from their actual job. A professional interpreter’s experience goes beyond just understanding language – they know cultural nuances, body language, and can convey meaning faster than your average person (especially when a word doesn’t have an equivalent in another language). Legally, using an employee in place of an interpreter can have consequences. In medical settings, if an untrained bilingual employee was to misinterpret a word or meaning, this could result in errors of diagnoses, treatment, and aftercare. This might lead to patients being readmitted, or a lawsuit if serious consequences were to transpire for the patient. 

You can hire a freelance interpreter, which may seem like a cost-effective solution in the short-term, but they tend to set their own schedules and charge a high price – and since they set their own itinerary, the wait to bring them into your facility can be costing you money in the interim. Language providers carefully vet their interpreters and offer industry-specialized agents that have undergone rigorous training and monitoring.  A language provider offers access to over-the-phone interpreters (OPIs) on demand in hundreds of languages ready to take your call. Or, if it’s more appropriate, video and in-person solutions are available as well. LSA improves the client experience and agent metrics when a client interaction requires an interpreter.  

6. Access to Hundreds of Languages with Sector-Specific Expertise  

Through various customizable solutions, language service providers offer a direct line to hundreds of languages and dialects. Interpreters specialize in individual fields (medical, finance & banking, contact centers, legal, etc.) with a clear understanding of the terminology used, and access to tools and study guides to keep their skills sharp and up to date. From American Sign Language to Spanish to rare dialects, language providers have the tools to prevent communication oversights that can harm your business. LSA’s interpreters have access to reference material and study guides for continuous training. They’re monitored and tested to maintain the highest quality standards. 

Learn more about LSA’s customizable solutions today! 

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.