California bill may open door to state-funded medical interpretation services

[CA Governor Signs Healthcare Bills...]Governor signs two healthcare bills authored by Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins


SACRAMENTO—Gov. Jerry Brown today signed two bills authored by Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins. AB 635 allows California to take the first step toward state-funded medical interpretation services for Medi-Cal patients with limited English proficiency. AB 1795 helps more low-income Californians become eligible for state-covered screening and treatment for breast cancer and cervical cancer.
AB 635 requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to conduct a study and make recommendations for the best way to provide medical interpretation services for Medi-Cal patients who need them.


More than 40 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home. Almost 7 million Californians are estimated to speak English “less than very well.”

Research finds that language barriers can contribute to inadequate patient evaluation and diagnosis, lack of appropriate and/or timely treatment, or other medical errors that can jeopardize patient safety and lead to unnecessary procedures and costs.

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