Anthem Blue Cross’ Language Assistance Program: No interpreter? No problem!
Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem) wants you to be able to communicate with your behavioral health patients clearly and accurately.
- It’s easy, it’s at no cost
- No advance notice required
- All languages
For patients whose primary language isn’t English, Anthem offers at no charge, language assistance services through interpreters. Patients can call the Anthem Member Services number on their ID card (TTY/TDD: 711) during regular business hours. After regular business hours, telephonic interpreter services are available through the 24/7 NurseLine. If you would like to access an interpreter on behalf of a patient, call toll-free 1-800-677-6669.
Please remember, in accordance with the California Language Assistance Program, you must notify Anthem members of the availability of the health plan interpreter services. You must also document a patient’s refusal of any needed interpreter services in the patient’s chart. Make sure to let your patients know that Anthem’s Member Services representatives are available to help coordinate appointment scheduling through the interpreter services. Anthem does not delegate the provision of any Language Assistance services, below is what you can expect when accessing language services:
- Give the Member Services representative the patient’s ID number.
- Explain the need for an interpreter and state the language.
- Wait on the line while the connection is made.
- Once connected to the interpreter, the associate introduces the Anthem Blue Cross patient, explains the reason for the call, and begins the dialogue.
Face-to-Face interpreters including sign language
Patients can request to have an interpreter assist at your office. This request may be made in advance, or when the patient is in the office. Providers may make these requests on behalf of patient. Seventy-two business hours are required to schedule services, and 24 business hours are required to cancel.
Written materials are translated upon request
- Materials that are member-specific, for example, denial, delay, or claims letters are sent in English with the offer of translation when requested.
- Requested translated materials are sent to the member no later than 21 days from the request date.
- Physicians and other health care professionals should advise their patients to call Anthem toll-free at 1-888-254-2721 to request translated materials.
- Physicians and other health care professionals can call Anthem toll-free at 1-800-677-6669 to request translation on the member’s behalf. Urgent requests are handled within one business day and non-urgent requests are handled within two business days. A copy of the document is required in order to complete the translation request.
December 2019 Anthem Blue Cross Provider News - California