State Laws on Language Access in Healthcare

With growing concerns about racial, ethnic, and language disparities in health care and the need for the health care systems to accommodate increasingly diverse patient populations, language access is a matter of national importance. High quality language access services allow individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) to safetly utilize a wider range of health care services.

State laws provide an additional source of protection to federal laws. Indeed, some state legislatures and administrative agencies increasingly recognized the need for linguistically appropriate health care and have adopted measures that require or encourage health and social service providers to overcome language barriers.