The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) will launch a new spoken language interpreter scheduling system this fall. After a competitive process, interpretingWorks was selected to implement and administer this new online platform (reference RFP #4253). Our goal is to comply with a new law (RCW 39.26.300) that improves meaningful access to spoken language interpreter services.
Beginning this fall, health care providers and vocational counselors will access the online scheduling system to arrange for qualified interpreters to help the provider address language barriers during medical and vocational appointments with injured workers and victims of crime.
L&I is working on the implementation project plan, strategic communications, and statewide outreach activities for providers and interpreters. Expect regular project updates, as well as a full implementation schedule, and education for interpreters and providers on the enrollment process. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive project updates via email.
Interpreter Services Scheduling FAQs
- For open and allowed L&I claims, interpreter services is a paid service and does not require prior authorization. Providers will decide with the patient if they need an interpreter.
- Providers will enter the interpretingWorks portal and submit a request for an interpreter. The system then posts the request to interpreters who meet the requirements.
- Interpreters choose to accept, confirm the appointment, and render services.
- At the end of the appointment, the interpreter and provider verify services. And interpreters submit verified encounters for payment through interpretingWorks.
- In addition to the use of the interpretingWorks scheduling system, independent interpreters will help L&I meet the language access needs of providers in certain instances. Their services are only approved for use in on-demand appointments that do not have a pre-scheduled time, such as emergency, urgent care, and walk-in appointments.
- Providers have the option of using interpretingWorks, as well as working with L&I’s other contracted vendors, Lionbridge, Language Link, or with independent interpreters to meet on-demand need, such as emergency, urgent care, and walk-ins.
- There will be limited opportunities for independent interpreters to provide services for L&I appointments after the interpretingWorks roll-out. Interpreters are strongly encouraged to enroll in the interpretingWorks scheduling system.
During the 2017/2018 session, the Washington State Legislature passed SSB 6245 which became RCW 39.26.300, a new law created to improve state programs for interpreter services.
It modernizes L&I’s Interpreter Services program with an internet platform optimized for use by any mobile browser and offering built-in quality assurance and reporting for the program. Overall, this makes it easier to do business with L&I when requesting language interpreters.
For providers, it’s an easy to use, one-stop-shop to request interpreter services, offering seamless, electronic check-in/-out and sign-off for completed interpreting encounters.
For interpreters, it’s a real-time listing of available interpreting jobs located close by, accessible on mobile devices or a home PC. Interpreters can track job assignments, and do seamless, check-in/-out at appointment locations by scanning a QR-code. It also syncs job assignments with calendars and provides electronic invoicing for prompt payment.
Enrollment begins now – interpreters can sign up through the interpretingWorks website by completing an online enrollment form. No paperwork is necessary. Once submitted, an interpretingWorks’ staff member will reach out to the interpreter to complete the enrollment process. The entire process only takes two to three business days to complete.
It’s important to note a requirement that’s NEW to the process, is that interpreters will need National Provider Identification (NPI) number. NPIs are unique, 10-digit numbers used for identifying specific providers. NPIs are widely used by medical providers nationwide.
If you need an NPI number, go to The National Provider Identifier Standard section of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. There is NO cost to sign up.
Providers can pre-enroll now through the interpretingWorks vendor portal so their account is ready when the system is live in Fall 2020.
To comply with the new law, all interpreter agency accounts, and interpreters doing business with L&I under those agency group accounts, will be de-activated in early 2021. Interpreters who want to continue providing services to injured workers and victims of crime may enroll with interpretingWorks or maintain an independent interpreter provider account at L&I. Agencies have one year to bill L&I for services provided prior to this cut-off date.
L&I facilitates about 17,000 spoken language interpreter encounters per month. Interpreters serve in a range of settings, including medical and vocational appointments. It’s part of L&I’s mission to keep people safe and working by ensuring their access to services and care, whether or not they speak English.
Other L&I resources
For questions and comments, please contact Interpretation@Lni.wa.gov
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