Molina Healthcare of California plans to assess
the language capacity of a portion of its provider sites as part
of its demonstration project and will also pilot after-hour telephone
access for Spanish speakers to medical advice from a qualified
nurse or physician. Molina will also work towards helping to establish
training standards for telephonic interpreter services in the region
by working with local vendors.
About the Organization
With health plans in four states and 21 primary
care clinics throughout California, Molina Healthcare ranks 8th
on the 2003 Hispanic Business 500 and is the largest Latino-owned
business in California. Molina is the only “for-profit” grantee
in the demonstration effort.
California Association of Family Practice, Institute
for Health Care Advancement, United Way, California Health Care
Interpreters Association, California Literacy Foundation, Center
for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mt. San Antonio College, and
fifty community-based organizations.
About the Service Area
The focus of the demonstration project will be
Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in California, an area about
the size of the State of Virginia.
here to view a map of their service area.
Existing Language Services
Molina’s Director of Cultural and Linguistic
Services has worked with Molina’s providers to raise awareness
of cultural issues facing Latinos. Although a provider or staff
person (in many cases both) who can speak Spanish works in 98%
of Molina’s provider offices actual language capacity has
not been fully assessed. Molina has an extensive inventory of Spanish-language
material on health education topics, including HIV/AIDS, asthma,
diabetes, immunizations and nutrition, along with membership information,
a provider directory, and evidence of insurance coverage identification
cards. Molina will work to improve the quality of these materials
based on Hablamos Juntos recommended approaches.
The Latino Population in the Service Area
Latinos in 1990: 686,121
Latinos in 2000: 1,229,528
% Increase: 79.2%
Total Population: 3.2 million
Over the last two decades, the Latino population
increased by over 300% and is presently the sixth largest Latino
community in the nation. The Latino population comprises nearly
40% of the total population in these counties. The majority of
immigrants (80%) are from Mexico, especially the regions of Oaxaca
and northern Mexico. A small number of immigrants have arrived
directly from Mexico, while most tend to settle in the region after
first arriving in Los Angeles and, to a lesser extent, San Diego.
Recently, the Latino population has become politically active,
with Latino representatives in the State legislature and on City
Councils throughout the region.
In a survey of Molina’s providers, 44%
report that more than half of their patients speak Spanish with
about 1/3 preferring Spanish. 70% of Molina’s members are
under the age of 21. Preferred methods for learning include the
use of videotape, as eight times more LEP Latinos own VCR’s
than have Internet access at home.
The most common diagnoses for ER visits and in-patient
visits relate to reproductive services and respiratory illness.
With a young population, demand for reproductive services is likely
to increase. Survey respondents identified difficulties in locating
health resources in Spanish, filling out forms. Understanding information
at pharmacies, where the pharmacist may not speak Spanish and medication
information is not available in Spanish, was also identified.
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