Recent state law in Rhode Island mandates that
hospitals provide qualified interpreters at no additional cost
to the patient, providing a unique opportunity for NHPRI to pilot
a mechanism to reimburse hospitals, clinics and physicians for
interpreter services and to test whether a reimbursement code is
a viable means of generating income for the provision of language
services. In terms of service, NHPRI will focus on improving Spanish-language
materials and will assess the language and interpreting abilities
of existing bilingual staff and interpreters, while recruiting
additional interpreters for use at each of the facilities in order
to build on its existing strengths in serving the Latino community.
About the Organization
The first health center-affiliated health plan
in the nation to receive the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s
top rating of “excellent,” NHPRI serves 70,000 members
throughout the state.
Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s
Hospital, Women and Infant’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s
Hospital, Providence Community Health Centers.
About the Service Area
NHPRI serves all of Rhode Island but focuses
on the community of Providence.
here to view a map of their service area.
Existing Language Services
Each of NHPRI’s four partner hospitals
has recruited and hired bilingual staff to provide a variety of
services, including triage, interpreting and emergency room assistance.
In addition, interpreters are available throughout the day and
evening, with bilingual staff and language lines used in emergencies.
The Latino Population in the Service Area
Latinos in 1990: 24,986
Latinos in 2000: 52,146
% Increase: 109%
Total Population: 173,618
The number of Latinos in Providence has doubled
between 1990 and 2000 and currently forms 30% of the city’s
total population. Latino children now represent 45% of all children
in Providence. The median age of Latinos is 23 years, making this
city’s Latino population one of the youngest in the region
and nation. Latino immigrants to Rhode Island have typically arrived
from other areas in the United States, including New York, California
and Florida, attracted by an improved quality of life, lower cost
of living than other cities in the Northeast, and smaller communities
Puerto Ricans and Colombians arrived in the 1960s-1970s, attracted
by opportunities in the textiles and manufacturing sectors. Dominicans
and Guatemalans arrived in larger numbers from the 1980’s
and have tended to work in service positions, which often pay less
than minimum wage and offer few, if any, benefits.
Overall, the unemployment rate for Latinos in
Rhode Island was double the average for the state, with Latinos
experiencing higher rates of unemployment than both whites and
African-Americans. The rate of poverty for Latinos in Rhode Island
(22.8%) was also nearly double the national poverty rate (11.8%),
while 51% of Latino children lived in households below the poverty
level. Rhode Island Latinos have a higher percentage of persons
with low levels of education than any other ethnic group, while
the LEP population comprises the highest percentage of students
who fail to meet standard performance levels.
The main causes of death for Latinos in Rhode
Island include cancer, heart disease, homicide, AIDS and unintentional
injuries. Of these, only cancer and heart disease would be included
in a list for all Rhode Island residents. Latinos still experience
higher rates of lead poisoning and infant mortality, which have
remained constant for Latinos but fallen for white and black infants.
In addition, the incidence of tuberculosis is two times higher
than the statewide average, and the rate of HIV infection is nearly
four times higher than the statewide average. However, lower proportions
of Latino children and adults drink alcohol or smoke marijuana
or tobacco products.
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