Limited English Proficiency (LEP) guidance at:
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/lep/

If you are subject to Title VI, as it applies to LEP persons, below is safe
harbor gudiance from the above OCR resource:

Safe Harbor. The following actions will be considered strong evidence of
compliance with the recipient's written-translation obligations: 

(a) The DOJ recipient provides written translations of vital documents for
each eligible LEP language group that constitutes five percent or 1,000,
whichever is less, of the population of persons eligible to be served or
likely to be affected or encountered. Translation of other documents, if
needed, can be provided orally; or 

(b) If there are fewer than 50 persons in a language group that reaches the
five percent trigger in (a), the recipient does not translate vital written
materials but provides written notice in the primary language of the LEP
language group of the right to receive competent oral interpretation of
those written materials, free of cost. 

These safe harbor provisions apply to the translation of written documents
only. They do not affect the requirement to provide meaningful access to LEP
individuals through competent oral interpreters where oral language services
are needed and are reasonable. For example, correctional facilities should,
where appropriate, ensure that prison rules have been explained to LEP
inmates, at orientation, for instance, prior to taking disciplinary action
against them. 



Cindi Bowman
Quality and Compliance Coordinator
Catawba County Health Department
828-695-5847


-----Original Message-----
From: Christiansen, John (SEA) [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 5:43 PM
To: WEDI SNIP Privacy Workgroup List
Subject: RE: NPP in Other Languages


Folks -

The "plain language" requirement for the NPP incorporates regulatory
requirements that include translation into other languages if they are a
material element of the population you serve. I did the research well over a
year ago so don't recall the citations, and don't have time to dig it up
just now, but I believe it was available via an OCR webpage. There are
criteria for determining what languages you need to include, and this would
apply to any CE, not just an employer plan.

John R. Christiansen
Preston | Gates | Ellis LLP
925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2900
Seattle, Washington 98104
*Direct: 206.370.8118 *Cell: 206.683.9125
* [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Notice: Internet e-mail is inherently insecure. Unencrypted e-mail may be
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and headers or signatures may incorrectly identify the sender. If you wish
to confirm this message or the identity of the sender, please contact me
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electronic messaging is available and recommended for confidential or
sensitive communications.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Ermer [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 1:53 PM
To: WEDI SNIP Privacy Workgroup List
Subject: Re: NPP in Other Languages


It strikes me as an attorney who represents ERISA governed health plans
that the NPP can be considered a material modification to the health
plan under the U.S. Labor Department's (DOL) rules. DOL, in contrast to
HHS, has very specific rules on distributing a summary plan description
or a summary of material modifications to a plan participant, i.e., hand
delivery, first class mail (second or third class only if return and
forwarding postage is guaranteed and address correction is requested),
or electronic delivery under certain circumstances and on when you need
to translate such plan documents into another language. If your covered
entity is governed by ERISA, I suggest that you apply these rules. If
you covered entity is not governed by ERISA, you still may find the
guidance helpful. I have quoted the foreign language and mailing
guidance below. Best regards, Dave Ermer

29 C.F.R. 2520.102-2 Style and Format of SPD:

(c) Foreign languages. In the case of either--
    (1) A plan that covers fewer than 100 participants at the beginning

of a plan year, and in which 25 percent or more of all plan
participants 
are literate only in the same non-English language, or
    (2) A plan which covers 100 or more participants at the beginning
of 
the plan year, and in which the lesser of (i) 500 or more participants,

or (ii) 10% or more of all plan participants are literate only in the 
same non-English language, so that a summary plan description in
English 
would fail to inform these participants adequately of their rights and

obligations under the plan, the plan administrator for such plan shall

provide these participants with an English-language summary plan 
description which prominently displays a notice, in the non-English 
language common to these participants, offering them assistance. The 
assistance provided need not involve written materials, but shall be 
given in the non-English language common to these participants and
shall 
be calculated to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to become 
informed as to their rights and obligations under the plan. The notice

offering assistance contained in the summary plan description shall 
clearly set forth in the non-English language common to such 
participants offering them assistance. The assistance provided need not

involve written materials, but shall be given in the non-English 
language common to these participants and shall be calculated to
provide 
them with a reasonable opportunity to become informed as to their
rights 
and obligations under the plan. The notice offering assistance
contained 
in the summary plan description shall clearly set forth in the non-
English language common to such participants the procedures they must 
follow in order to obtain such assistance.

    Example. Employer A maintains a pension plan which covers 1000 
participants. At the beginning of a plan year five hundred of Employer

A's covered employees are literate only in Spanish, 101 are literate 
only in Vietnamese, and the remaining 399 are literate in English. Each

of the 1000 employees receives a summary plan description in English, 
containing an assistance notice in both Spanish and Vietnamese stating

the following:
    ``This booklet contains a summary in English of your plan rights
and 
benefits under Employer A Pension Plan. If you have difficulty 
understanding any part of this booklet, contact Mr. John Doe, the plan

administrator, at his office in Room 123, 456 Main St., Anywhere City,

State 20001. Office hours are from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday
through 
Friday. You may also call the plan administrator's office at (202)
555-
2345 for assistance.''

29 C.F.R 2520.104b-1 Disclosure

    (a) General disclosure requirements. The administrator of an 
employee benefit plan covered by part 1 of title I of the Act must 
disclose certain material, including reports, statements and documents,

to participants and beneficiaries. Disclosure under part 1 takes three

forms. First, the plan administrator must, by direct operation of law,

furnish certain material to all participants covered under the plan and

beneficiaries receiving benefits under the plan (other than 
beneficiaries under a welfare plan) at stated times or if certain
events 
occur. Second, the plan administrator must furnish certain material to

individual participants and beneficiaries upon their request. Third,
the 
plan administrator must make certain material available to participants

and beneficiaries for inspection at reasonable times and places.
    (b) Fulfilling the disclosure obligation. (1) Where certain 
material, including reports, statements and documents, is required
under 
part 1 of the Act and this part to be furnished either by direct 
operation of law or on individual request, the plan administrator
shall
use measures reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt of the 
material by plan participants and beneficiaries. Material which is 
required to be furnished to all participants covered under the plan and

beneficiaries receiving benefits under the plan (other than 
beneficiaries under a welfare plan) must be sent by a method or methods

of delivery likely to result in full distribution. For example, in-hand

delivery to an employee at his or her worksite is acceptable. However,

in no case is it acceptable merely to place copies of the material in a

location frequented by participants. It is also acceptable to furnish 
such material as a special insert in a periodical distributed to 
employees such as a union newspaper or a company publication if the 
distribution list for the periodical is comprehensive and up-to-date
and 
a prominent notice on the front page of the periodical advises readers

that the issue contains an insert with important information about 
rights under the plan and the Act which should be read and retained for

future reference. If some participants and beneficiaries are not on the

mailing list, a periodical must be used in conjunction with other 
methods of distribution such that the methods taken together are 
reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt. Material distributed 
through the mail may be sent by first, second, or third-class mail. 
However, distribution by second or third-class mail is acceptable only

if return and forwarding postage is guaranteed and address correction
is 
requested. Any material sent by second or third-class mail which is 
returned with an address correction shall be sent again by first-class

mail or personally delivered to the participant at his or her
worksite.
    (2) For purposes of section 104(b)(4) of the Act, materials 
furnished upon written request shall be mailed to an address provided
by 
the requesting participant or beneficiary or personally delivered to
the 
participant or beneficiary.

 

Gordon & Barnett
Attorneys at Law
1133 21st St., NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20036
202-833-3400 ext 3009 (voice)
202-223-0120 (fax)
www.gordon-barnett.com

>>> Kathy Findley <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 03/17/03 02:07PM >>>
Hello All!
I don't belive it's required according to the regulations, however,
what is
everyone doing about having a version of the NPP in Spanish or other
languages?
Kf

Kathy Findley
Coordinator - Information Services and HIPAA
St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center
Phone - (315) 448-6111
Beeper - (315) 467-4180
Text Page - [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 

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on this listserv therefore represent the views of the individual participants, and do 
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you wish to receive an official opinion, post your question to the WEDI SNIP Issues 
Database at http://snip.wedi.org/tracking/.   These listservs should not be used for 
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