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Language Assistance Requirements to Take Effect March 30, 2013

The New York State Department of Health (DoH) has implemented changes that will require compliance in the coming months and years.

Beginning on March 30, 2013, a new regulation from the NY State (DoH) will take effect and will require some changes to the way you write prescriptions. The main change will affect patients for whom English is not their first language, or they lack proficiency.

To comply with this new regulation, please refer to the following guidelines:

Language Assistance

  • A limited English proficient individual or “LEP individual” is defined by law to mean an individual who identifies as being, or is evidently, unable to speak, read or write English at a level that permits such individual to understand health-related and pharmaceutical information communicated in English.
  • It is up to the discretion of the health care provider writing the prescription to assess if the patient falls into the definition of  a LEP individual.
  • For patients who are determined to be LEP individuals, you will have to manually enter that he/she is a limited English proficient individual or “LEP individual” and you must list the person’s preferred language.
  • If the patient is English-proficient, you will not need to manually enter the information on the prescription.
  • You can use up existing forms you got before March 30th by manually entering the information on the prescription.
  • It will automatically be added by the Department of Health to the official prescription forms as of March 30th.