It’s never too early to prepare your Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) documents for translation. These legally binding documents are technical and cannot be left to the last minute. The documents have to pass the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) validation exercise, so the work quality has to meet the set standard.

To avoid the last-minute rush, here are a few tips to get you on your way to meeting your deadline.

Plan and Start Early

You are required to translate materials to any non-English language that is the primary language of at least 5% of the individuals in the geographic service area of a particular health plan. Is there a group of members that have not been catered to as per this requirement?

Starting early means you have time to accommodate last-minute changes and meet your deadlines. Otherwise, rushed work can lead to translation mistakes that damage your brand’s reputation, result in citations from the CMS, or in some cases exclude you from being able to offer Medicare solutions.

CQ fluency’s AEP checklist can help you identify and organize the relevant documents. As well as a list of documents, our checklist also includes an AEP timeline guide and an accountability tracking form. The timeline provides suggestions of when to complete each step of the document preparation process. That way, you do not need to stress because your documents can be completed and reviewed ahead of time.

Select a Translation Company with AEP experience

Medical documents are not just technical; they are also legally binding. In addition, there is no room for ambiguity or errors. If that wasn’t enough, translation companies must comply with evolving CMS standards.

You need to choose a vendor that understands the technical aspects of AEP documentation. The accuracy of plan data (co-pays, deductibles, benefits, etc.) is critical. In addition, they should recognize that AEP deadlines are rigid and delays are unacceptable. A company with experience with such documents understands this and plans accordingly, ensuring that the documents are ready on time.

They also have the advantage of using translation memory that cuts the translation time significantly.

Communicate with Your Translators Regularly, Especially about Changes

Computer programmers use the term GIGO, meaning garbage in garbage out. Essentially, the quality of your output depends on the quality of your input. Similarly, the output of the translation process depends greatly on the input. The input includes more than just the source documents. You must communicate any changes in timelines and changes in the format of the document. In addition, you should also share any feedback regarding the language. 

Provide Documents Even When the Final Versions Aren’t Yet Available

Waiting to send all edited documents can take a long time. Start with what is ready. When the edited version becomes available, send it to the translators. It is better to get started with what is available so that the translators have time to do their work and also make any necessary changes. 

Include Your Translation Vendor in Your Planning Process

Translation companies work with a team of people, each assigned with a different responsibility in one project. As a result, there may be some documents that will influence the translation of others. In addition, it is possible to translate some parts of the document concurrently. Your vendor is best placed to help you prioritize which documents to finalize first if they can’t all be available at the same time. It is key to address all your pain points and strategize on how to best connect different technologies.

Meet Your Deadlines

 As AEP rolls around with unique challenges each year, you don’t want to be caught unprepared. By strategizing early and choosing the right vendor, you can have all your materials ready and uploaded on your site with time to spare.

At CQ fluency, we have extensive experience working with key healthcare industry players and understanding their needs during AEP season. To learn more about partnering with us for AEP translations, get in touch and let us help you meet your deadlines.