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5 tips for streamlining translation of multilingual medicare advantage plans

With the Annual Election Period (AEP), or open enrollment fast approaching, preparing Medicare Advantage (MA) plan documentation for translation into threshold languages can be a headache for all MA plans that aren’t adequately prepared. CQ fluency, a leading provider of MA plan translation services, has helped over forty health plans manage AEP, so we wanted to share some of our expertise helping clients avoid common pitfalls associated with translating  MA plan documents. We will review these and other topics in much more detail during our upcoming webinar on April 29, 2014.

our tips for a healthy AEP

establish glossaries to reduce the document review processes

Before you even begin translation of Evidence of Coverage (EOC) or marketing brochures for example, build a glossary that covers plan specific language terms and their equivalent translations. Approving a glossary with your in-house language expert in advance of translation pays big dividends in terms of cost reduction by reducing the amount of back-and-forth communications between your translation agency and your internal reviewer.

understand your document formats

With the huge variety of publishing methods now available, both on and offline, tight control of master files is essential. Your master files should be the editable source documents that all derivatives are created from. Having the editable source documents ensures that translation prep is kept to a minimum and any changes or amendments down the line are easy to update.

understand version control and how to effectively manage changes

Documentation such as Summary of Benefits is often sent for translation before final versions are produced in order to allow more time to meet AEP deadlines. Keeping track of amended and final versions becomes critical. Your translation services vendor can ensure the mastery of translation management technology to reduce the number of revisions, saving on costs and speeding up the translation process.

plan for 508 compliance

Ensuring your EOC’s, supporting documentation, websites and applications are 508 compliant is a consideration that needs to be planned for from the very outset. Failing to get this right can bring you out of compliance with CMS. Fortunately there are a number of tools and techniques to help manage this.

build a partnership with your translation vendor

Building a close partnership with a language services provider who understands AEP and including them in your initial planning as soon as possible is essential. For example, agree upon procedures for CMS codes and affidavits upfront and create a check list that is used to measure success for each project. Communication is always key in building a successful relationship and defining expectations with nuances specific to health insurance plans and AEP will reduce confusion during the hectic period before AEP rollout.

view our webinar for key insights on ensuring a healthy AEP

All the points above and more will be covered in detail during our up coming webinar on Tuesday, April 29th at 12pm EDT, The CQ Fluency Prescription for a Healthy AEP. Seats are limited so make sure to reserve yours here. And finally, if you have any tips, tricks or questions, let us know in the comments below.

UPDATE: You can now view the webinar online here.