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Increase the number of people aged 65 and over

CMS Marketing Guidelines and How Providers Can Adapt

The number of people age 65 and older has increased by 33 percent over the past decade.

And according to the US Census, more than 15 percent of the adult population, speak a language other than English at home. The team at CQ fluency is prepared to help you address the needs of those underserved, including those who are facing language and accessibility barriers – with the mutual goal of driving positive health outcomes for all.

CQ fluency is honored to be working in partnership with CMS to provide accurately translated model documents including Enrollment Forms, Annual Notice of Change/Evidence of Coverage (ANOC/EOC), Formularies and Directories. In addition, we create and maintain a CMS glossary of healthcare and health insurance terms to ensure consistency across all model documents.

Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide guidance on the Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG) for Medicare Advantage Plans (MAs), Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MA-PDs), Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and 1876 Cost Plans. CQ fluency can provide you with an understanding of how these updates will affect your marketing strategies and operations. We often work as an advisor to companies needing assistance in best communicating with their Limited English Proficient (LEP) members in compliance with regulations. In fact, when the guidelines are revised every year, we review them thoroughly and notify our clients of any changes that may have an impact on them.

On August 6th, 2019 the CMS published an update to the MCMG applicable to all CY2020 marketing and communication materials and activities. That memo can be found here.

CMS suggests that Plans/Part D Sponsors review the CY2019 MCMG in conjunction with the changes listed in their memo. You are responsible for understanding that both documents must be read and considered together! We also understand state level mandates on language assistance.

Section 1557 (the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act) continues to evolve in its interpretation and enforcement. What hasn’t changed is the continuous requirement pertaining to the “Non-English Speaking Population.” Known as Section 30.3, this portion indicates that Plan/Part D sponsor call centers must have interpreter services available to answer questions from non-English speaking or limited English proficient (LEP) beneficiaries. This requirement is applicable regardless of the percentage of non-English speaking or LEP beneficiaries in a plan benefit package (PBP) service area. CMS has designated materials in section 100 that the agency considers vital and thus Plans/Part D sponsors must make available in any language that is the primary language of at least five (5) percent of a Plan’s/Part D sponsor’s PBP service area.

Is your organization structured to analyze the vital role of translations with every CMS update?

CQ fluency’s familiarity and expertise make us the ideal language services partner for any Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and Health Insurance organizations across the country. Below are a few of the many updates you should be aware of:

CMS changes

– Electronic Communication Policy & Marketing Through Unsolicited Contacts (Sections 30.6 and 40.2)

Educational Events (Section 50.1)

Use of TTY Numbers (Section 30.5)

– Co-branding with Providers or – Downstream Entities (Section 30.9.1)

– Required Disclaimers (Appendix 2)

CMS new additions

– Communications and Marketing Definitions (Section 20)
– Prohibition of Open Enrollment Period Marketing (Section 40.7)
– Material Identification (Section 90.1)
– Submission of Websites and Webpages for Review (section 90.4)

CMS deletions

– Enrollee Referral Programs
– Font Size Rule

Receiving proper healthcare can be a complex challenge for anyone, but more so for those not native to the English language.

Understanding who, what, where, and how to receive aid can be nearly impossible without the proper translation. As a leader in the healthcare communications industry, CQ has a wide range of services available to those in this exact position.

Two people reviewing a contract for switching provider

document translation services for digital and print

CQ fluency’s document translation services team is fully equipped to deliver projects in any file type and format, including deliverables for digital and print

Examples include:

  • Evidence of Coverage (EOCs)
  • Annual Notice of Change (ANOCs)
  • Summary of Benefits (SOB)
  • Provider Directories
  • Disclosure Forms
  • Member Handbooks
  • Letters, booklets, flyers

When serving customers over the phone, language barriers can be frustrating. CQ offers professional phone interpretation services that remove barriers and help to reduce customer service agent time with non-English speakers AND comply with regulations regarding LEP populations. The conversation process is available 24/7 with a live operator, in over 170 language choices, and all interpreters are United States based.

Simply translating for those who need it may not be enough. CQ fluency doesn’t just translate content, because language is just one part of the overall communication process. Our translation services culturally adapt the message to increase audience engagement and build a presence in ethnic communities in the United States. Clear communication can help your audience be more proactive and involved with their healthcare because they truly understand what is happening = consistent utilization of preventative services = improvement in medication adherence = fewer emergency room visits = positive outcomes of patients with LEP.

Effective Advertising for Language Services - CQ Fluency

an exclusive translation vendor to the CMS

CQ fluency was awarded an exclusive CMS translation contract and our performance has been graded “Outstanding” by CMS. Our deep understanding of CMS guidelines and deadlines and quality service is the reason we are one of the largest providers of language and accessibility services to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid health plans in the country. With over 20 years of experience, we have structured our business and translation/accessibility workflows around CMS guidelines. Massive, industry specific translation memory enables us to deliver cost & time efficiencies for accurate, high-quality translation services in a variety of languages.


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