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Communication barriers cost practices $19,000 annually

Physician Practice Advisor, May 2, 2007

A recent study presented at the American College of Physicians' annual meeting found that treating patients who speak little-to-no English costs individual physician practices on average $19,000 a year, the San Diego Business Journal reports.

Spanish was the most predominantly spoken foreign language that practices encountered. Chinese, Russian, Korean and Vietnamese, respectively, were the most common languages after Spanish.

According to the article, the added costs ranged from paying a translator to the extra time spent trying to get non-English speakers to explain their ailments and understand directions on their treatments.

Click here to read the San Diego Business Journal article.