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Removing Healthcare Language Barriers for Spanish-Speaking Coloradans

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023   

Colorado's Spanish-speaking communities can now access comprehensive pricing information for health-care services through a new Spanish portal in the Shop For Care tool developed by the Center for Improving Value in Health Care.

Cari Frank, vice president for communications for Center for Improving Value in Health Care, said the tool is a game-changer, and has saved consumers thousands of dollars in medical bills, because it allows anyone to see the true costs of medical procedures across all of the state's hospitals and other care facilities.

"This tool actually enables people who maybe have high copays to be able to say, 'OK, if I need a colonoscopy, or I'm having a baby, I can actually use this tool to figure out where I can get the best quality of care at the lowest price,'" she said.

Creating a tool that Spanish-speaking Coloradans could access has been a top priority for the center. Frank said it works to improve health equity. More than half of Colorado Latinos speak Spanish and it is the sole language spoken by one in ten Coloradans, according to the Latino Leadership Institute. The Spanish and English versions can be accessed at the Center's website: 'civhc.org.'

Shop For Care also has been used by health-care providers to see how their prices compare, and to help patients without health insurance find lower-priced options. Frank said some medical procedures can cost as much as $60,000 more at one facility versus another. When consumers are better informed about their choices, she said they can be a significant driver in lowering health-care costs.

"And if a consumer makes a choice to go to the lower-cost facility that has just as great quality, then we're actually lowering the overall cost of health care, which reduces premiums for all of us," she said.

Price is not the only important factor to consider when choosing a health-care facility, so the tool enables consumers to compare health-care quality and patient experience at many facilities. In addition to the Spanish addition, Shop For Care has been improved to make the tool more mobile friendly, and can now be accessed using multiple devices.

Disclosure: Center for Improving Value in HealthCare contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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