Many international insurance providers are surprised at how expensive and time consuming the process of translation is. Getting large volumes of claim documents in the language required for processing can indeed be a tedious process—especially when you don’t have a trusted language partner to rely on. Reliability, professionalism, and the reputation of your translation partner are crucial because even a small oversight in translation may result in a claim being approved when it should have been disputed or the other way around.
There are a few things that insurance providers can do on their end to reduce costs and streamline the process associated with translation activities. The following eight strategies are particularly effective for accomplishing these goals:
- When translating diagnoses, use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) database. This will save time and money and will ensure that the translation meets international standards.
- Determine whether you need all of the content translated. If a lot of the information is repeated or irrelevant, you can save money and speed up the turnaround by using a style guide that addresses what should and should not be translated.
- Use templates that contain a uniform header and footer to avoid paying for translations of repeat information. Consider the savings across millions of documents.
- Decide whether you need exact formatting for the final translations. It is usually cheaper just to translate a document.
- Make sure the currency, measurements, time, and date formats are standardized to ensure consistency and eliminate unnecessary conversions.
- Find out whether your translators have the necessary qualifications. When translating intricate medical documents, an inexperienced translator may spend a lot of time (hopefully) researching unfamiliar terms and compliance regulations, and even then, a novice translator could still make a critical mistake.
- Strive to provide the best possible scanned copy. This will help eliminate the guesswork—for example, your translator should easily be able to discern a “3” from a “9.”
- Confidentiality is paramount in medical care. It is unfortunately common practice for translation companies to post non-redacted insurance and medical documents on sites such as ProZ when searching for a translator who can handle an unfamiliar language or subject matter. How do you ensure your confidential documents are not publicly posted by well-meaning project managers and translators? Ensuring HIPAA compliance and confidentiality is the responsibility of your translation provider. Make sure they are familiar with the relevant confidentiality regulations and enforce them.