CHESTER J. CULVER, GOVERNOR DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

PATTY JUDGE, LT. GOVERNOR CHARLES J. KROGMEIER, DIRECTOR

INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO. 812 June 24, 2009

TO: Iowa Medicaid Maternal Health Center and Screening Center Providers

FROM: Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise

RE: Title V Translation and Interpretation Services

Effective July 1, 2009 Iowa Medicaid will be opening two procedure codes for Translation and Interpretation Services. These codes are to be used by providers reimbursed by a fee schedule. The codes include:

 T1013 sign language or oral interpretive services
o 15 minute unit
o Fee schedule maximum of $15.00 per unit
 W5023 Telephonic oral interpretive services
o One minute unit
o Fee schedule maximum of $1.70 per unit

In order for translation/interpretation services to be covered by Iowa Medicaid, the services must meet the following criteria:

 Provided by interpreters who provide only interpretive services.
 Interpreters may be employed or contracted by the billing provider.
 The interpretive services must facilitate access to Medicaid covered services. Providers may only bill for these services if offered in conjunction with an otherwise Medicaid covered service. Medical staff that are bilingual are not reimbursed for the interpretation but only for their medical services.
 Reimbursable time may include the interpreter’s travel and wait time.

Documentation of the service

The billing provider must document in the patient’s record the interpreter’s name or company, date and time of the interpretation, service duration (time in & time out), and the cost of providing the service.

Qualifications

It is the responsibility of the billing provider to determine the interpreter’s competency. Sign language interpreters should be licensed pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code 645 Chapter 361. Oral interpreters should be guided by the standards developed by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care ( www.ncihc.org )

If you have any questions, please contact IME Provider Services, 1-800-338-7909, locally 515-725-1004 or by e-mail at imeproviderservices@dhs.state.ia.us