Limited English Proficiency

Frequency of Threshold Language Speakers in the Medi-Cal Population by County for October 2011

Background: Since 2001, the California Department of Mental Health (DMH) has been required by law to report the current number and proportion of Threshold Languages in California. Broadly, Threshold Languages are those which are spoken at a high proportional rate within a geographic region of the state and as such may contribute to obstacles of understanding and access for those seeking mental health services. Drawing from Title 9 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), DMH defines beneficiaries with threshold languages as “the annual numeric identification on a countywide basis and as indicated on the Medi-Cal Eligibility Data System (MEDS), from the 3,000 beneficiaries or five (5) percent of the Medi-Cal beneficiary population, whichever is lower, in an identified geographic area, whose primary language is other than English, and for whom information and services shall be provided in their primary language.”i DMH provides threshold languages data on an annual basis to counties through an informational notice. This brief compiled by the Research and Analytic Studies Branch (RASB) of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) includes that information for the Medi-Cal population. A summary of the 2011 Threshold Language data is found in the section entitled “Findings.”

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