Language  Line Supporting Cultural Competence


Language barriers between patients and providers may increase the likelihood of miscommunication, lower satisfaction, and reduce patient safety and the quality of healthcare received. (1)

The use of telephonic or video interpretation can improve quality of care simply by increasing access to professional interpreters. If your provider office has access to a Language Line, we encourage you to utilize the line to provide services to patients whose primary language line is not English.

BCBSTX offers translation services for hundreds of languages to providers and members free of charge through our Language Line.

Where do I call and how does this work?

  • Call 1-800-874-9426 for Group insurance members. When asked supply code 704322
  • Call 1-866-874-3972 for Retail insurance members. When asked supply code 706640
  • Provide the needed language and within 5 minutes a translator will be on the phone to assist you and your patient.

Cultural Competence

  • More than 67 million people in the United States speak a language other than English at home. (2) The American Academy of Family Physicians reported this population is least likely to access care or be satisfied with the care they receive. (3)
  • Limited English proficiency complicates communication which increases the risk of adverse effects from medications and misunderstanding physician instructions or diagnosis information as noted in the American Family Physician Journal article Appropriate Use of Medical Interpreters (3).
  • Results for the 2021 and 2022 BCBSTX Enrollee Experience Survey (EES) revealed a significant drop (5 percentage points) in member satisfaction with Cultural Competence directly related to translation services during a doctor or clinic appointment when compared to 2020 scores.

We encourage you to:

  • Use the language line that is available to your office as an additional resource as you care for patients.
  • Provide ongoing training for staff on the language resources available to aid in patient care.
  •  Watch News and Updates for more information and future announcements.

(1)    Implications of Language Barriers for Healthcare: A Systematic Review Accessed September 6, 2023

(2)   U.S. Census Bureau. American community survey. Accessed March 20, 2023


(4)   Use of Communication Technologies to Cost Effectively Increase the Availability of Interpretation Services in Healthcare Settings, Access August 30, 2023.