Linguistic Services

Service Standard

Linguistic Services Service Standard print version

Subcategories Service Units
Translation/Interpretation - Interpersonal Per 15 minutes
Translation/Interpretation - Document Per transaction


Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Description:

Linguistic Services include interpretation and translation activities, both oral and, written, to eligible clients. These activities must be provided by a qualified linguistic services provider as a component of HIV service delivery between the healthcare provider and the client. These services are to be provided when such services are necessary to facilitate communication between the provider and client and/or  support delivery of HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) eligible services.

Program Guidance:

Services provided must comply with the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). Linguistic services include sign language linguistics.

Language assistance must be provided to individuals who have limited English proficiency and/or other communication needs at no cost to them in order to facilitate timely access to all health care and services.

Subrecipients must provide easy-to-understand print and multimedia materials and signage in the languages commonly used by the populations in the service area to inform all individuals of the availability of language assistance services.

All AAs and subrecipients must establish culturally and linguistically appropriate goals, policies, and management accountability, and infuse them throughout the organizations’ planning and operations.

DSHS Program Guidance:

Linguistic services are provided as a component of HIV service delivery to facilitate communication between the client and provider, as well as support service delivery in both group and individual settings. These standards ensure that language is not a barrier to any client seeking HIV-related medical care and support, and that linguistic services are provided in a culturally appropriate manner.

Services are intended to be inclusive of all individuals and not limited to any population group or sets of groups. They are especially designed to assure that the needs of racial, ethnic, and linguistic populations living with HIV receive quality, unbiased services.


Linguistic services, including interpretation (oral) and translation (written) services, must be provided by a qualified linguistic provider.

Telehealth and Telemedicine is an alternative modality to provide most Ryan White Part B and State Services funded services. For the Ryan White Part B/SS funded providers and Administrative Agencies, telehealth and telemedicine services are to be provided in real-time via audio and video communication technology which can include videoconferencing software.

DSHS HIV Care Services requires that for Ryan White Part B or SS funded services providers must use features to protect ePHI transmission between client and providers. RW Providers must use a telehealth vendor that provides assurances to protect ePHI that includes the vendor signing a business associate agreement (BAA). Ryan White Providers using telehealth must also follow DSHS HIV Care Services guidelines for telehealth and telemedicine outlined in DSHS Telemedicine Guidance.

Service Standard and Measure

The following Standards and Measures are guides to improving healthcare outcomes for people living with HIV throughout the State of Texas within the Ryan White Part B and State Services Program.

Standard Measure

Provision of Services: Client files will have documented evidence in the client assessment of need of linguistic services for interpretation/translation needs to communicate with the healthcare provider and/or receive appropriate services.

Agencies shall provide translation/interpretation services for the date of scheduled appointment per request submitted and will document the type of linguistic service provided in the client’s primary record. Linguistic services may be provided in person or via telephonic or other electronic means (see telehealth/telemedicine information above).

Percentage of clients with documented evidence of need of linguistic services as indicated in the client’s assessment.

Percentage of client files with documented evidence of interpretive/translation services provided for the date of service requested.



HRSA/HAB Division of Metropolitan HIV/AIDS Programs Program Monitoring Standards – Part A April 2013, p. 37-38. Accessed on October 12, 2020.

HRSA/HAB Division of State HIV/AIDS Programs National Monitoring Standards – Program Part B April, 2013, p. 37-38. Accessed on October 12, 2020.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with respect to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP)

HRSA/HAB Ryan White Program & Grants Management, Recipient Resources. Policy Notices and Program Letters, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Services: Eligible Individuals & Allowable Uses of Funds Policy Clarification Notice (PCN) #16-02 (Revised 10/22/2018) 

Interim Guidance for the Use of Telemedicine and Telehealth for HIV Core and Support Services, March 2020

Interim Guidance for the Use of Telemedicine and Telehealth for HIV Core and Support Services – Users Guide and FAQs, March 2020