Health Care Interpreters in Oregon work under a broken system that creates additional challenges in an already challenging field.  Low wages, inconsistent scheduling, lack of training and education, poor standards, and many other hurdles prevent this work from leading to a sustainable career for many.  We must pass new laws to ensure HCI have the support and resources they need to provide quality interpretation services and thrive. 

Here is what we have done so far:

  • In 2019, we passed HB 2231. A law that gave Health Care Interpreters the right to unionize as independent contractors and allowed us to collectively bargain a contract with the State of Oregon with fair pay and working conditions for OHP, Medicare, and Medicaid appointments.
  • In 2021, we passed HB 2359 to require language agencies and providers to work with qualified or certified Health Care Interpreters in the Oregon Health Authority registry.
  • In 2023, we introduced SB 584, a bill that would have directed OHA to construct an online scheduling and billing system for the State of Oregon to pay HCIs directly for Medicaid, Medicare, and OHP appointments. Our bill did not pass; however, as a result of our collective advocacy, the legislature allocated $2 million for HCI to OHA, which we have the right to bargain over.
  • In 2024, SB 1578 passed! This bill directs OHA to establish and maintain a scheduling and billing system for Medicaid appointments. Thanks to your incredible dedication and support, we're on the verge of collectively negotiating a contract with the State of Oregon to secure fair pay, mileage reimbursements, affordable CEUs, and improvements to our working conditions.