Interpreter FAQ

Who is Universal Language Service?
What is the Collective Bargaining Agreement?
What will I be paid for jobs through the HCA contract?
Will mileage / expenses be reimbursed?
How can I upload an expense?
How will you pay for late-cancelled jobs?
How do I submit my invoice for a cancelled HCA appointment? When I go to the job, the attachment option is not there.
How do I send documents to Universal that contain patient information?
How often will interpreters be paid?
What method of payment can I expect?
How do I become eligible to accept HCA jobs?
How will I know when I am eligible for HCA jobs?
What if I only want to accept HCA jobs through Universal?
How will jobs be released onto the scheduling platform?
Will the check-in/check-out process still be electronic?
Will interpreters be able to give back jobs via the platform with more than 24 hours advanced notice instead of calling in to the Scheduling Department?
Will the login system change?
Do I need an ID Badge?
Everything on my profile is “Approved” status. Does this mean I am eligible for jobs?
Do I need to have ALL documents on up Interpreter Documents tab as “Approved” status in order to accept HCA jobs?
[X Document] was accepted by the previous vendor, but it was rejected by Universal. Why?
My document was rejected! How can I find out the reason?
My profile shows multiple records for the same document – one is Expired, the other is New / Approved.
I want to take only HCA jobs. How can this be accomplished?
I received a notification that I was missing a document, but when I check my profile it says the document is approved. What do I do?
I sent my documents in on [X] day, why aren’t they on my profile yet?
Where can I get more information about LAP Interpreters – HCA OPI/VRI K4742?

Who is Universal Language Service?

Universal Language Service (Universal) is the contractor that provides interpreter services to Washington State Medicaid eligible clients for Healthcare appointments and Social Service appointments for the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and Department of Children, Youth and Family (DCYF) offices.

 

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What is the Collective Bargaining Agreement?

In 2011, The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was established between spoken language access provider (LAP) interpreters and the Governor of Washington to ensure equal access to pay, professional development, union management meetings and grievances. The CBA was determined to be the contract that DSHS, DCYF and HCA will comply with when providing services to Medicaid DSHS and DCYF LEP clients utilizing LAP’s.

 

For more information about the CBA, you can review the document on the OFM website, WFSE Language Access Providers.

 

American Sign Language interpreters are not part of the union or covered by the CBA.

 

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What will I be paid for jobs through the HCA contract?

Interpreters will continue to be reimbursed according to the terms negotiated by Local 1671 Interpreters United under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which, effective July 1st, 2019, is $41.00/hr for in-person and family member appointments, and $31.00/hr for block-time appointments.

 

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Will mileage / expenses be reimbursed?

Jobs under the HCA contract will be reimbursed according to the terms negotiated by Interpreters United and the Health Care Authority. Interpreters who are not familiar with the Collective Bargaining Agreement between these two entities can click on the hyperlink to learn more.

Universal will continue to remit full payment for mileage, travel, and/or parking whenever it is reimbursed by the requester for Private Sector jobs (non-HCA).

 

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How can I upload an expense?

HCA will reimburse for parking, toll, and ferry expense. Expenses must show the amount charged and the date/time for verification purposes. We simply need you to attach the expense to the job before you submit your invoice or approve your times online. If you need to claim an expense for a cancelled appointment, you can email us the expense to billing@ulsonline.net. If you accidentally approve a job before attaching the expense, you can also email a photo of the expense. If emailing the expense, we ask that you include the job number only. Please do not send us your job invoice because this is a HIPAA violation.
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How will you pay for late-cancelled jobs?

Late Cancellations will be reimbursed according to the terms indicated in the CBA. Interpreters who are not familiar with the CBA can click here to learn more.

 

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How do I submit my invoice for a cancelled HCA appointment? When I go to the job, the attachment option is not there.

For any cancelled HCA appointment, we do not need your job invoice submitted. Please allow us 3-5 business days and we will update your estimated payment so it matches the terms and conditions of the CBA.
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How do I send documents to Universal that contain patient information?

This is just a reminder to all interpreters that sending invoices with patient information unsecured in email is a HIPAA violation. While we encourage online check in and check out, we understand that this cannot always happen, so if you are going to send the invoice in an email it MUST be secure. Failure to do this will result in a HIGH level incident and you could lose your HCA contract status.
If you are sending in your documentation, such as certifications, it is up to you if you want to send it secured, that is your own Personal Information, but to reiterate, you cannot send invoices or any information containing patient information unsecured to Universal Language Service.
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How often will interpreters be paid?

Interpreters will be reimbursed for HCA jobs twice per month, on the 5th and 20th.

 

Reimbursement for Private Sector jobs will continue to be remitted once per month.

 

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What method of payment can I expect?

Direct deposit is recommended, as it is the fastest, most secure, and reliable method of payment. Click here to view and download the direct deposit authorization form. The form must be completely filled out with either a voided check or official authorization form attached in order to be processed.

 

Incomplete forms will not be processed, and interpreters will continue to receive checks according to the default paper method. Interpreters can verify whether they are signed up for direct deposit by navigating to the Contacts tab in the interpreter platform. This information is available under the Address Information section.

 

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How do I become eligible to accept HCA jobs?

All interpreters who wish to accept assignments under the HCA contract must be registered with Universal Language Service and comply with HCA document requirements. Unregistered interpreters can enroll using the online form.

 

If an interpreter does not have an active account with Universal, or does not meet all of the HCA’s document requirements, the interpreter will not be eligible to accept jobs under this contract. Interpreters can become eligible at any time by submitting the required documentation to Universal Language Service. For information on which documents are required, please click here.

 

Interpreters who have worked with Universal previously, but who are unsure whether their account is currently active, should confirm that their account is currently in Active status. Interpreters who have not accepted work in the last year through Universal may be Inactive. To confirm account status:

 

  1. Log in to your account with your email address as the username; you may need to reset your password to gain access
  2. Contact the Interpreter Accounts Department via email at interpreter@ulsonline.net if you do not have an active login
  3. Contact Help Desk by email at helpdesk@ulsonline.net if you have an active login, but are having difficulty accessing your account

 

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How will I know when I am eligible for HCA jobs?

Interpreters can see whether or not they are eligible for HCA jobs by navigating to the Contacts tab in the interpreter platform and opening their contact information. Near the top of the page, the interpreter can hover over Interpreter Qualifications and see whether or not HCA Medical, HCA Social, or HCA Block Time have been added, along with any other qualification Universal may have on file.

 

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What if I only want to accept HCA jobs through Universal?

Interpreters who do not wish to supplement their HCA job schedule with appointments in the Private Sector are not required to sign Universal’s proprietary Independent Contractor Agreement. Interpreters who do not sign this document should not accept jobs labeled as Private Sector. Any Private Sector job accepted by an interpreter who has not signed the Independent Contractor Agreement will be removed from the interpreter’s schedule.

 

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How will jobs be released onto the scheduling platform? 

Jobs will become available to interpreters throughout the day according to the interpreter’s preferences (via text message and/or email).

 

Interpreters are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism and exercise good judgement during jobs and while operating motor vehicles so that job notifications do not interfere with interpretation services, client safety, or interpreter safety. Interpreters receiving complaints from Requesters regarding the use of mobile devices during jobs will be handled according to the Incident Resolution Process.

 

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Will the check-in/check-out process still be electronic?

Most Service Requesters utilizing the HCA contract will check interpreters in and out electronically. When the check-in/check-out process is electronic, the Job Invoice Submission field on the Job Details screen will show Not Required.

 

Interpreters should also be aware that the HCA contract does allow certain Requesters to use a paper check-in/check-out process, and interpreters will be expected to arrive prepared in the event that the physical document is required. When the check-in/check-out process requires a paper form, the Job Invoice Submission field on the Job Details screen will show the type of Job Invoice to be used.

 

Interpreters are encouraged to carry blank job invoices at all times in the event that the electronic check-in/check-out process fails.

 

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Will interpreters be able to give back jobs via the platform with more than 24 hours advanced notice instead of calling in to the Scheduling Department?

In accordance with HCA Contract requirements, HCA jobs can be given back up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled start time on the interpreter platform without consequence. If the interpreter must give back a job within 24 hours of the start time, please call our 24/7 Scheduling Department at (425) 452-5644.

 

For non-HCA jobs, interpreters will still need to call Scheduling to give back the job. Please note that many Private Sector Requesters require notice of more than 24 hours if an interpreter is unable to keep a confirmed job. Giving back jobs with less than 24 hours’ notice can result in a “late cancellation” charge to the interpreter from the Requester for the minimum payable amount.

 

Interpreters are encouraged to give as much notice as possible when giving back jobs regardless of the contract under which a job is requested to help ensure that language services for the client are uncompromised.

 

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Will the login system change?

Interpreters will need to have an active account with Universal Language Service in order to login via the interpreter platform on our website and to view and manage jobs.

 

There will be some new functionality added to the interpreter platform in the next few weeks, but the overall user experience will be the same. New interpreters are encouraged to sign up and log in as soon as possible to begin familiarizing themselves with the platform.

 

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Do I need an ID Badge?

Interpreters are not required to carry an ID badge for HCA Contract jobs. However, Requesters may ask interpreters to present a valid photo ID for identification purposes, so interpreters should take care to have this ready.

 

Many Private Sector Requesters do require that visiting interpreters have an ID badge representing their language agency visible at all times. Interpreters who plan to supplement their HCA job schedules with jobs from the Private Sector will need to request an ID badge.

 

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Everything on my profile is “Approved” status. Does this mean I am eligible for jobs?

Not necessarily. Please reference the HCA Orientation for ALL required documents. If these documents are not on your profile, you still need to submit. If the record does not show on your profile, please submit via email, fax, postal mail, or hand deliver.

 

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Do I need to have ALL documents up on Interpreter Documents tab as “Approved” status in order to accept HCA jobs?

No. Only documents which are listed in the HCA Interpreter Role & Responsibilities need to be approved in order to accept HCA jobs.

 

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[X Document] was accepted by the previous vendor, but it was rejected by Universal. Why?

We cannot speak to the reasons behind practices under other agencies. Universal is very careful to only relay contract requirements from the holders of the contracts we provide services under (i.e. the State of Washington, in the case of HCA).

 

The current document requirements are therefore not new, and many of them (immunizations in particular) have been around since 2013. Please see the letter from HCA (click here) which provides additional information on this topic.

 

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My document was rejected! How can I find out the reason?

If you do not see the reason in the email notification for the rejection, you can go to your Interpreter Documents tab on the scheduling platform and open up the document record. There are two places where notes on rejection can be found:

 

Interpreter Document Record Notes

In the notes section of most records, there will be information about the basis upon which that record was approved, rejected, or expired, along with anything else that a Universal team member or interpreter might need to know.

 

Interpreter Document Record Approval History

If the reason is not in the ‘Notes’ field (above), then in the comments section of the Approval History, a reason will have been documented.

 

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My profile shows multiple records for the same document – one is Expired, the other is New / Approved.

Expired documents are sometimes kept to maintain a history of what happened with that record. So long as there is a record for that document that is Approved, you are still considered as meeting that document requirement.

 

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I want to take only HCA jobs. How can this be accomplished?

At this time, there is not functionality in place to prevent interpreters from seeing non-HCA jobs. If an interpreter wishes only to provide services under the HCA Contract, they should accept only these jobs, and reject all others.

 

Interpreters can tell which jobs are HCA jobs based on the Type of Job column on their main Jobs tab. Any job that is for the HCA contract will start with the letters “HCA” (e.g. “HCA Medical”, “HCA Social”, etc.).

 

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I received a notification that I was missing a document, but when I check my profile it says the document is approved. What do I do?

Our system automatically generates a notification for new / expired documents upon creation of that record. Many times, we are adding these records at the time that we are also approving them as having been received and reviewed. Other times, we are adding them so that the interpreter has it on their profile, but we have not yet found that document in our emails or postal mail inboxes. This doesn’t mean it’s not there, it just means we haven’t come upon it yet as we are processing such an extremely high volume of documents.

 

If an interpreter knows they submitted the documents required, then they can disregard this alert.

 

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I sent my documents in on [X] day, why aren’t they on my profile yet?

As we are dealing with an extreme influx of documents and emails, it is taking time to process everything. Please see the status update above for an approximation on where we are at with processing. If you are confident you have submitted your documents, please be patient and know that everything we receive will get on to your profile soon.

 

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