Working to Meet Patients’ Language Needs

Our quality improvement efforts are designed to ensure quality care and member satisfaction. To achieve these goals, Highmark continually reviews the aspects of our plan that affect member care and satisfaction and looks for ways to improve them. One way to do that is to share details with network practitioners about the languages patients in their area may speak and provide information on available interpreting services.

Highmark annually assesses languages spoken by population in our service areas and compares them to the data that practitioners report on their network applications. Our 2024 analysis concluded that Pennsylvania had greater than 1,000 residents speaking the following languages:

 Languages Spoken  PCPs are available who speak the language  PCPs are not available who speak the language
 Amharic, Somali, or another Afro-Asiatic X
 Armenian X
 Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese)
 French (including Cajun)
 Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or another Austronesian X
 Khmer X
 Malayalam, Kannada, or another Dravidian
 Nepali, Marathi, or another Indic
 Swahili or another Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa
 Tagalog (including Filipino)
 Thai, Lao, or another Tai-Kadai
 Ukrainian or another Slavic
 Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch, or another West Germanic
 Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or another Western Africa

  • The above data is from the 2022 U.S. Census – American Community Survey One Five-Year Estimates.
  • This information is based on state population and not Highmark membership population.

In addition, our telephone translation vendor provided a breakdown of all calls Highmark customer service representatives received during the year that required interpreter services. In 2023, Highmark received 33,914 calls — an increase of 652 from 2022 — from members speaking 71 different languages. The largest percentage of calls (87%) was from members speaking Spanish. The total number of calls serviced for Spanish was 29,382.