Language Line Services, a Monterey, Calif., provider of phone-based interpretation and translation services to healthcare, manufacturing and other industries, has acquired Dallas-based competitor Pacific Interpreters in a deal that Language Line Services says will form the largest provider of medical interpretation services in the country. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the two companies have nearly $300 million in combined annual revenue, according to a news release
The deal comes as hospitals are under increasing pressure to adequately accommodate patients with limited English proficiency. In January 2011, for instance, the Joint Commission issued more stringent standards for patient-centered communication requiring hospitals to provide interpretation services as part of its accreditation process.
“It’s a fast-growing area,” Scott Klein, CEO of Language Line Services, said in an interview. “There’s so much legislation focused on making sure (patients with limited English proficiency) are properly cared for.”
Klein said he sees even more opportunities for growth as budget-strapped hospitals opt to work with telephone interpretation services providers instead of employing on-site medical interpreters.
“There’s no question that more hospitals are shifting to a phone interpretation model because it’s so much more cost effective,” Klein said. “And it’s instantaneous, instead of waiting for an interpreter to walk across a campus and find a patient’s room.”
Language Line Services purchased Pacific Interpreters from Sterling Capital, a Northbrook, Ill.-based private equity firm that has owned the company since 2010.