Top 10 Healthcare Interpreting Providers in the US: Leaders in Patient Communication in 2024

Article written by Laszlo K. Varga.

The language services industry is a dynamic and essential component of global communication, particularly in the healthcare sector. Effective communication in healthcare settings is crucial for ensuring patient safety and satisfaction, making these services indispensable.

The 2024 Nimdzi 100 report, a comprehensive annual survey of the largest language service providers (LSPs) worldwide, provides valuable insights into the companies driving growth and innovation in this vital industry. This report is an extract of the full report focusing on healthcare interpreting companies in the United States.

Market size and five-year growth projection

We estimate that the language services industry, with a 5.0% growth, reached $67.9 billion in 2023 and should grow to $72.7 billion in 2024. Using a CAGR of 7.0% in the coming years, the industry will reach $95.3 billion by 2028.

The interpreting sector, which has shown the highest levels of growth in the language services industry, is a significant contributor to this overall growth.

We estimate that the global interpreting industry reached USD 10.7 billion in 2023 and expect the interpreting market to grow at a CAGR of 6.2%, reaching USD 13.6 billion by 2027.

The strong performance of interpreting companies, which dominate the Nimdzi 100 list of the fastest-growing LSPs and are among the most productive, indicates the significant role of the interpreting sector in driving the overall growth of the language services industry.

The 10 fastest-growing LSPs in 2023

Source: The 2024 Nimdzi 100

The demand for multilingual communication in medical settings significantly contributes to this growth. According to the US Census Bureau, over 21% of US residents speak a language other than English at home, highlighting the critical need for interpreting services in healthcare. This trend has been on the rise for several decades, with the number of foreign-language speakers increasing by an impressive 192% between 1980 and 2018. In comparison, the growth rate for those who speak only English at home was a modest 28% during the same period. The substantial increase in the population with limited English proficiency (LEP) signifies the growing importance of language services in ensuring equitable access to healthcare for all individuals, regardless of their linguistic background.

The importance of healthcare interpreting

Healthcare is a critical sector in the US economy, and its importance is only set to grow as the population ages. The share of those aged 65 and older is projected to increase from 17% in 2022 to 23% in 2050, driving a significant increase in the demand for healthcare services. Adults aged 65 and above visit doctors 20% more frequently than younger adults and experience a threefold increase in hospitalization rates. 

The economic significance of healthcare is evident in the projected federal spending on major health programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which is expected to increase from 6.6% of GDP in 2020 to 9.2% of GDP in 2050. The aging population's healthcare needs largely drive this growth. Approximately 8% of Medicare beneficiaries have limited English proficiency, highlighting the need for language assistance services to ensure equitable access to healthcare. Language barriers in healthcare are linked to adverse outcomes such as lower quality of care, poor clinical outcomes, extended hospital stays, and higher readmission rates. Interpreting services help bridge this language gap, ensuring that patients of all backgrounds receive the necessary high-quality care and information.

Effective communication through interpreting enhances patient satisfaction, improves health outcomes, and enables informed decision-making by patients. As the United States continues to become more linguistically diverse, healthcare providers must prioritize the implementation of effective interpreting services to deliver high-quality, equitable care to all patients. Healthcare interpreting companies are at the forefront of innovation, leveraging new technologies to meet the growing demand for multilingual communication in healthcare settings.

Key players in the US healthcare interpreting market

The healthcare interpreting market in the United States is dominated by a select group of key players who have established themselves as leaders in facilitating effective communication between healthcare providers and LEP patients. These companies have demonstrated their expertise in delivering high-quality interpreting services, leveraging advanced technology, and maintaining a strong presence in the healthcare sector. In this section, we take a closer look at the top 10 interpreting companies in the United States, highlighting their market position and 2023 revenue.

RankNimdzi 100 RankCompanyHeadquarters2023 Revenue (USD million)
12LanguageLine SolutionsMonterey, CA963.0
215AMN Language ServicesDallas, TX260.0
319CyraCom InternationalTucson, AZ192.5
423Propio Language ServicesOverland Park, KS125.0
531United Language GroupMinneapolis, MN88.0
638GLOBO Language SolutionsPhiladelphia, PA71.1
739CloudbreakColumbus, OH71.0
844Certified Languages InternationalPortland, OR61.1
950AkorbiPlano, TX55.1
1088Linguava InterpretersPortland, OR26.0

Emerging technologies and new players

The healthcare interpreting market is evolving rapidly with the introduction of new technologies and players. Artificial intelligence (AI) implemented in machine interpreting and machine translation is becoming increasingly important in enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of language services. For example, companies like GLOBO and Propio are investing in AI solutions to automate the interpreting process in certain stages of the patient journey. These technological advancements streamline operations and reduce costs, enabling LSPs to offer improved and more affordable services.

However, the rise of AI and machine interpreting also presents challenges for the interpreting market. While these technologies can automate some aspects of interpreting, the nuances and complexities of human languages, especially in critical fields like healthcare, mean that human interpreters remain essential. There is a risk of job displacement, and interpreters must adapt to new technologies to remain competitive. Nonetheless, AI can also augment the capabilities of human interpreters, leading to more efficient and accurate services.

Several key trends are shaping the future of the market:

  1. Increased adoption of remote interpreting services, such as over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) and video remote interpreting (VRI), driven by their convenience and cost-effectiveness.
  2. Integration of interpreting services with telehealth platforms to provide comprehensive care to patients who speak different languages. For instance, AMN Language Services specializes in delivering healthcare-specific remote interpreting services.
  3. Growing use of AI and machine learning technologies in interpreting platforms to enhance service delivery and efficiency. Companies like Globo, LanguageLine and CyraCom are investing in these technologies to improve their offerings.
  4. Expansion of multilingual services to include captioning, subtitling, and transcription, catering to the diverse needs of clients.
  5. Increase in mergers and acquisitions as larger companies seek to expand their portfolios and geographic reach. Strategic partnerships are also forming to provide end-to-end language solutions.

The healthcare interpreting market in the US is a dynamic and growing sector, driven by the increasing demand for multilingual communication in medical settings. The US's top 10 largest healthcare interpreting companies are at the forefront of this industry, leveraging innovative technologies and services to ensure effective communication between healthcare providers and patients. As the market continues to evolve, these companies are well-positioned to adapt to emerging trends and technologies to lead the way in providing high-quality language services in healthcare.

This article was researched and written by Nimdzi's Lead Researcher and Analyst, Laszlo K. Varga.

24 May 2024
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