L&I Solicits Feedback on Workers’ Compensation Medical Network

The Department of Labor & Industries is soliciting public feedback on draft rules for implementing parts of the workers’ compensation medical network, scheduled to launch in 2013. These rules concern injured workers’ visits to non-network providers and will spell out what L&I will pay for and who can decide to reopen a workers compensation claim.

According to Beth Dupre, Assistant Director for Insurance Services, “After the network launches, injured workers can see a non-network provider only for an initial visit. After that they must transfer to a network provider. Since providers outside our network cannot receive payment after the first treatment, we’re eager to find a way to make the transition to network providers as smooth as possible for everyone.”

The proposed rules were developed in conjunction with a special advisory group that included one worker, one employer, and provider representatives from the Industrial Insurance Medical Committee and Chiropractic Advisory Committee.

To synthesize public comments and feedback on the proposed rules, one hearing will be held in Tumwater, on Feb. 23, 12 p.m., L&I Headquarters at 7273 Linderson Way SW.

Written comments on the draft rules will also be accepted until 5 p.m., Feb. 23. These can be submitted to Jami Lifka at:

Email: Jami.Lifka@Lni.wa.gov
Fax:    360-902-6315
Mail:   Department of Labor & Industries, PO Box 44321, Olympia, WA  98504-4321
Hand-delivery:  L&I, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501

In March 2012, L&I will start to enroll providers who wish to join the new network. Enrollment will be open to doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, podiatric doctors, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and optometrists who practice in Washington State. Out-of-state providers (and other provider types) can keep treating injured workers until they receive an invitation to join the network at a later date.

The medical provider network is a component of the part of L&I legislation passed in 2011, Substitute Senate Bill 5801, which seeks to improve workers’ outcomes after an injury. In addition to creating the network, the legislation extended access to Washington state’s Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs) and requires L&I to offer incentives to network providers who adopt best practices for occupational health.

Complete information and a copy of the proposed rules are available at the Provider Network and COHE Expansion website.

If you have experienced an on-the-job injury and need help with your L&I claim, a Seattle Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Emery Reddy can help you through the process and maximize the amount of workers compensation benefits you receive. We also help clients appeal a rejected L&I claim. Please contact our firm today for help with your case.

Emery Reddy