Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries has now begun to accept applications for the state workers’ compensation medical network, which will launch in 2013. Network providers will give medical care to injured workers covered by L&I policies as well as those with self-insured employers.
Starting in January of 2013, certain providers that practice medicine in Washington state will be required to participate in the network in order to treat injured workers beyond the initial emergency-room or office visit. This will include L&I doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and optometrists.
Beth Dupre, Assistant Director for Insurance Services, explained that L&I “wants every great health-care provider in the state to be part of our network. Your patients are counting on your participation. I urge you to apply early, so we can have credentialing completed before the network launches.”
Standards and guidelines for joining the network are detailed in the new L&I rules, which became effective on February 3, 2012.
Providers have the option of applying at www.JoinTheNetwork.Lni.wa.gov. Over the coming year, L&I plans to reach out to current L&I providers and encourage them to apply. New providers can apply to the network at any time.
Different kinds of medical providers (including out-of-state providers) will be able to continue treating injured workers with an L&I Claim until they are contacted about joining the network at a later date.
After the network officially begins to operate, injured workers will have the option of seeing non-network providers, but only for their initial visit. After this, the injured worker must select a network provider for subsequent care. An L&I Attorney can help workers locate a network provider.
Workers having trouble collecting injury benefits from L&I are encouraged to contact a Seattle Workers Compensation Attorney. We can also provide you with crucial advice if the Department of Labor and Industries has required you to complete an Independent Medical Examination.