Often, injured workers involved in a workers' compensation claim will receive notice from the Department of Labor and Industries instructing them to schedule and complete an IME exam. The reason cited by L&I, as well as many other private insurance companies, is that the IME allows a doctor othe...
The vast number of U.S. workers claim to periodically suffer from depression, anxiety and stress; moreover, every year an alarming percent are diagnosed with chronic mental health issues related to these conditions. However, as with all mental health problems, the symptoms can manifest at the physic...
In Washington State, workers have the right to choose their own doctor (often the patient’s family doctor) to administer care for a work injury.  Within the Department of Labor and Industries, and the workers’ compensation system, that provider becomes your “treating doctor.”  Yet there ar...
In the state of Washington, workers you have the right to choose their own doctor (or remain with their regular family physician) while receiving treatment for a work injury. Yet in some cases an employer or insurance provider will select a different doctor for an “independent medical examination...
 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 empl...
Two weeks ago we reported the story of Arkansas worker Lauren Eason, who was denied a change of physician even though her doctor had died in December. Eason had already switched physicians earlier in the year, and Arkansas law does not allow patients with a workers compensation injury to change a se...
Union membership in Washington State and the U.S. has fallen yet another year, continuing a trend now spanning several decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, membership rates in 2011 fell to 11.8% of the American work force.  That figure was down slightly from 11.9% in 2010, despite ...
Survey results released by the Department of Labor & Industries show that job sites across Washington became safer in 2010, continuing a trend that started over a decade ago.  According to the Washington State Occupational Injury and Illness Survey, 5 out of every 100 full-time workers (includi...
Employees suffering from a work-related injury, disability or illness are often required to have an Independent Medical Exam (or IME).  What is an Independent Medical Exam?  If you become injured or disabled at work and have an open L&I claim, the Department of Labor and Industries may ...