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New L&I Medical Network Underway

L&I has established its first-ever medical provider network to deliver health care to injured workers in Washington state. Effective January 1 workers who suffer a job-related injury or illness can see any provider for their first visit to a doctor’s office or an emergency room but for ongoing treatment they must get care from a doctor in the network.

(NOTE: Be on the lookout for a new set of required posters recently sent to employers by L&I to reflect this change.)

Workers can search for providers at a directory that includes over 9300 network providers and is updated daily. L&I will help injured workers covered by the state workers’ compensation plan find a new medical provider if their doctor is not in the network and they are unable to find a new one. Workers whose claims are managed by their self-insured employers should contact the company or its third-party administrator directly.

Medical providers who are not in the network won’t be paid for treating injured workers except for the initial office or emergency room visit when a claim is filed. Providers who applied by December 31 2012 can continue to treat injured workers while L&I reviews their applications. All providers who meet network requirements will be accepted.

Those providers required to be in the network to deliver ongoing treatment include physicians (medical and osteopathic) chiropractors naturopathic physicians doctors of podiatry advanced registered nurse practitioners physician assistants dentists and optometrists.

Workers can continue to see out-of-state providers and other provider types not on this list until those practices are asked to join the network.

The medical provider network is part of the historic AGC-backed 2011 workers’ compensation reforms designed to improve outcomes for injured workers reduce disability and cut costs for the state’s workers compensation program.

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