Finding a primary care provider and your rights

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  • Expand/collapse What is a primary care or attending provider in workers' compensation?

    A primary care or attending provider is one who treats an injured worker and:

    • Manages their treatment.
    • Reports progress to the claim manager.
    • Helps the worker return to work as soon as possible.

    Note that in workers compensation, we generally use the term attending provider.

  • Expand/collapse Who can be an attending provider for your work-related injury or illness?

    The following types of providers can be an injured worker's attending provider:

    • Medicine and surgery (MD).
    • Osteopathic medicine and surgery (DO).
    • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP).
    • Physicians Assistants (PA).
    • Chiropractic (DC).
    • Naturopathy (ND).
    • Dentistry (DDS or DMD).
    • Optometry (OD).
    • Podiatry (DPM).

    They also must be:

    • Licensed in the state where they practice.
    • Qualified to treat the industrial injury or occupational disease.
    • In our Medical Provider Network if they practice in Washington State (starting January 2013). All of the primary care providers listed in the Find a Doctor directory are in our network and can be attending providers.
  • Expand/collapse Can an injured worker see any provider?

    An injured worker may see any provider for the initial visit. For any follow-up care, a worker may request any attending provider (as defined above) who is in L&I's network.

  • Expand/collapse Can I see more than one provider?

    Yes, sometimes you need to get care from specialists to treat different aspects of an injury, or multiple injuries. Starting January 2013, if they practice in Washington State and are one of the provider types listed above, they must be in our network to treat your work-related injury. Check at – if the provider is listed, they can treat your injury.

    You should always have an attending provider to coordinate your care and report your progress to L&I.

  • Expand/collapse Will L&I reimburse an injured worker for travel costs associated with seeing a provider?

    L&I encourages injured workers to find a provider that is conveniently located. If you have to travel over 15 miles, L&I may reimburse your travel expenses. In order to be reimbursed, you must be pre-approved by your claims manager. For more information, see Travel Reimbursement.

    You can use Find-a-Doc to get an estimate of how far away a provider is. Depending on how far from your home you search, the search results will show estimated distance a little differently:

    How we estimate the distance in Find-a-Doc
    If you search for providers... Then we'll show you an estimate of...
    within 15 miles the distance to each provider as you would drive.
    further than 15 miles away the distance to each provider “as the crow flies”.
  • Expand/collapse Can an injured worker switch providers?

    Yes, an injured worker may request a transfer to a new attending provider to coordinate care on their claim. The transfer will need to be approved.

    To request a transfer to a different provider:

    1. Use the Find a Doctor directory to find a new attending provider. We encourage injured workers to choose conveniently located providers. All potential attending providers are listed in a category called primary care providers in the directory.
    2. Call the new provider's office to confirm that they are currently accepting new patients and are able to make an appointment with you.
    3. Submit your request online at Transfer of Care or by completing and mailing a Case Transfer card.

  • Expand/collapse I am struggling to find a doctor to treat my on the job injury. Who at L&I can help me?
    Need help finding a doctor?
    If your claim is... Then you should...
    managed by a self-insured employer (claim number starts with S,T, or W) call 1-360-902-6901.
    managed by L&I

    call 1‑800‑LISTENS (1‑800‑547‑8367) .

    or email and include:

    • Your zip code, city or state.
    • The type of provider you need. For example, medical, orthopedic, chiropractic, and so on.

    Do not include your claim number.

  • Expand/collapse How do I find a doctor outside of the United States?

    View a list of providers who will see L&I patients in:

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