Provider Newsletter - August 2013

Provider News

This is a roundup of L&I news for medical providers. You can subscribe by email.

You can also read previous Provider Newsletter editions.

In the Provider Newsletter for August 2013:

L&I announces selection of 6 Centers of Occupational Health and Education

Doctor holding a stethescope

L&I has signed agreements with 2 new Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs) and with the 4 previous COHEs, which have been treating about one-third of all claims insured by the State Fund.

After new services begin in the next few months, health-care providers participating in COHEs will be serving injured workers in all parts of the state except for sparsely populated Klickitat County. (L&I is working to expand COHE services into Klickitat County.)

The new COHE agreements put L&I ahead of schedule for a 2011 legislative requirement (SB 5801) to expand COHE services to all injured workers statewide by 2015. The COHE expansion will increase expertise in occupational medical care.

Find out more about the centers.

Update on the Medical Provider Network

2 health-care providers consulting with each other

Almost 16,000 health-care providers are fully enrolled in our new network and approved to provide ongoing treatment to injured workers in Washington State. We are working as quickly as possible to review remaining applications.  There is no limit on the size of the network and we continue to accept new applications.

Thank you to everyone who joined the network.  We received nearly twice as many applications as we expected.  This is great news because we want workers in every part of the state have access to providers who meet our standards for quality care.

Go paperless with eCorrespondence

Now you can opt for electronic delivery of most claims-related mail. Our new service will enable you to quickly view, sort, and save what you need from an electronic inbox. Check out eCorrespondence to see if it will work for your office.

L&I began this project in response to providers’ concerns about having to manually open and process large volumes of L&I mailings – mostly copies of letters and legal notices to injured workers. 

L&I is still legally required to “cc” your practice on our letters to your patients.  However, in 2011 we asked the Legislature to let you get these electronically rather than as paper mail.  They agreed and changed the law.

We hope that eCorrespondence will save you time and money.

7 popular tools for doing business with us online

Are you using our other online services? We created them in response to your requests and used your feedback to fine-tune them.

Woman at computer reviewing her claims-related correspondence from L&I.
  1. Claim & Account Center, 2005.  This innovative system gives the health-care provider, employer, and injured workers online access to all documents and decisions in a claim. Today, the Claim and Account Center processes 2 million requests for information each month.
  2. Find A Doctor, 2007 (upgraded in 2012). Injured workers and providers can go online to locate L&I network providers. Use this tool when you refer an injured worker to a different provider or specialist.
  3. Provider Express Billing, 2009.   To speed payments and reduce the paperwork burden for health care (and other) providers, L&I introduced an electronic billing system for providers. .  This service is web-based, does not require special software, and is available to you at no cost.
  4. Online fee schedules and rules, 2011.  Here you can quickly locate information about covered procedures and medications, reimbursement rates, and policies.
  5. FileFast online claim filing, 2011-2012.  Health-care providers can speed up claims processing by filing Reports of Accident online.
  6. Drug Look-Up, 2012. You can get fast answers about coverage and policies.
  7. eCorrespondence, 2013. An electronic-delivery option for correspondence and legal notices.

L&I uses Provider Survey results to identify areas for improvement

Survey clipboard

It’s vital for L&I to retain health-care providers, so we work hard to be a good business partner. To understand how we’re doing, last fall L&I reached out to ask your opinions. 

“Thank you to the 833 people who took the time to participate in our 2012 survey. We’re using the findings to prioritize new work,” commented Janet Peterson, manager of L&I’s Health Services Analysis. “The good news is that over 70 percent of you are satisfied overall with treating injured workers. But you told us that we also need to do more to reduce hassle-factors and administrative burden.”

Providers’ overwhelming concern is with the number of forms involved in working with L&I and the sheer volume of paper mail you receive from us — the same concern expressed in earlier surveys. On the mail issue, there’s good news: you can now reduce unwanted paper mail by signing up to receive L&I mail electronically.  See story above on eCorrespondence.

The survey also showed that providers generally rated us higher if they were using our Claim & Account Center and other online resources, but many providers were unfamiliar with these tools.

Some survey participants asked for a follow-up call. L&I staff are now making those contacts.

Activity Coaching builds confidence and motivation

Do you treat injured workers who seem defeated or need additional support to progress towards recovery? Now you can refer them to L&I’s Activity Coaching program, which uses a technique called the Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP™).

A success story — “Get Yourself Open to the Day”

Marcos had been off work for several weeks because of pain limitations when his provider referred him to L&I’s Activity Coaching Program. He began the program without any confidence that it would help him.  Then Marcos’s employer terminated him.

Marcos credits the program and his coach with helping him regain control of his future despite this new setback.  To motivate himself to increase his activities leading to his personal goals, he began each day by saying to himself, “Get yourself open to the day.”


In recognition of Marcos's graduation from Activity Coaching, his coach created this calligraphy design.

When Marcos got a job interview, he learned he would have to use an iPad for many of his new tasks.  In the past, new technology intimidated him.  This time around, Marcos relied on the new skills he had learned through coaching and he set learning goals. Then he used his iPad to e-mail his weekly assignments to his coach. Marcos got the job and successfully returned to work.

The Activity Coaching program is being evaluated as a possible best practice. Find out more about the program, including how to refer your patients.

Provider billing workshops will include Self-Insurance topics

This year L&I’s popular Basics of Best Billing workshops will include a new speaker, Fran Mauritson, from L&I’s Self-Insurance section. Fran will cover the following topics:

There are still some openings for the September workshops, but they’re filling up fast. Sign up to attend one of L&I’s free workshops.

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