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February 2012

Provider News

This is a monthly roundup of L&I news for medical providers. To subscribe by email, join our Medical Provider News email list.

You can also read previous Provider News editions.

In the Provider News for February 2012:


Applications for the medical provider network are now being accepted

Find out how to apply for the statewide workers' compensation medical network at www.JoinTheNetwork.Lni.wa.gov.

During 2012 we are accepting applications from physicians, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, podiatric doctors, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and optometrists.

After the network launches, these provider types practicing in Washington State must be in the network to treat injured workers beyond the initial office or emergency-room visit.

Current providers for L&I must re-apply, including providers that participate in the Centers for Occupational Health and Education (COHE). Throughout 2012, L&I will be reaching out to current L&I providers to explain how and when to apply. New providers (of the types listed above) may apply at any time.

Read more:

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MARFS Payment Policies Manual is now easier to use

How do medical providers know how they'll get paid for treating Washington's injured workers? They look to L&I's Medical Aid Rules and Fee Schedules (MARFS) Payment Policies manual... and providers told us that finding answers in the manual could be a real challenge.

That's why we're excited to announce that L&I has launched a redesigned MARFS Payment Policies manual that makes it easier to find information.  Extensive user testing showed us how to reorganize and redesign the manual, including:

  • Organizing payment policies for general types of services into individual chapters
  • Using a simpler, cleaner layout with more white space
  • Using plain language more often
  • Labeling specific types of information (such as "Prior authorization," "Services that can be billed," "Requirements for billing," or "Payment limits") and presenting it in a consistent order
  • Providing more direct links to related topics
  • Using visual cues to make it easier to see specific types of content, and
  • Having chapters available both as webpage and printable (PDF) formats.

Check out the new design at www.FeeSchedules.Lni.wa.gov.

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IME providers: Check out the new scheduling option for exams

L&I is piloting a new option for private practice examiners to receive direct referrals for IMEs. By using a new web-based scheduling tool, individual examiners can schedule more exams — the scheduling tool makes it easier for L&I to work with you, rather than waiting for return phone calls or faxes.

Find out how to participate (132KB PDF).

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Expanding the Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHE)

The Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHE) are sponsored by health-care delivery organizations, such as clinics or hospitals, to help providers coordinate care and use occupational-health best practices to treat injured workers. Research has shown that COHEs help injured workers return to work sooner and reduce claim costs.

Currently, four COHEs in Washington State treat about one-third of all State Fund workers’ compensation claims. New legislation in 2011 requires the COHE project to expand to reach all injured workers in the state by 2015.

Last fall, L&I hosted public meetings around the state to explain how a COHE works and to encourage interest in sponsoring a COHE. We heard from many providers with questions we want to share with everyone.

See the new COHE Q&A to learn more about how to get involved with COHE.

If you have other questions, please contact Susan Campbell at Susan.Campbell@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5053.

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