What's New for Vocational Counselors

The latest news

Branch Telephone Numbers

September 5, 2014

Claim managers report they sometimes have difficulty locating a VRC by telephone. NOTE: Labor and Industries recently decided to allow individual VRCs the alternative of listing their cell phone numbers on the ORION vocational referral screen. In addition, vocational firms have asked about alternatives to branch telephone numbers. After considering the issues, we have decided to allow an option that can help our claim managers, while making it easier for vocational firms to do business with us. Effective immediately, vocational firms are able to identify a primary telephone number. The primary number can be used in lieu of separate telephone numbers for one or more branches.

To do this, the firm needs to submit a change form for each branch they want to identify with a primary number. Firms must still comply with the business requirements listed in WAC 296-19A-210 (8), including subsection (c) which states: "Providers must have services and facilities that provide injured workers a private and professionally suitable location in which to discuss vocational rehabilitation services issues. In order to be eligible to receive referrals from the department, providers must satisfy the requirements set forth in this subsection in every service location in which they wish to operate."

Save the Date for the Fall Vocational Conference October 29, 2014

September 5, 2014

The L&I fall vocational conference will be held on Wednesday, October 29 in the Tumwater L&I auditorium.

The conference will focus on disability prevention and return to work. Watch this site for agenda and registration information.

Questions? Contact Keith Klinger, Conference Planner, at Keith.Klinger@lni.wa.gov or 360-902-6362

IARP WA Annual Fall Conference

September 5, 2014

The Washington State Chapter of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP) will be held on Friday, October 3rd in Tacoma, WA.

Vickie Kennedy, Assistant Director for Insurance Services and Ryan Guppy, Chief of Return to Work Partnerships will be presenting information regarding how the Department is working with the vocational community to help injured workers heal and return to work. Vickie and Ryan will discuss agency goals, what the Department is doing to measure and achieve agency goals, and partnerships between L & I, the vocational community, medical providers, and business.

For more information, please go the IARP WA Chapter home page and click on Chapter Events.

Great continuing medical education on workers' compensation available

August 29, 2014

L&I is sponsoring the "Reduce Your Practice Headaches: Industrial Medicine Tips for Treating Doctors to Simplify Your Life" training at the L&I office in Tukwila, Washington, on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The training is for doctors and other interested parties.

The registration fee is $140. There will be 8.25 hours of Category 1 CME available. To register, contact Joanne McDaniel at Joanne.McDaniel@lni.wa.gov.

Private Schools

August 29, 2014

We have recently identified problematic issues with some private schools. The issues include, but are not limited to, charging injured workers at a higher rate than the general public for the same program(s), charging for identifying internship as part of a program but not explaining where or to what end, charging injured workers unrealistically high tuition and fees for short term training.

L&I relies on vocational counselors to identify and address potentially problematic issues before writing a plan. If a plan is submitted, problematic issues need to be specifically addressed. Any questions on this topic can be addressed to the VSS supervisors.

Revised Job Analysis (JA) Summary

August 8, 2014

There is a revised Coversheet for JAs based on input from VTSG and an L&I workgroup. The changes include additional fields to capture data as well as some cosmetic changes. The coversheet s intended as a front page for all JAs that are submitted for provider review, whether you use the JA form on our website or your own version.

VRCs are urged to use the coversheet when submitting JAs to all healthcare providers, including IMEs and PCEs. With your help, this effort will support Agency Goal #2: Helping injured workers heal and return to work.

Come and work for L&I!

May 1, 2014

We have two job openings for Vocational Services Specialists in the Vocational Dispute Resolution office which supports the Director.

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