News for Small Business – December 2011

News for Small Business - News for L&I small business 
customers and tips for saving time and moneyI

August 2012 | L&I's Small Business Liaisons, Celia Nightingale and Aaron Hoffman Call: 1-800-987-0145. Fax: 360-902-5420. Email: SmallBusiness@Lni.wa.gov.

Changes at L&I to benefit customers

Employers can benefit from changes now underway at L&I.

In June 2011, the Governor signed historic workers’ compensation reform legislation aimed at improving workers’ outcomes following injury while helping to control costs:

  • Stay at Work Program: This new program provides financial incentives in the form of wage, training and equipment reimbursements to encourage more employers to return their injured workers to light-duty or transitional jobs with the doctor’s approval. This medical best practice can help workers recover more quickly while also reducing costs for employers and controlling premiums. To date, 895 employers have taken advantage of the program and received $4.5 million in reimbursements to keep 2,101 injured workers on the job. To learn more about the program, visit the Stay at Work website at: www.StayAtWork.Lni.wa.gov.

    Employers can sign up to get email updates about upcoming Stay at Work presentations and webinars, updated paperwork requirements and filing deadlines by joining the email list at this link: Stay at Work email list.
  • Provider Network: L&I is building a single statewide network of health-care providers to treat workers covered both by self-insured businesses and by L&I. After the network launches in January 2013, workers can see a non-network provider only for an initial office or emergency room visit. Workers can choose any provider in the network for ongoing care. L&I is currently recruiting providers to create an extensive network which the agency will manage. 

In the past, workers could be treated by any licensed provider, whether they met basic standards or not. Now, L&I will have a network of providers that meet standards similar to those required by other large health carriers in Washington.

L&I also recognizes the need to control costs for our premium payers (approximately 75% comes from employers and 25% from workers), while providing quality service. Here are 2 examples of what we’re doing:

  • Lean: L&I has adopted the Lean system pioneered by Toyota and used by other successful companies, and it has generated immediate cost savings, with more expected this year. Lean is a business approach used to deliver the most value from the customer’s perspective while consuming the fewest resources. Lean is also an investment for the future, leading to fundamental changes in business processes that reduce delays, improve quality and consistency of service, and lower costs.
  • Building a Better Customer Experience: We’re surveying customers to learn what works best for them in their interactions with us. Understanding customer needs and preferences allows us to incorporate the customer’s perspective as we adjust how we do business in the future.

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Required reporting of new hires helps reduce state costs

Federal and state laws require all Washington employers to report, within 20 days, any newly hired or rehired employees to the Department of Social and Health Services.

The program helps the state efficiently collect child support from parents and reduces dependence on welfare programs. The information also helps L&I identify injured workers who have returned to work and are still attempting to collect wage replacement benefits.

Here’s what you must report about your new hires:

  • Exact date of hire (first day an employee works for pay).
  • Name.
  • Address.
  • Social Security number.
  • Date of birth.

You must also report your:

  • Company name.
  • Company address.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

You have 3 different options for reporting your hires:

For more information, please visit New Hire — Frequently Asked Questions or call 800-562-0479.

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RESOURCES

Save the date! Biz Fair 2012 — 1 day, 1 place

Learn from experts how to form and run a successful business at the 16th annual Washington Small Business Fair. Biz Fair 2012 happens Saturday, September 29, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Renton Technical College, 3000 NE 4th Street, in Renton.

Sharpen your skills — attend seminars that cover important, up-to-date topics for all stages of business ownership. Savvy business experts share their knowledge and real-life experiences with you.

Save valuable time and money — connect with 30 federal, state and local government agencies, and business and trade associations to get the information you need. The fair is free, with plenty of free parking and no advance registration required. Visit the Biz Fair website for more information.

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L&I calendar of upcoming training and workshops

Build your skills for managing workplace safety, workers' compensation and construction contracting at an L&I workshop or training session near you. Read the list of currently available workshops, or better yet sign up for a free service that regularly sends the latest training calendar straight to your email.

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