Common Questions About Managing COVID-19-Related Claims and Treating Workers

This information is meant to answer many of the questions L&I is receiving regarding treating workers and billing L&I for COVID-19-related claims. 

Questions About Treating Workers and Billing L&I for COVID-19-Related Claims

How is L&I managing claims related to COVID-19?

You can find a list of claims-related questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) on our website.

What is L&I's process for receiving and processing a claim?

You can find information about filing a claim on our website. We realize that handling paper may be a concern, and we encourage injured workers to file their claim online. Providers can also file their portion online. Electronic signatures will be accepted by claim managers.

Should I bill L&I using the –QW modifier for COVID-19 testing codes U0002 or 87635?

No, just enter the code without a modifier. The –QW modifier is not in our billing system, and your invoice may be denied if you use it.

How soon can an injured worker return to work after being tested for COVID-19?

The current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has specific guidance for health care workers and first responders

Does L&I have a process for hospitals and clinics that need to bring in temporary staff to provide coverage?

L&I's Provider Accounts and Credentialing has a temporary policy in place to credential/enroll providers with Temporary Practice Permits (as opposed to a fully approved DOH license). Osteopathic providers temporarily do not need to submit a DOH-approved Provider Accounts plan with their Washington Practitioner Application.

What is L&I's guidance on independent medical exams (IME)?

It’s reasonable to postpone an IME and/or travel arrangements to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. We understand that some IMEs are time-sensitive and cannot be postponed. Here's more information on our IMEs and Coronavirus (COVID-19) bulletin.

Are elective surgeries and visits temporarily waived from L&I's requirement to visit a doctor within 7 days and schedule surgery within 21 days of approval?

All best practices metrics are suspended and the clinics have been notified.

How do I contact the Provider Hotline and the Preferred Drug Line for assistance?

Send a secure email to the Provider Hotline or Preferred Drug Line.