About

Master’s Level Therapists (MLTs)* as Providers in the Workers’ Compensation System

To receive updates regarding the MLT pilot, please sign up for the “Master’s Level Therapist Updates” E-Gov bulletin. For questions about the pilot, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions document or email MLT@Lni.wa.gov.

Currently, Master’s Level Therapists (MLTs) are not allowed to treat under a workers’ compensation claim. To provide a structured environment for care delivery and capture of data, L&I is conducting a pilot to allow and pay MLTs to provide appropriate behavioral and/or mental health services. The exceptions to allow payment for MLTs will be effective throughout the 4-year pilot period or as otherwise specified, and will apply only to pilot participants.

The Master’s Level Therapist (MLT) Pilot has two goals:

  1. Expand access to behavioral health interventions delivered by qualified MLTs. These behavioral health interventions are intended to better enable workers to heal and return to work, and aid attending providers to address barriers that impede recovery from work-related injury or illness.
  2. Expand access to appropriate care for accepted mental health conditions delivered by qualified MLTs. While L&I’s current mental health system will remain unchanged, MLTs in the pilot will be able to provide care for accepted mental health conditions. If a mental health condition is contended by the attending provider, it will go through L&I’s current mental health evaluation and authorization process (MLTs are not allowed to diagnose mental health conditions or perform mental health evaluations in the pilot).

*MLTs include Licensed independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSWs), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs).

Project Participation

Project Participation

Up to 300 MLTs may be enrolled initially, with provisions made to achieve equitable provider distribution, by county, throughout the state of Washington.

Qualified participating providers include:

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSWs)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs)
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs)

Enrollment has begun as of November 15, 2019. Relevant pilot information and specific pilot dates will be posted on this webpage and sent out via the "Master's Level Therapist Updates" E-Gov Bulletin.

How to apply to participate:

Complete and submit all of the following:

All documentation must be together, complete (including all pages), and mailed OR faxed:

  • Mail: Provider Credentialing
              PO Box 44261
              Olympia WA 98504-4261
  • Fax: 360-902-4563
Documentation & Payment Policy

Documentation & Payment Policy

For detailed information on payment policy, limits, and requirements, please review this document: L&I MLT Pilot Payment Policy.

Behavioral Health Services in the pilot:

  • Require a referral from the attending provider
  • Are a brief course of care with a focus on addressing psychosocial barriers that impede a worker’s recovery and improve their ability to return to work
  • The first set of up to 8 visits does not require prior authorization 
    • Utilize CPT© codes 96156, 96158, and 96159
    • No more than one hour may be billed on a single date of service/visit.
  • Documentation using L&I’s MLT pilot forms is required to show progress and improvement in function throughout visits. If the patient is progressing, a maximum of up to 8 more visits can be authorized through a utilization review process.

Utilization Review is required for visits beyond 8, and you must request a review:

  • If you believe more care is medically necessary, a maximum of up to 8 more visits may be approved
  • Re-assessment documentation is required to obtain approval for continuing treatment
  • Be sure to send this information directly to L&I if not previously submitted
  • Login to the Comagine Health Provider Portal, request a review, and attach notes to the web request
    • For questions call Comagine Health:
      • 1-800-541-2894
      • 206-366-3360
  • Comagine Health recommendations are sent to the L&I claim managers
    • The claim manager will review the information and recommendation made by Comagine Health. The claim manager will issue the final determination and inform the requesting provider.

Mental Health Services in the pilot:

  • When referred for by the Attending Provider, a MLT pilot provider may request authorization to provide appropriate psychotherapy treatment for an already accepted mental health condition on the claim, under L&I’s current mental health authorization process. Refer to Mental Health Services for more information.

For information on Mental Health Services, including authorization and reporting requirements, please visit Mental Health Services.

Rules & Contacts

Rules & Contacts

The start date of treatment in the Master’s Level Therapist (MLT) Pilot is January 1, 2020

MLTs able to enroll in the pilot include Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSWs), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs). Providers enrolled and accepted by Labor & Industries (L&I) in the pilot can begin treating under the terms and conditions of the pilot on January 1, 2020 after the CR-101 is filed or as otherwise specified by L&I. During this time, only providers approved to participate in the pilot will be able to provide treatment.

The MLT pilot will last for up to four years, or until sufficient data is gathered to assess and evaluate the provision of treatment by MLTs within the workers' compensation setting.

During the course of the MLT pilot, L&I will evaluate and consider pilot metrics, data, and experiences.

The CR-102 will be filed when there is sufficient data collected to assess and evaluate the provision of treatment by MLTs within the workers’ compensation setting. After the CR-102 is filed only providers participating in the pilot can continue to provide services to workers.

The CR-103 adopts the final changes to the affected rule and is usually effective 31 days after the filing date. Once the CR-103 is filed and effective, any providers that meet and comply with all the criteria detailed in the resulting rule, coverage decision, and/or payment policy can enroll with L&I to provide treatment to workers.

Contacts

MLT Pilot Information and Questions:

MLT@LNI.wa.gov

Billing and Payment questions:

Provider Hotline 800-848-0811

General Information for Providers in Medical Aid Rules and Fee Schedules

Rules and Laws

For questions regarding rulemaking only, please contact:

Suzy Campbell, casu235@lni.wa.gov, 360-902-5003