Monday, January 7, 2013

Hurt on the job? There's a new provider network for you.

If you get injured on the job, there's a new medical provider network available to you as of this week.

Back in 2011, Governor Gregoire signed legislation that passed both the House and Senate nearly unanimously. This legislation required the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to create a provider network, and for participating providers to adhere to certain standards to ensure injured workers get the highest quality care.

An injured worker's initial medical visit can be to any provider or emergency room, but subsequent visits must be with a network provider in order to be covered by workers compensation.

This change will improve quality of care because providers within the L&I network will be required to have certain credentials and to follow evidence-based guidelines for treating patients. The goal is to help people get back to work as safely and quickly as possible.

It shouldn't be too hard to find a provider within the network - there are currently over 9,300 of them, with more being added each day. This online directory lists all of them, and L&I can also help you find a provider in your area if you aren't sure which one to see.

The Tri-City Herald published an article about this new network today, which you can read here.