Emerging Best Practices

Functional Recovery

Basics about the pilot

  • Began in March 2013 and is expected to last through February 2014.
  • Is testing interventions with patients screened as high risk for disability. (Without interventions, nearly 40% of high-risk patients will still be off work one year after injury.)
  • Newly injured workers in pilot providers' care who have missed 2 to 4 weeks of work will be screened by University of Washington staff.
  • The pilot's participants are COHE providers primarily from the greater Spokane and Yakima areas. Additional COHE mentors in Eastern Washington are also included.
  • L&I invited a limited number of providers to participate because claims must be screened manually during the first year of the pilot.

How providers are benefitting by participating

  • Notification about patients who screen as high risk.
  • Assistance from COHE Health Services Coordinator that reduces requests for information from L&I, employers, and vocational counselors.
  • Learning to use new tools that better address root issues.
  • Receiving incentive pay for tracking interventions through 2 or 3 visits, as needed.
  • Being able to get help from the L&I manager with any pilot-related administrative issues.

Anticipated results of the pilot

  • Shortened treatment duration.
  • Reduced use of avoidable diagnostics.
  • Reduced medical costs.
  • Improved communication and coordination of care.
  • Improved outcome for the patient: earlier return to function, work and quality of life.


Contact Carol Horrell at Caroline.Horrell@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5080.

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