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Provider Newsletter - May 2012

Provider News

This is a monthly roundup of L&I news for medical providers. To subscribe by email, join our Medical Provider News email list.

You can also read previous Provider News editions.

In the Provider News for May 2012:


E-correspondence launching in 2013

Next year, L&I will offer an "electronic" correspondence option that will significantly reduce paperwork for many health-care providers in Washington.  

Currently, the agency is required by law to send a copy of every legal notice and correspondence to all three legal parties in each workers' compensation claim – the provider, the employer, and the injured worker.  As a result, providers receive large amounts of mail that you must sort and, ultimately, dispose of.

But by April 2013, you will have the option of receiving most of this mail electronically, thanks to ESHB 1725 (67 KB PDF), a bill proposed by L&I and passed by the 2011 Washington Legislature.   

This means you will have less L&I paperwork to sort, saving your practices both time and money. The savings will be significant for L&I as well.  In fact, we estimate that we spent $1 million in 2009 in postage, handling, and paper for courtesy copies sent to health-care providers alone.

The new electronic option will also benefit large employers and Retrospective Rating groups who handle large volumes of claim-related paperwork.

Will L&I still have to send the copies?
Yes, but for the first time we will be able to send copies electronically.  

Will there be any documents that L&I still must send through the US Postal Service?
Yes.  We are still required  to send paper versions of communications related to claim closure.  

What about customers who like getting paper correspondence?
You will have a chance to choose between electronic or paper correspondence from L&I.

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Don't understand what happened with your bill?

L&I puts a 3-digit explanation of benefits on your remittance advice to explain why we suspended or denied your bill, or paid you at certain level. These codes also explain how to make corrections, if needed.

Now you can now look up all of the codes online or print out a list of them. We think that these tools will be especially helpful to organizations with separate accounting and billing departments.

— Look up codes or download a printable list

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Did you know that you can charge for missed appointments - if you have a written policy?

Providers can now charge an injured worker for a missed appointment. However, you must have a policy about missed appointments that applies to all insurers and you must notify the injured worker of your policy.

L&I is not responsible for payment of a missed appointment unless the appointment is for an examination arranged by L&I or a self-insurer, such as an independent medical examination. L&I or self-insurers are not responsible for the implementation and/or enforcement of any provider’s missed appointment policy.

For more information, please see WAC 296-20-010.

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