News | Communication Services, 360-902-5400 - PublicAffairs@Lni.wa.gov

L&I announces new Centers of Occupational Health and Education

See more More news releases

July 30, 2013

Tumwater – The Department of Labor & Industries has finalized new agreements with health-care organizations to provide Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs). COHEs are organizations that improve medical treatment for Washington's injured workers.

"The COHEs have proven their ability to prevent disability for workers," said Joel Sacks, L&I director. "By improving occupational health care, they keep valuable workers on the job and reduce costs for employers."

Two brand-new COHE sponsors include:

  • A coalition of 12 health-care organizations led by Franciscan Health System, that will offer COHE services covering all western Washington counties.
  • Group Health Cooperative, which will provide services to injured workers at 11 clinics in western Washington and one in Spokane. Patients do not need to be members of Group Health to see doctors in these clinics for work-related injuries or illnesses. 

L&I has also renewed contracts with the four existing COHEs:

The COHEs provide training and organizational support to medical providers to increase their use of best practices in treating injured workers. These best practices focus on safely returning workers to full function and full employment. Examples of best practices include talking with the employer about return to work and regularly assessing a worker's ability to do work activities.

A 2011 study found that injured workers treated by COHE-affiliated health-care providers are away from work for 20 percent fewer days than other injured workers. COHE care also reduces disability and medical costs by $510 per claim during the first year.

The new agreements are a major step towards meeting a legislative requirement to expand COHE services to all injured workers statewide by 2015, part of the 2011 workers' comp reform.

                                                     ###

For more information: Barbara Davis, L&I, 360-902-4216.

Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa).

Broadcast version: The Department of Labor & Industries has announced the selection of 6 Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs), organizations dedicated to improving medical treatment for injured workers. The contract awards include 2 brand-new COHEs: Western Washington COHE, sponsored by Franciscan Health System, based in Tacoma; and Group Health Cooperative, based in Seattle. L&I has also renewed contracts with the 4 existing centers: The Everett Clinic; Harborview Medical Center in Seattle; Renton COHE at Valley Medical Center; and Eastern Washington COHE in Spokane.

A 2011 study showed that injured workers treated by COHE providers are away from work for 20 percent fewer days than other injured workers. COHE care also reduces disability and medical costs by $510 per claim during the first year.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

© Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.