Independent Medical Examinations (IME) - TelemedicinePublic Hearing on Proposed Rules
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
To join on your computer or mobile app:
Meeting ID: 854 7747 2867
To join by phone (audio only):
1-253-215-8782 US (Tacoma)
Find your local number here: https://lni-wa-gov.zoom.us/u/kemOYtoXOf
The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will continue until all oral comments are received.
L&I encourages the submittal of written comments, due by 5:00 p.m. on May 24, 2023.
Public hearings held virtually have proven effective in allowing greater public access, eliminating the burden of physical travel, and maintaining public safety. Accordingly, this public hearing will not be held in person.
Rules AffectedView the affected rules, purpose, and rulemaking status
The purpose of this rulemaking is to addresses in rule how to accommodate the worker when there is no reasonably convenient examiner in the needed specialty near the worker’s community, and defines when it may be appropriate for IMEs to be conducted via telemedicine. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6440 (ESSB 6440), passed during the 2020 session, resulted in updates to RCW 51.32.110 and 51.36.070 and the addition of new chapter 51.08 RCW, and new section RCW 51.36.072. Specifically, ESSB 6440 amended RCW 51.36.070 to state that an IME “must be at a place reasonably convenient to the injured worker, or alternatively utilize telemedicine if the department determines telemedicine is appropriate for the examination.” Under the statute, "reasonably convenient" means at a place where residents in the injured worker's community would normally travel to seek medical care for the same specialty as the examiner. L&I is also required to adopt rules, policies, and processes governing the use and appropriateness of telemedicine for independent medical examinations (IMEs). The rules are needed to ensure consistency when L&I or a self-insured employer schedules an in-person or telemedicine IME.