(1) The department shall develop standards for the conduct of special medical examinations to determine permanent disabilities, including, but not limited to:
(a) The qualifications of persons conducting the examinations;
(b) The criteria for conducting the examinations, including guidelines for the appropriate treatment of injured workers during the examination; and
(c) The content of examination reports.
(2) Within the appropriate scope of practice, chiropractors licensed under chapter 18.25
RCW may conduct special medical examinations to determine permanent disabilities in consultation with physicians licensed under chapter 18.57
RCW. The department, in its discretion, may request that a special medical examination be conducted by a single chiropractor if the department determines that the sole issues involved in the examination are within the scope of practice under chapter 18.25
RCW. However, nothing in this section authorizes the use as evidence before the board of a chiropractor's determination of the extent of a worker's permanent disability if the determination is not requested by the department.
(3) The department shall investigate the amount of examination fees received by persons conducting special medical examinations to determine permanent disabilities, including total compensation received for examinations of department and self-insured claimants, and establish compensation guidelines and compensation reporting criteria.
(4) The department shall investigate the level of compliance of self-insurers with the requirement of full reporting of claims information to the department, particularly with respect to medical examinations, and develop effective enforcement procedures or recommendations for legislation if needed.
Intent—1988 c 114:
"It is the intent of the legislature that medical examinations for determining permanent disabilities be conducted fairly and objectively by qualified examiners and with respect for the dignity of the injured worker." [ 1988 c 114 § 1.