Provider community commentary, expert opinion and best practices suggest that there is a correlation between a higher quality level of vocational rehabilitation services and higher qualifications of vocational rehabilitation providers. To ensure the provision of the highest possible quality of vocational rehabilitation services, the department shall only issue a provider number to persons, firms, partnerships, corporations, and other legal entities that meet the following qualification requirements:
(1) Vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC).
(a) VRCs not registered with the department and applying for a provider number with the department effective on or after December 1, 2000, must meet the following minimum qualifications:
1 year full-time industrial insurance experience
and CRC or CDMS or ABVE
2 years full-time industrial insurance experience
and CRC or CDMS
CRC = Certified Rehabilitation Counselor
CDMS = Certified Disability Management Specialist
ABVE = American Board of Vocational Experts
(b) VRCs registered with the department as of November 30, 2000, will be required to meet the qualification criteria in (a) of this subsection no later than November 30, 2010.
(c) The VRC assigned to or directly receiving the referral from the referral source is responsible for all work performed by any vocational provider on that referral.
(2) VRC supervisor of interns (supervisor).
(a) The supervisor must meet the qualification requirements for a VRC in subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section.
(b) The supervisor must provide proof of a total of five years full-time experience providing, evaluating, analyzing and/or assessing vocational services. For the purposes of this rule, "vocational services" are those defined in WAC 296-19A-010
(2). At least three of the five years must be under Title 51 RCW.
(c) A maximum of thirty-six months in intern status may be counted toward the five years of experience needed to become a supervisor.
(d) Supervisors are expected to monitor and assist in the training and professional development of interns under their supervision, in order to ensure that interns develop the requisite knowledge and professional skills to become competent VRCs. A supervisor's responsibilities, include, but are not limited to:
(i) Monitoring billing;
(ii) Monitoring work;
(iii) Monitoring professional behavior;
(iv) Promoting professional development and assisting the intern in meeting the department's requirements to become a VRC; and
(v) Communicating statute, rule and policy.
(3) Forensic services—In order to provide forensic services to the department, on or after the effective date of this rule, a VRC must provide proof of five years full-time experience providing direct vocational services to Washington state industrially injured or ill workers, and must possess a CRC or ABVE certification. Vocational providers previously approved to provide this service, under chapter 296-19A
WAC, will retain that status.
(a) Interns not registered with the department and applying for a provider number with the department on or after December 1, 2000, must meet the following minimum qualifications:
Masters Degree in field acceptable to CRC or CDMS or ABVE
Equal to required experience to obtain CRC or CDMS or ABVE certification including at least 1 year working with industrially injured or ill workers.
Bachelors Degree in field acceptable by CDMS
Equal to required experience to obtain CDMS certification including at least 2 years working with industrially injured or ill workers.
(b) Interns not registered with the department and applying for a provider number with the department on or after December 1, 2000, must obtain one of the required VRC certifications within one year of completing their required internship. Interns will remain in internship status during this time frame.
(c) Interns registered with the department as of November 30, 2000, will be required to apply for a provider number with the department and may work as an intern until the end of their current internship. Upon completion of the internship the intern may submit an application to the department as a VRC. These providers must obtain one of the required VRC certifications by November 30, 2010.
(d) All interns are required to conform to Title 51 RCW, department rules, and department policies. All interns granted a provider number by the department must be supervised by a VRC supervisor.
(e) No person shall serve as an intern under these rules for more than seventy-two months of full-time experience, or its equivalent, working with industrially injured or ill workers. The intern must notify the department when there is a change in the status of an internship.
(5) Interns may not receive referrals directly from the department or self-insured employers. Interns may perform aspects of vocational rehabilitation services under the supervision of a VRC supervisor.
(6) Providers who receive or are assigned referrals must comply with all electronic security requirements in place for accessing department files.
(7) Providers registered with the department as of November 30, 2000, who do not meet the above qualification requirements within the ten-year period will no longer be eligible to provide vocational rehabilitation services to industrially injured or ill workers and the department will terminate their provider number(s).
(8) Business requirements.
(a) Providers must comply with all federal and state laws, regulations and other requirements with regard to business operations. In order to be eligible to receive referrals from the department, providers must satisfy the requirements set forth in this subsection in every service location in which they wish to operate.
(b) Providers must be covered by general liability insurance, automobile liability insurance, errors and omission insurance, malpractice insurance, and industrial insurance if required by Title 51 RCW.
(c) Providers must have services and facilities that provide injured workers a private and professionally suitable location in which to discuss vocational rehabilitation services issues. In order to be eligible to receive referrals from the department, providers must satisfy the requirements set forth in this subsection in every service location in which they wish to operate.
(d) Providers must have telephone-answering capability during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. In order to be eligible to receive referrals from the department, providers must satisfy the requirements set forth in this subsection in every service location in which they wish to operate.
(e) In order to receive referrals made by the department, providers must maintain or have access to equipment that can utilize the department's remote access system for transmitting vocational referrals.
(9) The department may assign a provider number to a vocational rehabilitation firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity so long as substantial control over the daily management of the vocational rehabilitation firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity is performed by a VRC that satisfies the qualifications set forth in this rule.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020
, 51.04.030, 51.32.095, 51.36.100, 51.36.110. WSR 04-08-045, § 296-19A-210, filed 3/31/04, effective 7/1/04; WSR 03-11-009, § 296-19A-210, filed 5/12/03, effective 2/1/04; WSR 00-18-078, § 296-19A-210, filed 9/1/00, effective 12/1/00.]