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Chapter 51.36 RCW

MEDICAL AID

RCW Sections

51.36.010Findings -- Minimum standards for providers -- Health care provider network -- Advisory group -- Best practices treatment guidelines -- Extent and duration of treatment -- Centers for occupational health and education -- Rules -- Reports.
51.36.015Chiropractic care and evaluation.
51.36.017Licensed advanced registered nurse practitioners.
51.36.020Transportation to treatment -- Artificial substitutes and mechanical aids -- Modifications to residences or motor vehicles.
51.36.022Residence modification assistance -- Rules -- Report to legislature.
51.36.030First aid.
51.36.040Time and place of coverage -- Lunch period.
51.36.050Rehabilitation center -- Contracts with self-insurers and others.
51.36.060Duties of attending physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner -- Medical information.
51.36.070Medical examination -- Reports -- Costs.
51.36.080Payment of fees and medical charges by department -- Interest -- Cost-effective payment methods -- Audits.
51.36.085Payment of fees and medical charges by self-insurers -- Interest.
51.36.090Review of billings -- Investigation of unauthorized services.
51.36.100Audits of health care providers authorized.
51.36.110Audits of health care providers -- Powers of department.
51.36.120Confidential information.
51.36.130False, misleading, or deceptive advertising or representations.
51.36.140Industrial insurance medical advisory committee -- Duties -- Membership.
51.36.150Industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee -- Duties -- Membership.


51.36.010
Findings — Minimum standards for providers — Health care provider network — Advisory group — Best practices treatment guidelines — Extent and duration of treatment — Centers for occupational health and education — Rules — Reports.

(1) The legislature finds that high quality medical treatment and adherence to occupational health best practices can prevent disability and reduce loss of family income for workers, and lower labor and insurance costs for employers. Injured workers deserve high quality medical care in accordance with current health care best practices. To this end, the department shall establish minimum standards for providers who treat workers from both state fund and self-insured employers. The department shall establish a health care provider network to treat injured workers, and shall accept providers into the network who meet those minimum standards. The department shall convene an advisory group made up of representatives from or designees of the workers' compensation advisory committee and the industrial insurance medical and chiropractic advisory committees to consider and advise the department related to implementation of this section, including development of best practices treatment guidelines for providers in the network. The department shall also seek the input of various health care provider groups and associations concerning the network's implementation. Network providers must be required to follow the department's evidence-based coverage decisions and treatment guidelines, policies, and must be expected to follow other national treatment guidelines appropriate for their patient. The department, in collaboration with the advisory group, shall also establish additional best practice standards for providers to qualify for a second tier within the network, based on demonstrated use of occupational health best practices. This second tier is separate from and in addition to the centers for occupational health and education established under subsection (5) of this section.

     (2)(a) Upon the occurrence of any injury to a worker entitled to compensation under the provisions of this title, he or she shall receive proper and necessary medical and surgical services at the hands of a physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner of his or her own choice, if conveniently located, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, and proper and necessary hospital care and services during the period of his or her disability from such injury.

     (b) Once the provider network is established in the worker's geographic area, an injured worker may receive care from a nonnetwork provider only for an initial office or emergency room visit. However, the department or self-insurer may limit reimbursement to the department's standard fee for the services. The provider must comply with all applicable billing policies and must accept the department's fee schedule as payment in full.

     (c) The department, in collaboration with the advisory group, shall adopt policies for the development, credentialing, accreditation, and continued oversight of a network of health care providers approved to treat injured workers. Health care providers shall apply to the network by completing the department's provider application which shall have the force of a contract with the department to treat injured workers. The advisory group shall recommend minimum network standards for the department to approve a provider's application, to remove a provider from the network, or to require peer review such as, but not limited to:

     (i) Current malpractice insurance coverage exceeding a dollar amount threshold, number, or seriousness of malpractice suits over a specific time frame;

     (ii) Previous malpractice judgments or settlements that do not exceed a dollar amount threshold recommended by the advisory group, or a specific number or seriousness of malpractice suits over a specific time frame;

     (iii) No licensing or disciplinary action in any jurisdiction or loss of treating or admitting privileges by any board, commission, agency, public or private health care payer, or hospital;

     (iv) For some specialties such as surgeons, privileges in at least one hospital;

     (v) Whether the provider has been credentialed by another health plan that follows national quality assurance guidelines; and

     (vi) Alternative criteria for providers that are not credentialed by another health plan.

     The department shall develop alternative criteria for providers that are not credentialed by another health plan or as needed to address access to care concerns in certain regions.

     (d) Network provider contracts will automatically renew at the end of the contract period unless the department provides written notice of changes in contract provisions or the department or provider provides written notice of contract termination. The industrial insurance medical advisory committee shall develop criteria for removal of a provider from the network to be presented to the department and advisory group for consideration in the development of contract terms.

     (e) In order to monitor quality of care and assure efficient management of the provider network, the department shall establish additional criteria and terms for network participation including, but not limited to, requiring compliance with administrative and billing policies.

     (f) The advisory group shall recommend best practices standards to the department to use in determining second tier network providers. The department shall develop and implement financial and nonfinancial incentives for network providers who qualify for the second tier. The department is authorized to certify and decertify second tier providers.

     (3) The department shall work with self-insurers and the department utilization review provider to implement utilization review for the self-insured community to ensure consistent quality, cost-effective care for all injured workers and employers, and to reduce administrative burden for providers.

     (4) The department for state fund claims shall pay, in accordance with the department's fee schedule, for any alleged injury for which a worker files a claim, any initial prescription drugs provided in relation to that initial visit, without regard to whether the worker's claim for benefits is allowed. In all accepted claims, treatment shall be limited in point of duration as follows:

     In the case of permanent partial disability, not to extend beyond the date when compensation shall be awarded him or her, except when the worker returned to work before permanent partial disability award is made, in such case not to extend beyond the time when monthly allowances to him or her shall cease; in case of temporary disability not to extend beyond the time when monthly allowances to him or her shall cease: PROVIDED, That after any injured worker has returned to his or her work his or her medical and surgical treatment may be continued if, and so long as, such continuation is deemed necessary by the supervisor of industrial insurance to be necessary to his or her more complete recovery; in case of a permanent total disability not to extend beyond the date on which a lump sum settlement is made with him or her or he or she is placed upon the permanent pension roll: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the supervisor of industrial insurance, solely in his or her discretion, may authorize continued medical and surgical treatment for conditions previously accepted by the department when such medical and surgical treatment is deemed necessary by the supervisor of industrial insurance to protect such worker's life or provide for the administration of medical and therapeutic measures including payment of prescription medications, but not including those controlled substances currently scheduled by the pharmacy quality assurance commission as Schedule I, II, III, or IV substances under chapter
69.50 RCW, which are necessary to alleviate continuing pain which results from the industrial injury. In order to authorize such continued treatment the written order of the supervisor of industrial insurance issued in advance of the continuation shall be necessary.

     The supervisor of industrial insurance, the supervisor's designee, or a self-insurer, in his or her sole discretion, may authorize inoculation or other immunological treatment in cases in which a work-related activity has resulted in probable exposure of the worker to a potential infectious occupational disease. Authorization of such treatment does not bind the department or self-insurer in any adjudication of a claim by the same worker or the worker's beneficiary for an occupational disease.

     (5)(a) The legislature finds that the department and its business and labor partners have collaborated in establishing centers for occupational health and education to promote best practices and prevent preventable disability by focusing additional provider-based resources during the first twelve weeks following an injury. The centers for occupational health and education represent innovative accountable care systems in an early stage of development consistent with national health care reform efforts. Many Washington workers do not yet have access to these innovative health care delivery models.

     (b) To expand evidence-based occupational health best practices, the department shall establish additional centers for occupational health and education, with the goal of extending access to at least fifty percent of injured and ill workers by December 2013 and to all injured workers by December 2015. The department shall also develop additional best practices and incentives that span the entire period of recovery, not only the first twelve weeks.

     (c) The department shall certify and decertify centers for occupational health and education based on criteria including institutional leadership and geographic areas covered by the center for occupational health and education, occupational health leadership and education, mix of participating health care providers necessary to address the anticipated needs of injured workers, health services coordination to deliver occupational health best practices, indicators to measure the success of the center for occupational health and education, and agreement that the center's providers shall, if feasible, treat certain injured workers if referred by the department or a self-insurer.

     (d) Health care delivery organizations may apply to the department for certification as a center for occupational health and education. These may include, but are not limited to, hospitals and affiliated clinics and providers, multispecialty clinics, health maintenance organizations, and organized systems of network physicians.

     (e) The centers for occupational health and education shall implement benchmark quality indicators of occupational health best practices for individual providers, developed in collaboration with the department. A center for occupational health and education shall remove individual providers who do not consistently meet these quality benchmarks.

     (f) The department shall develop and implement financial and nonfinancial incentives for center for occupational health and education providers that are based on progressive and measurable gains in occupational health best practices, and that are applicable throughout the duration of an injured or ill worker's episode of care.

     (g) The department shall develop electronic methods of tracking evidence-based quality measures to identify and improve outcomes for injured workers at risk of developing prolonged disability. In addition, these methods must be used to provide systematic feedback to physicians regarding quality of care, to conduct appropriate objective evaluation of progress in the centers for occupational health and education, and to allow efficient coordination of services.

     (6) If a provider fails to meet the minimum network standards established in subsection (2) of this section, the department is authorized to remove the provider from the network or take other appropriate action regarding a provider's participation. The department may also require remedial steps as a condition for a provider to participate in the network. The department, with input from the advisory group, shall establish waiting periods that may be imposed before a provider who has been denied or removed from the network may reapply.

     (7) The department may permanently remove a provider from the network or take other appropriate action when the provider exhibits a pattern of conduct of low quality care that exposes patients to risk of physical or psychiatric harm or death. Patterns that qualify as risk of harm include, but are not limited to, poor health care outcomes evidenced by increased, chronic, or prolonged pain or decreased function due to treatments that have not been shown to be curative, safe, or effective or for which it has been shown that the risks of harm exceed the benefits that can be reasonably expected based on peer-reviewed opinion.

     (8) The department may not remove a health care provider from the network for an isolated instance of poor health and recovery outcomes due to treatment by the provider.

     (9) When the department terminates a provider from the network, the department or self-insurer shall assist an injured worker currently under the provider's care in identifying a new network provider or providers from whom the worker can select an attending or treating provider. In such a case, the department or self-insurer shall notify the injured worker that he or she must choose a new attending or treating provider.

     (10) The department may adopt rules related to this section.

     (11) The department shall report to the workers' compensation advisory committee and to the appropriate committees of the legislature on each December 1st, beginning in 2012 and ending in 2016, on the implementation of the provider network and expansion of the centers for occupational health and education. The reports must include a summary of actions taken, progress toward long-term goals, outcomes of key initiatives, access to care issues, results of disputes or controversies related to new provisions, and whether any changes are needed to further improve the occupational health best practices care of injured workers.

[2013 c 19 § 48; 2011 c 6 § 1; 2007 c 134 § 1; 2004 c 65 § 11; 1986 c 58 § 6; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 56; 1975 1st ex.s. c 234 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 50; 1965 ex.s. c 166 § 2; 1961 c 23 §51.36.010 . Prior: 1959 c 256 § 2; prior: 1943 c 186 § 2, part; 1923 c 136 § 9, part; 1921 c 182 § 11, part; 1919 c 129 § 2, part; 1917 c 28 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 7714, part.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2011 c 6: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2011." [2011 c 6 § 2.]

     Report to legislature -- 2007 c 134: "By December 1, 2009, the department of labor and industries must report to the senate labor, commerce, research and development committee and the house of representatives commerce and labor committee, or successor committees, on the implementation of this act." [2007 c 134 § 2.]

     Effective date -- 2007 c 134: "This act takes effect January 1, 2008." [2007 c 134 § 3.]

     Report to legislature -- Effective date -- Severability -- 2004 c 65: See notes following RCW 51.04.030.

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.




51.36.015
Chiropractic care and evaluation.

Subject to the other provisions of this title, the health services that are available to an injured worker under RCW 51.36.010 include chiropractic care and evaluation. For the purposes of assisting the department in making claims determinations, an injured worker may be required by the department to undergo examination by a chiropractor licensed under chapter 18.25 RCW.

[1994 c 94 § 1.]




51.36.017
Licensed advanced registered nurse practitioners.

Licensed advanced registered nurse practitioners are recognized as independent practitioners and, subject to the provisions of this title, the health services available to an injured worker under RCW 51.36.010 include health services provided by licensed advanced registered nurse practitioners within their scope of practice.

[2004 c 65 § 16.]

Notes:

     Report to legislature -- Effective date -- Severability -- 2004 c 65: See notes following RCW 51.04.030.




51.36.020
Transportation to treatment — Artificial substitutes and mechanical aids — Modifications to residences or motor vehicles.

(1) When the injury to any worker is so serious as to require his or her being taken from the place of injury to a place of treatment, his or her employer shall, at the expense of the medical aid fund, or self-insurer, as the case may be, furnish transportation to the nearest place of proper treatment.

     (2) Every worker whose injury results in the loss of one or more limbs or eyes shall be provided with proper artificial substitutes and every worker, who suffers an injury to an eye producing an error of refraction, shall be once provided proper and properly equipped lenses to correct such error of refraction and his or her disability rating shall be based upon the loss of sight before correction.

     (3) Every worker whose accident results in damage to or destruction of an artificial limb, eye, or tooth, shall have same repaired or replaced.

     (4) Every worker whose hearing aid or eyeglasses or lenses are damaged, destroyed, or lost as a result of an industrial accident shall have the same restored or replaced. The department or self-insurer shall be liable only for the cost of restoring damaged hearing aids or eyeglasses to their condition at the time of the accident.

     (5)(a) All mechanical appliances necessary in the treatment of an injured worker, such as braces, belts, casts, and crutches, shall be provided and all mechanical appliances required as permanent equipment after treatment has been completed shall continue to be provided or replaced without regard to the date of injury or date treatment was completed, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

     (b) Injured workers shall be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses when travel is required in order to repair, replace, or otherwise alter prosthetics, orthotics, or similar permanent mechanical appliances after closure of the claim. This subsection (5)(b) does not include travel for the repair or replacement of hearing aid devices.

     (6) A worker, whose injury is of such short duration as to bring him or her within the time limit provisions of RCW
51.32.090, shall nevertheless receive during the omitted period medical, surgical, and hospital care and service and transportation under the provisions of this chapter.

     (7) Whenever in the sole discretion of the supervisor it is reasonable and necessary to provide residence modifications necessary to meet the needs and requirements of the worker who has sustained catastrophic injury, the department or self-insurer may be ordered to pay an amount not to exceed the state's average annual wage for one year as determined under RCW 50.04.355, as now existing or hereafter amended, toward the cost of such modifications or construction. Such payment shall only be made for the construction or modification of a residence in which the injured worker resides. Only one residence of any worker may be modified or constructed under this subsection, although the supervisor may order more than one payment for any one home, up to the maximum amount permitted by this section.

     (8)(a) Whenever in the sole discretion of the supervisor it is reasonable and necessary to modify a motor vehicle owned by a worker who has become an amputee or becomes paralyzed because of an industrial injury, the supervisor may order up to fifty percent of the state's average annual wage for one year, as determined under RCW 50.04.355, to be paid by the department or self-insurer toward the costs thereof.

     (b) In the sole discretion of the supervisor after his or her review, the amount paid under this subsection may be increased by no more than four thousand dollars by written order of the supervisor.

     (9) The benefits provided by subsections (7) and (8) of this section are available to any otherwise eligible worker regardless of the date of industrial injury.

[2008 c 54 § 1; 1999 c 395 § 1; 1982 c 63 § 12; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 57; 1975 1st ex.s. c 224 § 14; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 51; 1965 ex.s. c 166 § 3; 1961 c 23 §51.36.020 . Prior: 1959 c 256 § 3; prior: 1951 c 236 § 6; 1943 c 186 § 2, part; 1923 c 136 § 9, part; 1921 c 182 § 11, part; 1919 c 129 § 2, part; 1917 c 28 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 7714, part.]

Notes:

     Effective dates -- Implementation -- 1982 c 63: See note following RCW 51.32.095.

     Effective date -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 224: See note following RCW 51.04.110.

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.




51.36.022
Residence modification assistance — Rules — Report to legislature.

(1) The legislature finds that there is a need to clarify the process and standards under which the department provides residence modification assistance to workers who have sustained catastrophic injury.

     (2) The director shall adopt rules that take effect no later than nine months after July 24, 2005, to establish guidelines and processes for residence modification pursuant to RCW
51.36.020(7).

     (3) In developing rules under this section, the director shall consult with interested persons, including persons with expertise in the rehabilitation of catastrophically disabled individuals and modifications for adaptive housing.

     (4) These rules must address at least the following:

     (a) The process for a catastrophically injured worker to access the residence modification benefits provided by RCW 51.36.020; and

     (b) How the department may address the needs and preferences of the individual worker on a case-by-case basis taking into account information provided by the injured worker. For purposes of determining the needs and requirements of the worker under RCW 51.36.020, including whether a modification is medically necessary, the department must consider all available information regarding the medical condition and physical restrictions of the injured worker, including the opinion of the worker's attending health services provider.

     (5) The rules should be based upon nationally accepted guidelines and publications addressing adaptive residential housing. The department must consider the guidelines established by the United States department of veterans affairs in their publication entitled "Handbook for Design: Specially Adapted Housing," and the recommendations published in "The Accessible Housing Design File" by Barrier Free Environments, Inc.

     (6) In developing rules under this section, the director shall consult with other persons with an interest in improving standards for adaptive housing.

     (7) The director shall report by December 2007 to the appropriate committees of the legislature on the rules adopted under this section.

[2005 c 411 § 1.]




51.36.030
First aid.

Every employer, who employs workers, shall keep as required by the department's rules a first aid kit or kits equipped as required by such rules with materials for first aid to his or her injured workers. Every employer who employs fifty or more workers, shall keep one first aid station equipped as required by the department's rules with materials for first aid to his or her injured workers, and shall cooperate with the department in training one or more employees in first aid to the injured. The maintenance of such first aid kits and stations shall be deemed to be a part of any safety and health standards established under Title 49 RCW.

[1980 c 14 § 12. Prior: 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 58; 1977 ex.s. c 323 § 20; 1961 c 23 § 51.36.030; prior: 1959 c 256 § 4; prior: 1943 c 186 § 2, part; 1923 c 136 § 9, part; 1921 c 182 § 11, part; 1919 c 129 § 2, part; 1917 c 28 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 7714, part.]

Notes:

     Severability -- Effective date -- 1977 ex.s. c 323: See notes following RCW 51.04.040.




51.36.040
Time and place of coverage — Lunch period.

The benefits of Title 51 RCW shall be provided to each worker receiving an injury, as defined therein, during the course of his or her employment and also during his or her lunch period as established by the employer while on the jobsite. The jobsite shall consist of the premises as are occupied, used or contracted for by the employer for the business of work process in which the employer is then engaged: PROVIDED, That if a worker by reason of his or her employment leaves such jobsite under the direction, control or request of the employer and if such worker is injured during his or her lunch period while so away from the jobsite, the worker shall receive the benefits as provided herein: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That the employer need not consider the lunch period in worker hours for the purpose of reporting to the department unless the worker is actually paid for such period of time.

[1977 ex.s. c 350 § 59; 1961 c 107 § 2.]




51.36.050
Rehabilitation center — Contracts with self-insurers and others.

The department may operate and control a rehabilitation center and may contract with self-insurers, and any other persons who may be interested, for use of any such center on such terms as the director deems reasonable.

[1979 ex.s. c 42 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 52.]

Notes:

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.




51.36.060
Duties of attending physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner — Medical information.

Physicians or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioners examining or attending injured workers under this title shall comply with rules and regulations adopted by the director, and shall make such reports as may be requested by the department or self-insurer upon the condition or treatment of any such worker, or upon any other matters concerning such workers in their care. Except under RCW 49.17.210 and 49.17.250, all medical information in the possession or control of any person and relevant to the particular injury in the opinion of the department pertaining to any worker whose injury or occupational disease is the basis of a claim under this title shall be made available at any stage of the proceedings to the employer, the claimant's representative, and the department upon request, and no person shall incur any legal liability by reason of releasing such information.

[2004 c 65 § 12; 1991 c 89 § 3; 1989 c 12 § 17; 1975 1st ex.s. c 224 § 15; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 53.]

Notes:

     Report to legislature -- Effective date -- Severability -- 2004 c 65: See notes following RCW 51.04.030.

     Effective date -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 224: See note following RCW 51.04.110.

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.




51.36.070
Medical examination — Reports — Costs.

Whenever the director or the self-insurer deems it necessary in order to resolve any medical issue, a worker shall submit to examination by a physician or physicians selected by the director, with the rendition of a report to the person ordering the examination. The department or self-insurer shall provide the physician performing an examination with all relevant medical records from the worker's claim file. The director, in his or her discretion, may charge the cost of such examination or examinations to the self-insurer or to the medical aid fund as the case may be. The cost of said examination shall include payment to the worker of reasonable expenses connected therewith.

[2001 c 152 § 2; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 60; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 54.]

Notes:

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.




51.36.080
Payment of fees and medical charges by department — Interest — Cost-effective payment methods — Audits.

(1) All fees and medical charges under this title shall conform to the fee schedule established by the director and shall be paid within sixty days of receipt by the department of a proper billing in the form prescribed by department rule or sixty days after the claim is allowed by final order or judgment, if an otherwise proper billing is received by the department prior to final adjudication of claim allowance. The department shall pay interest at the rate of one percent per month, but at least one dollar per month, whenever the payment period exceeds the applicable sixty-day period on all proper fees and medical charges.

     Beginning in fiscal year 1987, interest payments under this subsection may be paid only from funds appropriated to the department for administrative purposes.

     Nothing in this section may be construed to require the payment of interest on any billing, fee, or charge if the industrial insurance claim on which the billing, fee, or charge is predicated is ultimately rejected or the billing, fee, or charge is otherwise not allowable.

     In establishing fees for medical and other health care services, the director shall consider the director's duty to purchase health care in a prudent, cost-effective manner without unduly restricting access to necessary care by persons entitled to the care. With respect to workers admitted as hospital inpatients on or after July 1, 1987, the director shall pay for inpatient hospital services on the basis of diagnosis-related groups, contracting for services, or other prudent, cost-effective payment method, which the director shall establish by rules adopted in accordance with chapter
34.05 RCW.

     (2) The director may establish procedures for selectively or randomly auditing the accuracy of fees and medical billings submitted to the department under this title.

[1998 c 245 § 104; 1993 c 159 § 2; 1987 c 470 § 1; 1985 c 368 § 2; 1985 c 338 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 55.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 1987 c 470 § 1: "Section 1 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect on July 1, 1987." [1987 c 470 § 4.]

     Effective date -- 1985 c 368 § 2: "Section 2 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1987." [1985 c 368 § 7.]

     Legislative findings -- 1985 c 368: "The legislature finds that:

     (1) The governor's steering committee on the six-year state health care purchasing plan has estimated that health care expenditures by the department of labor and industries will rise from $172.5 million in fiscal year 1985 to $581.5 million in fiscal year 1991, an increase of two hundred thirty-seven percent in six years, while the number of persons receiving the care will rise only fifteen percent in the same period;

     (2) The growing cost of health care for covered workers is a major cause of recent industrial insurance premium increases, adversely affecting both employers and employees;

     (3) The department of labor and industries has not developed adequate means of controlling the costs of health care services to which covered workers are entitled by law;

     (4) There is a need for all agencies of the state to act as prudent buyers in purchasing health care." [1985 c 368 § 1.]

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.




51.36.085
Payment of fees and medical charges by self-insurers — Interest.

All fees and medical charges under this title shall conform to regulations promulgated, and the fee schedule established by the director and shall be paid within sixty days of receipt by the self-insured of a proper billing in the form prescribed by department rule or sixty days after the claim is allowed by final order or judgment, if an otherwise proper billing is received by the self-insured prior to final adjudication of claim allowance. The self-insured shall pay interest at the rate of one percent per month, but at least one dollar per month, whenever the payment period exceeds the applicable sixty-day period on all proper fees and medical charges.

[1993 c 159 § 3; 1987 c 316 § 4.]




51.36.090
Review of billings — Investigation of unauthorized services.

An employer may request review of billings for any medical and surgical services received by a worker by submitting written notice to the department. The department shall investigate the billings and determine whether the worker received services authorized under this title. Whenever such medical or surgical services are determined to be unauthorized, the department shall not charge the costs of such services to the employer's account.

[1985 c 337 § 3.]




51.36.100
Audits of health care providers authorized.

The legislature finds and declares it to be in the public interest of the residents of the state of Washington that a proper regulatory and inspection program be instituted in connection with the provision of medical, chiropractic, dental, vocational, and other health services to industrially injured workers pursuant to Title 51 RCW. In order to effectively accomplish such purpose and to assure that the industrially injured worker receives such services as are paid for by the state of Washington, the acceptance by the industrially injured worker of such services, and the request by a provider of services for reimbursement for providing such services, shall authorize the director of the department of labor and industries or the director's authorized representative to inspect and audit all records in connection with the provision of such services.

[1993 c 515 § 5; 1986 c 200 § 1.]




51.36.110
Audits of health care providers — Powers of department.

The director of the department of labor and industries or the director's authorized representative shall have the authority to:

     (1) Conduct audits and investigations of providers of medical, chiropractic, dental, vocational, and other health services furnished to industrially injured workers pursuant to Title
51 RCW. In the conduct of such audits or investigations, the director or the director's authorized representatives may examine all records, or portions thereof, including patient records, for which services were rendered by a health services provider and reimbursed by the department, notwithstanding the provisions of any other statute which may make or purport to make such records privileged or confidential: PROVIDED, That no original patient records shall be removed from the premises of the health services provider, and that the disclosure of any records or information obtained under authority of this section by the department of labor and industries is prohibited and constitutes a violation of RCW 42.52.050, unless such disclosure is directly connected to the official duties of the department: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That the disclosure of patient information as required under this section shall not subject any physician, licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner, or other health services provider to any liability for breach of any confidential relationships between the provider and the patient: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That the director or the director's authorized representative shall destroy all copies of patient medical records in their possession upon completion of the audit, investigation, or proceedings;

     (2) Approve or deny applications to participate as a provider of services furnished to industrially injured workers pursuant to Title 51 RCW;

     (3) Terminate or suspend eligibility to participate as a provider of services furnished to industrially injured workers pursuant to Title 51 RCW; and

     (4) Pursue collection of unpaid overpayments and/or penalties plus interest accrued from health care providers pursuant to RCW 51.32.240(6).

[2004 c 243 § 6; 2004 c 65 § 13; 1994 c 154 § 312; 1993 c 515 § 6; 1986 c 200 § 2.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2004 c 65 § 13 and by 2004 c 243 § 6, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).

     Adoption of rules -- 2004 c 243: See note following RCW 51.08.177.

     Report to legislature -- Effective date -- Severability -- 2004 c 65: See notes following RCW 51.04.030.

     Parts and captions not law -- Effective date -- Severability -- 1994 c 154: See RCW 42.52.902, 42.52.904, and 42.52.905.




51.36.120
Confidential information.

When contracting for health care services and equipment, the department, upon request of a contractor, shall keep confidential financial and valuable trade information, which shall be exempt from public inspection and copying under chapter 42.56 RCW.

[2005 c 274 § 325; 1989 c 189 § 2.]

Notes:

     Part headings not law -- Effective date -- 2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902.




51.36.130
False, misleading, or deceptive advertising or representations.

In addition to other authority granted under this chapter, the department may deny applications of health care providers to participate as a provider of services to injured workers under this title, or terminate or suspend providers' eligibility to participate, if the provider uses or causes or promotes the use of, advertising matter, promotional materials, or other representation, however disseminated or published, that is false, misleading, or deceptive with respect to the industrial insurance system or benefits for injured workers under this title.

[1997 c 336 § 2.]




51.36.140
Industrial insurance medical advisory committee — Duties — Membership.

(1) The department shall establish an industrial insurance medical advisory committee. The industrial insurance medical advisory committee shall advise the department on matters related to the provision of safe, effective, and cost-effective treatments for injured workers, including but not limited to the development of practice guidelines and coverage criteria, review of coverage decisions and technology assessments, review of medical programs, and review of rules pertaining to health care issues. The industrial insurance medical advisory committee may provide peer review and advise and assist the department in the resolution of controversies, disputes, and problems between the department and the providers of medical care. The industrial insurance medical advisory committee must consider the best available scientific evidence and expert opinion of committee members. The department may hire any expert or service or create an ad hoc committee, group, or subcommittee it deems necessary to fulfill the purposes of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee. In addition, the industrial insurance medical advisory committee may consult nationally recognized experts in evidence-based health care on particularly controversial issues.

     (2) The industrial insurance medical advisory committee is composed of up to fourteen members appointed by the director. The members must not include any department employees. The director shall select twelve members from the nominations provided by statewide clinical groups, specialties, and associations, including but not limited to the following: Family or general practice, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, general surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, internal medicine, osteopathic, pain management, and occupational medicine. At least two members must be physicians who are recognized for expertise in evidence-based medicine. The director may choose up to two additional members, not necessarily from the nominations submitted, who have expertise in occupational medicine.

     (3) The industrial insurance medical advisory committee shall choose its chair from among its membership.

     (4) The members of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee, including hired experts and any ad hoc group or subcommittee: (a) Are immune from civil liability for any official acts performed in good faith to further the purposes of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee; and (b) may be compensated for participation in the work of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee in accordance with a personal services contract to be executed after appointment and before commencement of activities related to the work of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee.

     (5) The members of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee shall disclose all potential financial conflicts of interest including contracts with or employment by a manufacturer, provider, or vendor of health technologies, drugs, medical devices, diagnostic tools, or other medical services during their term or for eighteen months before their appointment. As a condition of appointment, each person must agree to the terms and conditions regarding conflicts of interest as determined by the director.

     (6) The industrial insurance medical advisory committee shall meet at the times and places designated by the director and hold meetings during the year as necessary to provide advice to the director. Meetings of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee are subject to chapter
42.30 RCW, the open public meetings act.

     (7) The industrial insurance medical advisory committee shall coordinate with the state health technology assessment program and state prescription drug program as necessary. As provided by RCW 70.14.100 and 70.14.050, the decisions of the state health technology assessment program and those of the state prescription drug program hold greater weight than decisions made by the department's industrial insurance medical advisory committee under Title 51 RCW.

     (8) Neither the industrial insurance medical advisory committee nor any group is an agency for purposes of chapter 34.05 RCW.

     (9) The department shall provide administrative support to the industrial insurance medical advisory committee and adopt rules to carry out the purposes of this section.

     (10) The chair and ranking minority member of the house of representatives commerce and labor committee or the chair and ranking minority member of the senate labor, commerce, research and development committee, or successor committees, may request that the industrial insurance medical advisory committee review a medical issue related to industrial insurance and provide a written report to the house of representatives commerce and labor committee and the senate labor, commerce, research and development committee, or successor committees. The industrial insurance medical advisory committee is not required to act on the request.

     (11) The workers' compensation advisory committee may request that the industrial insurance medical advisory committee consider specific medical issues that have arisen multiple times during the work of the workers' compensation advisory committee. The industrial insurance medical advisory committee is not required to act on the request.

[2007 c 282 § 1.]

Notes:

     Report to legislature -- 2007 c 282: "The director, the industrial insurance medical advisory committee, and the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee shall report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on the following:

     (1) A summary of the types of issues reviewed by the industrial insurance medical advisory committee and the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee and decisions in each matter;

     (2) Whether the industrial insurance medical advisory committee or the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee became involved in the resolution of any disputes or controversies and the results of those disputes or controversies as a result of the involvement of the industrial insurance medical advisory committee or the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee;

     (3) The extent to which the industrial insurance medical advisory committee and the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee conducted any peer reviews and the results of those reviews;

     (4) The extent of any practice guidelines or coverage criteria developed by the industrial insurance medical advisory committee or the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee and the success of those developments; and

     (5) The extent to which the industrial insurance medical advisory committee and the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee provided advice on coverage decisions and technology assessments.

     The report is due no later than June 30, 2011, and must contain a recommendation about whether the industrial insurance medical advisory committee and the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee should continue as originally configured or whether any changes are needed." [2007 c 282 § 3.]




51.36.150
Industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee — Duties — Membership.

(1) The department shall establish an industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee. The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee shall advise the department on matters related to the provision of safe, effective, and cost-effective chiropractic treatments for injured workers. The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee may provide peer review and advise and assist the department in the resolution of controversies, disputes, and problems between the department and the providers of chiropractic care.

     (2) The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee is composed of up to nine members appointed by the director. The members must not include any department employees. The director must consider nominations from recognized statewide chiropractic groups such as the Washington state chiropractic association. At least two members must be chiropractors who are recognized for expertise in evidence-based practice or occupational health.

     (3) The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee shall choose its chair from among its membership.

     (4) The members of the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee and any ad hoc group or subcommittee: (a) Are immune from civil liability for any official acts performed in good faith to further the purposes of the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee; and (b) may be compensated for participation in the work of the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee in accordance with a personal services contract to be executed after appointment and before commencement of activities related to the work of the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee.

     (5) The members of the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee shall disclose all potential financial conflicts of interest including contracts with or employment by a manufacturer, provider, or vendor of health technologies, drugs, medical devices, diagnostic tools, or other medical services during their term or for eighteen months before their appointment. As a condition of appointment, each person must agree to the terms and conditions regarding conflicts of interest as determined by the director.

     (6) The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee shall meet at the times and places designated by the director and hold meetings during the year as necessary to provide advice to the director. Meetings of the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee are subject to chapter
42.30 RCW, the open public meetings act.

     (7) The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee shall coordinate with the state health technology assessment program and state prescription drug program as necessary. As provided by RCW 70.14.100 and 70.14.050, the decisions of the state health technology assessment program and those of the state prescription drug program hold greater weight than decisions made by the department's industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee under Title 51 RCW.

     (8) Neither the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee nor any group is an agency for purposes of chapter 34.05 RCW.

     (9) The department shall provide administrative support to the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee and adopt rules to carry out the purposes of this section.

     (10) The chair and ranking minority member of the house of representatives commerce and labor committee or the chair and ranking minority member of the senate labor, commerce, research and development committee, or successor committees, may request that the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee review a medical issue related to industrial insurance and provide a written report to the house of representatives commerce and labor committee and the senate labor, commerce, research and development committee, or successor committees. The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee is not required to act on the request.

     (11) The workers' compensation advisory committee may request that the industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee consider specific medical issues that have arisen multiple times during the work of the workers' compensation advisory committee. The industrial insurance chiropractic advisory committee is not required to act on the request.

[2007 c 282 § 2.]

Notes:

     Report to legislature -- 2007 c 282: See note following RCW 51.36.140.