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.]
| 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.