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The WSIA Weekly, 5.22.15


L&I announces pre-authorization requirement for PT/OT visits

Earlier this week, the Department of Labor & Industries announced that effective June 29, 2015, State Fund payment for physical and occupational therapy extending beyond 12 visits will be denied without prior authorization, and visits beyond 24 would require utilization review. The Department’s prior authorization site, with forms for providers, is available at this link.  

 Division of Occupational Safety and Health issues updated rules

Also this week, Labor & Industries’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) formally adopted rules meant to update existing requirements to federal OSHA standards with respect to injury and illness recording and reporting standards. Consistent with OSHA, DOSH has switched from the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for purposes of determining low-hazard industries who are partially exempt from recordkeeping requirements. The new rules also tracks OSHA’s requirement that employers report any work-related fatality within eight hours, and any work-related incident that results in amputation, or loss of an eye within 24 hours. DOSH retains its previous requirement that in-patient hospitalizations be reported within eight hours. The text of the new regulation can be found at this link.

 L&I announces registration for Department’s annual training for claims administrators

Labor & Industries has announced that registration will open May 25th for the Department’s annual training course for self-insurance claims administrators.  The one-day course, entitled “Update 2015,” takes place at L&I HQ in Tumwater on July 29th and again on August 19th. Certified claims administrators register using your Secure Access Washington account, while non-certified administrators register on the Department’s continuing ed page.

 Registrations coming in for the next WSIA-L&I self-insurance colloquium, June 9th at Starbucks HQ

The next WSIA-Labor & Industries colloquium on self-insurance best practices is occurring June 9th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Starbucks corporate headquarters in Seattle. The program, “On Preventing Development of Chronic Pain and Disability with a Focus on Medical Treatment and Insurance Decisions,” features topics such as the Coston ruling, psychiatric treatment and the DSM-5, spinal fusion, the new Agency Medical Directors Group guidelines on opioids, and a panel discussion on surgical best practices. Thanks to Starbucks, there will be a complimentary coffee tasting at the break! WSIA is handling registration. It’s $25 for the day, to cover the cost of catering. Download this registration form, which includes agenda and location information, and return it to WSIA by June 2nd with payment. E-mail Patrick Koenig with any questions.  


 Webinar: Marijuana in the Workplace: A Tricky Proposition

It may be legal to get high in Washington, but what does that mean for the workplace? For workers’ compensation claims and safety enforcement? For employer drug policies? “Marijuana in the Workplace: A Tricky Proposition,” takes place June 18th from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Led by attorney Erin Sullivan-Byorick and lab toxicology manager David Michaelson, this webinar will tackle topics like how much marijuana in the blood shows up in test results? What constitutes a positive test? How would Labor & Industries address marijuana use? What is L&I’s position? Can an employee return to work while using medical marijuana to manage pain? Will there be occupational health guidelines around the use of marijuana? And so on. This is a great one to share not only with your workers’ comp staff, but human resources and safety as well. Use this link for more info and to register.