QUIZ: Test Your Workers' Compensation Knowledge
How well do you know workers' compensation in Washington State?
1. YES OR NO: Can employers have medical providers bill them for an injured worker to get care?
No - Employers are prohibited from paying for Workers Comp medical care in Washington. Workers Comp insurance is required for every employee in WA State. Employers must enroll for insurance provided by in Labor & Industries or qualify to be self-insured to provide coverage for themselves. Most aspects of claims management are still regulated for self-insured employers the same as employers insured through L&I.
2. YES OR NO: Can any business qualify to be self-insured?
No - L&I provides an Analysis Checklist on its website to get started. There is also a Guide to Self-Insurance in Washington State on the L&I website.
3. YES OR NO: Can employers suggest injured workers visit a specific occupational medical provider or care site?
Yes - While Washington is an employee choice state, meaning injured workers can go to any provider they want for care, it is well within your rights to offer suggestions to your employees. For example, supervisors and safety managers can recommend MultiCare Occupational Medicine and Indigo Urgent Care clinics because they specialize in helping workers recover quickly and help them navigate the workers compensation claim process.
4. TRUE OR FALSE: Only Claims Managers representing the injured worker can approve advanced diagnostic testing, such as MRIs and Ultrasounds, requested by a provider.
True - Sometimes employers want to ‘speed up’ the process and mistakenly think they can authorize the testing. Occ Med providers must obtain approval from Claims Managers.
5. MULTIPLE CHOICE: What are some ways to reduce costs associated with workers’ compensation?
A. Set up a safety committee to investigate incidents and injuries to develop preventative measures in the future. Have the safety committee meet monthly and report to management.
B. Join a Retrospective Rating Group to share the risk of workers’ compensation costs with other similar companies.
C. Establish a modified/light duty program for employees to work during their recovery period. On average, time-loss benefits are the largest costs of workers compensation. Employers insured through L&I can take advantage of the Stay at Work program which reimburses 50% of the cost of keeping an injured employee at work.
D. Actively partner with your employee and occupational medicine provider, if an injury occurs. By working together, we can help you identify light duty assignments and get your injured worked back to work sooner.
E. All of the above.
BONUS POINT: What is the new minimum wage in WA State starting 1/1/2021?
YOU DID IT!
We hope you learned something new about workers' compensation in Washington. MultiCare Occupational Medcine collaborates with employers, employees and all other stakeholders to help navigate the workers’ compensation process with cost and productivity in mind. We will handle the details, so that you can keep your business running.
Washington’s Choice for Workers’ Compensation
Healthy employees are the foundation of a healthy business. For over 30 years, Washington’s employers have trusted MultiCare Occupational Medicine to care for their workers after a job-related injury.
Contact MultiCare Occupational Medicine
Puget Sound: 888-280-5513
Inland Northwest: 833-602-8027
About The Author
MultiCare Occupational Medicine provides comprehensive occupational medicine services for employers and employees, including employment physicals and screenings to injury and return to work care. More stories by this author