As an injured worker with an L&I claim in Washington State, you have the right to choose your doctor… sort of. There are some requirements and restrictions.
The first is that the doctor must be a member of the Medical Provider Network (MPN). If they haven’t already done so, doctors can sign up to become providers in this network through L&I, so if your family practitioner wants to treat you but isn’t already a member, they must become one. The process is fairly straightforward and quick.
Secondly, you may find out after being hurt at work that your doctor refuses to deal with L&I and will not see you for purposes of your claim. This is unfortunate, and many times it boils down to doctors and their staffs not wanting to deal with the paperwork and L&I’s administrative requirements. Rather surprisingly, we’ve found that doctors are often underbilling for their treatment on claims which can sour their willingness to tackle the L&I paperwork and requirements. *If your doctor mentions having trouble with L&I, let them know Carlisle and Byers can be a free resource for help with billing codes and other administrative hiccups they may have.
Options for an L&I Claim
If your doctor won’t see you for your L&I claim, or you simply don’t have a doctor, your claim manager will likely have you go to a doctor or physician’s assistant they choose for you. THIS IS NOT YOUR ONLY OPTION!
Check this out: http://findadoc.lni.wa.gov
This page on the L&I website allows you to search for doctors in your area that are already part of the MPN. You enter your location and then further refine your search by specialty. This is an immensely useful tool, and allows you to have some control in who you entrust with your care. If you do have a family doctor that just doesn’t want to take on your claim, ask them for a referral or print out the list of doctors in your area from the site. Take this list to your doctor to see if they’ve heard of or can endorse any of them.
Workers’ Compensation L&I Attorneys
The most important thing you can do after you’ve been hurt is to take action. Take an active role in your claim and the treatment you seek. Don’t assume that you don’t have choices and rights! Contact us if you need help with your L&I claim in Eastern Washington.