Help When You Need It

Company Doctors, Nurses and Work Clinics

Most doctors and nurses try to help their patients.  However drop in clinics and company doctors or nurses that cater to employers have divided loyalties.

If your employer has a policy that as an injured worker you must go and be treated by “their doctor” then beware.  “Their doctor” means just that.

One prominent local health organization makes their position clear.  On their website they say:

“Occupational Medicine – Keep your business healthy. Gain control of your workers comp costs.”

It’s clear just whose health they are interested in.

Further into their website they say:

“[we are]…committed to communicating with our clients regularly about an injured workers condition.”

It’s also clear who they consider to be their clients.


Choice of Physicians – The Law

The law on choice of physicians for L&I claims is as follows:

RCW 51.36.010 (2) (a)(b)

(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…

The L&I Administrative Regulations provide further:

WAC 296-20-065

Under RCW 51.36.010 the worker is entitled to free choice of treating provider. Except as provided under subsections (1) through (7) of this section, no reasonable request for transfer to a network provider will be denied.

The Problem with Your Choice of Physicians

When you vote, do you have real choice? No you don’t! Your “choice” is limited, sometime to only two candidates.  Often they are a left or right wingnuts, who don’t speak for you. They speak for the establishment. The same is true of the medical provider network. Your choice is very limited, and getting worse every day as good doctors refuse to deal any longer with L&I paperwork and harassment.

It’s not easy, finding a good doctor to be your attending physician.  But it’s important. Do your best to make it happen, and if your doctor isn’t a member of the network – get him or her to join.

The Attending Physician

In L&I law, the attending physician has a lot of say about how much help you are going to get while you are injured.  Do you want a company doctor to be your attending physician? It’s your choice.

How to Change Physicians

1. Find a better doctor L&I Network Provider List

2. Be sure they are an approved provider

3. Complete a Transfer of Care Card

How to Complain About a Health Care Professional who is Unethical

Contact the people who license them, The Washington State Department of Health.

You can also ask L&I to perform an audit. The Director of L&I has authority to audit health care providers.   Here is the law RCW 51.36.100. Call L&I to make this happen.

What’s Next?

L&I Benefits – 12 Helpful Links You Can Use Now
L&I Claims – A Beginners Complete Guide to Job Injuries
L&I Settlements
Independent Medical Examinations (IME’s)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About L&I Injuries 
Independent Medical Examinations (IME)

Want to Contact Us:

Call for information or a free strategy session – 206-343-1988

Tell us Your Story – Ask your questions via email


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