WSR 08-05-093

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

[ Filed February 15, 2008, 9:03 a.m. , effective March 22, 2008 ]


Effective Date of Rule: March 22, 2008.

Purpose: The changes will amend the below mentioned WAC to make the change identified in this section. The proposed revision will add language to the current rule regarding the current linear analog hearing aid replacement policy that became effective September 17, 2007. The purpose of this rule making is to ensure uniform compliance with the current linear analog hearing aid replacement policy.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending industrial insurance, WAC 296-20-1101 Hearing aids and masking devices.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 51.04.020, 51.36.080, 7.68.030, 7.68.080.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-22-093 on November 6, 2007.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: February 15, 2008.

Judy Schurke

Director

OTS-1127.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 80-29, filed 12/23/80, effective 3/1/81)

WAC 296-20-1101   Hearing aids and masking devices.   The department or self-insurer is responsible for replacement or repair of hearing aids damaged or lost due to an industrial accident only to the extent of restoring the damaged item to its condition at time of the accident. If the hearing aid is repairable and the worker determines he prefers replacement, the department or self-insurer is responsible only to the extent of the cost to repair the original and the worker is responsible for the difference between repair and replacement costs.

When the department or self-insurer has accepted a hearing loss condition either as a result of industrial injury or occupational exposure, the department or self-insurer will furnish a hearing aid (hearing aids when bilateral loss is present) when prescribed or recommended by a physician.

The department or self-insurer will bear the cost of repairs or replacement due to normal wear and the cost of battery replacement for the life of the hearing aid.

If the worker has been issued a linear analog hearing aid and it becomes inoperable or if the worker is unable to hear, the department or self-insurer will replace the linear analog hearing aid with a nonlinear digital or nonlinear analog hearing aid in accordance with existing medical aid rules and fee schedules and at no cost to the worker even if the linear analog hearing aid is repairable.

In cases of accepted tinnitus, the department or self-insurer may provide masking devices under the same provisions as outlined for hearing aids due to hearing loss.

Provision of masking devices and hearing aids require prior authorization.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020(4), 51.04.030, and 51.16.120(3). 81-01-100 (Order 80-29), 296-20-1101, filed 12/23/80, effective 3/1/81.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office