WSR 10-11-106




[ Filed May 18, 2010, 10:43 a.m. ]

Supplemental Notice to WSR 10-05-097.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-01-169.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 296-20-1103 Travel expense.

Hearing Location(s): Department of Labor and Industries, Room S118, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA 98501, on June 30, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 20, 2010.

Submit Written Comments to: Bob Mayer, Health Services Analysis, P.O. Box 44322, Olympia, WA 98504-4322, e-mail, fax (360) 902-5021, by June 30, 2010.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact office of information and assistance by June 23, 2010, TTY (360) 902-5797 or (360) 902-5021.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this rule change is to update department policy on travel expenses for injured workers traveling out of their immediate residential area to the nearest point of adequate treatment or vocational training. The anticipated effects would be to ensure a payment methodology that is reasonable, fair, and cost efficient. Also, language updates terminology in the existing rule and removes an obsolete reference to the department rehabilitation center.

Comparison to proposed rule filed with original CR-102: This revised rule continues to affect travel for treatment or vocational retraining, but does not impact travel for vocational services (such as vocational assessment and counseling).

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed rule provides reasonable and fair reimbursement for injured workers' travel expenses. Reimbursement changes are also needed to achieve budget goals for the state fund workers' compensation program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: The rule changes supports department goals of ensuring payment methodologies that are reasonable, fair, and cost efficient.

Name of Proponent: Department of labor and industries, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Bob Mayer, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA, (360) 902-5021; Implementation: Janet Peterson, health services analysis program manager, (360) 902-6699; and Enforcement: Bob Malooly, assistant director of insurance services, (360) 902-4209.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. There is no disproportionate cost to small business.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. There is no more than minimal cost to business. Controlling the department's payments for injured worker travel expenses may marginally reduce workers' compensation premiums charged to employers.

May 18, 2010

Judy Schurke



AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-16-072, filed 8/1/93, effective 9/1/93)

WAC 296-20-1103   Travel expense.   The department or self-insurer will reimburse travel expense incurred by workers for the following reasons:

(1) Examinations at department's or self-insurer's request;

(2) Vocational services at department's or self-insurer's request;

(3) ((treatment at department rehabilitation center;

(4))) Fitting of prosthetic device; and

(((5))) (4) Upon prior authorization for treatment or vocational retraining when worker must travel more than ((ten)) fifteen miles one-way from the worker's home to the nearest point of adequate treatment or vocational retraining. Travel expense is not payable when adequate treatment is available within ((ten)) fifteen miles of injured worker's home, yet the injured worker prefers to report to an attending ((doctor)) provider outside the worker's home area.

Under subsections (3) and (4) of this section, when travel expense is authorized the first fifteen miles one-way are not payable. The first and last fifteen miles are not payable on an authorized round trip.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed at the current department rate.

Receipts are required for all expenses except parking expenses under ten dollars.

Claims for reimbursement of travel expenses must be received by the department or self-insurer within one year after the date expenses are incurred. Refer to WAC 296-20-125 and to department policy for additional rules.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030 and 1993 c 159. 93-16-072, 296-20-1103, filed 8/1/93, effective 9/1/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020. 91-12-010, 296-20-1103, filed 5/30/91, effective 7/1/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020(4) and 51.04.030. 83-16-066 (Order 83-23), 296-20-1103, filed 8/2/83. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020(4), 51.04.030, and 51.16.120(3). 81-24-041 (Order 81-28), 296-20-1103, filed 11/30/81, effective 1/1/82; 81-01-100 (Order 80-29), 296-20-1103, filed 12/23/80, effective 3/1/81.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office