WSR 20-20-111
[Filed October 6, 2020, 9:11 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Independent medical examinations (IMEs), chapter 296-23 WAC, Radiology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, pathology, hospital, chiropractic, physical therapy, drugless therapeutics and nursing—Drugless therapeutics, etc.
The department of labor and industries (L&I) is considering adding a new section to chapter 296-23 WAC. The rule will address how to accommodate the injured worker if no approved independent medical examiner in the specialty needed is available in a reasonably convenient location as well as how telemedicine IMEs may be used.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.32.110, 51.36.070, 51.04.020, 51.04.030; ESSB 6440, section 5.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Recently passed legislation, ESSB 6440, mandates that independent medical examinations must be performed in a place reasonably convenient to the injured worker, or alternatively utilize telemedicine if appropriate for the examination. The legislation requires the department to address in rule how to accommodate the worker when no approved examiner in the specialty needed is available in the worker's community. The legislation also requires the department to adopt rules, policies, and processes governing the use of telemedicine for independent medical exams.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Parties interested in participating in the development of these rules may contact the individual listed below. Interested parties may also participate during the public comment period by submitting written comments or giving oral testimony at the public hearing.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Kristen Baldwin-Boe, Health Services Analysis, L&I, P.O. Box 44322, Olympia, WA 98504-4322, phone 360-902-6815, fax 360-902-4249, email, website
October 6, 2020
Joel Sacks