For injured workers, the rules have changed in who can provide treatment. In the past, an injured worker could choose any doctor. Whether the worker was compensated for their travel expense was sometimes an issue for workers but so long as the medical provider (doctor, PAC, ARNP, psychologist, for example) had a provider number from the Department of Labor and Industries, that individual could treat the injured worker and be compensated by the Department for approved treatment.
That system has changed. As of January 2013, a medical provider must be an approved provider within the Department’s network of providers, called COHE. Under the new system, an injured worker can see any medical provider they choose but only for the initial visit. All follow-up visits must be with a provider within the Department’s network of approved providers. A list of approved providers for your area can be found on the Department of Labor and Industries website.
Sometimes it will be necessary to see multiple providers. For example, an injured worker may require surgery but their primary care provider is not a surgeon. Or an injured worker may have multiple injuries and require the treatment from multiple providers. Or an injured worker may have the need to seek treatment from one provider for their physical injury and another for their psychological injury. So long as the various providers are within the approved network and the Department approves the treatment, the care should be covered.
Occasionally it will become necessary for an injured worker to change their primary care provider. When this happens, the injured worker may do so but only with the approval of the Department of Labor and Industries. A request can be made with the Department of Labor and Industries either on-line or in writing with a card that can be obtained at the nearest service location for the Department of Labor and Industries.
If you return to Mexico, you should obtain a list of approved medical providers in Mexico at the following website: http://www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Files/Claims/FindaDoc/FadMexico.pdf.
If you return to Canada, you may obtain a list of approved medical providers from this website: http://www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Files/Claims/FindaDoc/FadCanada.pdf