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Washington state's workers comp medical network doubles since 2013


A medical provider network developed by the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries for injured workers has more than doubled in size since it went live in 2013, the department said Wednesday.

With more than 20,000 health care providers in the network, 99% of injured workers in Washington live within 15 miles of at least five in-network primary care providers, the department said in a statement.

Created as a result of Washington’s workers compensation reforms in 2011, the network was designed to improve outcomes, reduce disability and cut costs, according to the statement.

“Ready access to high-quality care helps our injured workers quickly return to good health and their jobs,” Vickie Kennedy, assistant director for insurance services at the department, said in a statement.

In Washington, injured workers can see any doctor for their first visit, but they have to go to a network provider to receive ongoing treatment, according to Labor & Industries, which is the state’s monopoly workers comp insurer.