L&I announces new centers of Occupational Health and Education | Department of Labor & Industries

The Department of Labor & Industries has finalized new agreements with health-care organizations to provide Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs).

The Department of Labor & Industries has finalized new agreements with health-care organizations to provide Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs). COHEs are organizations that improve medical treatment for Washington’s injured workers.

“The COHEs have proven their ability to prevent disability for workers,” said Joel Sacks, L&I director. “By improving occupational health care, they keep valuable workers on the job and reduce costs for employers.”

Two brand-new COHE sponsors include:

• A coalition of 12 health-care organizations led by Franciscan Health System, that will offer COHE services covering all western Washington counties.

Group Health Cooperative, which will provide services to injured workers at 11 clinics in western Washington and one in Spokane. Patients do not need to be members of Group Health to see doctors in these clinics for work-related injuries or illnesses.

 

L&I has also renewed contracts with the four existing COHEs:

Renton COHE at Valley Medical Center, serving parts of King and Pierce counties.

Eastern Washington COHE, based at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane and involving medical providers throughout Eastern Washington.

The Everett Clinic, with nine clinics in Snohomish County.

Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, with COHE services at its trauma center and many of its clinics.

The COHEs provide training and organizational support to medical providers to increase their use of best practices in treating injured workers. These best practices focus on safely returning workers to full function and full employment. Examples of best practices include talking with the employer about return to work and regularly assessing a worker’s ability to do work activities.

A 2011 study found that injured workers treated by COHE-affiliated health-care providers are away from work for 20 percent fewer days than other injured workers. COHE care also reduces disability and medical costs by $510 per claim during the first year.

The new agreements are a major step towards meeting a legislative requirement to expand COHE services to all injured workers statewide by 2015, part of the 2011 workers’ comp reform.

More in Business

Seattle’s misstep highlights need for new approach

Last week, Seattle’s City Council did an “about face” revoking the onerous… Continue reading

Washington’s expensive culvert court case

Too much money is spent in court where it should go to increasing the salmon population

Lt. Dan needs lots of helping hands

Gary Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and they began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad. Sinise often raised the money to pay the band and fund its travel.

New Enumclaw wine bar aims for broad audience

Bordeaux Wine Bar is scheduled to be open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Streamlining regulations makes more housing affordable

There were over 21,000 people homeless in Washington State last year.

New approaches needed to fight super wildfires | Don Brunell

Last year, wildfires nationwide consumed 12,550 square miles, an area larger than Maryland.

Skilled trade jobs go unfilled in our robust economy

Known as blue collar jobs, they routinely pay $45,000 to $65,000 a year or more.

Streamlining regulations helps Americans compete

The cost of regulations is a key American competitiveness issue. It is a major reason our companies re-locate to other countries and our manufacturers and farmers have difficulties competing internationally.

Water pressure mounting in West as population spikes

What is happening in California with water allocation disputes is a harbinger of what is to come in our state as well.

Railroads implementing positive track

While the investigation continues into the deadly AMTRAK derailment near Dupont, the clock continues to tick on the implementation of Positive Track Control (PTC). The deadline is Dec. 31, 2018.

Keep the holiday spirit all year long | Don Brunell

During the holidays, our thoughts naturally turn to giving — not just giving gifts, but donating our time and money to charities, disasters and community programs.

Finding balance in occupational licensing

Recently, the Institute for Justice (Institute) determined state licensing barriers for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs not only hurts people trying to establish themselves in a profession, but annually drives consumer prices up by $203 billion.