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December 5, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Audit: State paid $3.8M for missed medical visits

From The Associated Press

SEATTLE – A state audit has found the Washington Department of Labor and Industries paid more than $3.8 million between July 2008 and the end of June 2011 for medical exams that never happened.

The missed appointments were scheduled by the agency for workers claiming job-related injuries or illnesses. They’re required as part of the state’s workers compensation program to assess injury level or required treatment.

The review by the state auditor’s office found that the patients in question either failed to show up for these appointments or canceled late and the department was charged.

State regulations provide that if a claimant misses a doctor’s appointment without good cause, the appointment fee is withheld from benefits. The audit found that if the client is no longer receiving benefits, the department rarely gets that reimbursement.

The audit says the amount in question has decreased in each of the last two years and says L&I attributes that improvement to phone-call reminders it began making to clients.

 

Comments | More in General news | Topics: health, State auditor, Washington Department of Labor and Industries

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