Success update on Worker’s Comp!

We have an update on the advocacy that OSTI has been advancing with regards to interpreter payment and policies for worker’s comp medical appointments*, and SPOILER – it’s good news!

On January 23, Fred Bruyns, Policy Analyst for the Worker’s Compensation Division, sent out their proposed updates to the worker’s compensation rules, which included this, under the new medical services rules (emphasis mine):

436-010-0225 Choosing a Person to Provide Interpreter Services

(1) A worker may choose a person to communicate with a medical provider when the worker and the medical provider speak different languages, including sign language. The worker may choose a family member, a friend, an employee of the medical provider, or someone who provides interpreter services as a profession. However, a representative of the worker’s employer may not provide interpreter services. The medical provider may disapprove of the worker’s choice at any time the medical provider feels the interpreter services are not improving communication with the worker, or feels the interpretation is not complete or accurate.

(2) When a worker asks an insurer to arrange for interpreter services, the insurer must use a certified or qualified health care interpreter listed on the Oregon Health Care Interpreter Registry of the Oregon Health Authority, available at: http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEI/Pages/HCI-Program.aspx. If no certified or qualified health care interpreter is available, the insurer may schedule an interpreter of its choice subject to the limits in subsection (a).

(3) For the purpose if this rule, interpreter services means the act of orally translating between a medical provider and a patient who speak different languages, including sign language. It includes reasonable time spent waiting at the location for the medical provider to examine or treat the patient as well as reasonable time spent on necessary paperwork

* Reminder Note: While the Worker’s Compensation Division (WCD) oversees the medical side of Worker’s Comp claims, the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) oversees the administrative hearing side of claims, and has a different payment policy. This advocacy was specifically for the medical side.

Thank you for your support!

For a recap on how we got here, please read this update from the OSTI Blog: http://ostiweb.org/ostis-advocacy-regarding-the-workers-compensation-divisions-medical-interpreter-policies/