Governor Gregoire Signed Bill that Expands the COHE
March 30, 2011
Spokane, WA

The COHE is no longer a pilot project. It’s worked so well for employers, providers and most importantly, injured workers, that the COHE’s proven efficiencies are being expanded. With support from all parties, business, labor, healthcare and the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), Gov. Gregoire signed Substitute Senate Bill 5801 earlier this year, extending the COHE so that by the end of 2015 all injured workers could benefit from its system.

The COHE is no longer a pilot project. It’s worked so well for employers, providers and most importantly, injured workers, that the COHE’s proven efficiencies are being expanded. With support from all parties, business, labor, healthcare and the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), Gov. Gregoire signed Substitute Senate Bill 5801 earlier this year, extending the COHE so that by the end of 2015 all injured workers could benefit from its system.
The Eastern Washington COHE will continue to lead those efforts in this part of the state. More than 1,000 health care providers, 600 employers and 30 labor unions voluntarily participate in the Eastern Washington COHE across 16 Eastern Washington counties.

“We know we need to help more workers return to good health and back on the job after an injury, as well as reduce costs for our taxpayers and businesses,” Gregoire said. “This bill does both. It improves outcomes for our employees, while saving more than $200 million over the next four years. I’m proud of our workers’ compensation workgroup, which pulled together leaders from our business and labor communities. This bill is the result of their work, and it has strong bi-partisan support.”

As a result, it is expected that injured workers in the state of Washington will return to work more quickly while reducing the number of workers who are disabled long-term.

“Our Centers of Occupational Health & Education help prevent long-term disability by ensuring workers receive the right medical care early,” Gregoire said. “That means employees are back on the job quicker – earning a paycheck to support their families. And it will help reduce the amount of future increases in workers’ comp premiums. Saving businesses money that they can reinvest in the workforce is essential to our economic recovery.”


Contact:
Jerrie Heyamoto
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