New WA law: 7-day deadline for family/medical leave requests

May 24, 2024

One-page WA forms simplify the state process; system workflows & Epic automations are in the works. 

As of June 6, Washington State Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) forms or requests received from patients or their family caregivers need to be completed and returned to them within seven calendar days, per a new state law(Note, this is separate from federal FMLA requests.) 

Physicians, APPs/APCs, LCSWs, physical therapists, MAs, RNs, PSRs/PCCs, schedulers, core leaders and more can all help in this effort. 

Key Points to the New State Law

  • The seven-day clock begins when a patient submits the state PFML request/authorization to certify a serious health condition, AND we have all the information required to do so.
  • A follow-up appointment may be required to gather information in some cases. 
  • Any documentation required to affirm the serious health condition should be included in our response. 
  • We cannot bill for completion of the form. We can bill, however, for appointments required to gather information for completing the form.
  • If the physician/clinician does not think the health condition qualifies as serious, we do not need to complete the process.

Providence is preparing workflows, Epic automations and other tools to help simplify the required turnaround of these requests. These tools are expected in the coming months.

For now, use these simplified one-page state forms to support leave requests:

One-page Forms and Recommended Use

When state leave is requested, return these forms to patients, within the seven-day deadline:

One-page form and instructions from Washington State.
One-page form and instructions from Washington State.
One-page form and instructions from Washington State.

Please save, bookmark or link these forms wherever it will be easiest for you and your teams to find them. 

They can also be found on the Washington Paid Leave website.


Other Tips

  • MAs and other support staff can help fill in the basic demographic details and prepare additional documentation.
  • Core leaders can help ensure mailed, faxed or dropped-off forms are queued for completion along with In Basket messages.
  • Physicians, clinicians, LCSWs and physical therapists can "Briefly describe the serious health condition," recommend the length of time off, review and sign the form. 


We'll share more when additional internal tools are available to simplify this further. Please send any questions to your core leader.

Thanks for your prompt attention to state medical leave forms moving forward, and for always doing what's best for our patients.  


Go deeper

As a healthcare provider, these are your responsibilities: (1) Determine if your patient’s health condition qualifies them for Paid Leave and how much time off they—and their family members—can receive. The amount of time off is based on medical need....
"A health care provider shall provide a certification of a serious health condition required by chapter 50A.15 RCW for qualifying a patient for paid family or medical leave, including any required documentation of a serious health condition, within seven calendar days of receipt of a request and authorization from the patient."
Previous Article
Thurston County Health Officer warns of increased cases of Pertussis in WA State

Next Article
Prevent surgical site infections by documentation