OIEC Quarterly Review, Number 6, April-June 2007 Page: 2
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OI EC Quarterly Review Page 2
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The 80t" Texas Legislature has come and gone and many decisions were made
that affect both 01 EC as an agency as well as the workers' compensation system.
QIEC is pleased with the legislative guidance given and the several bills that
benefit injured employees that passed this session. The following is a list and
brief summary of the bills that passed during the session that benefit injured
" HB 724: provides for an administrative proceeding for medical disputes in the
workers' compensation system and modifies the eligibility requirements for
death benefits to include a deceased injured employee's parents, who receives
burial benefits under Texas Labor Code -408.186.
" House Bill (HB) 886: authorizes the Texas Department of Insurance, Division
of Workers' Compensation (DWC) to pre-certify workplace modification plans
that are submitted to DWC's Return-To-Work Pilot Program. HB 886 is based
on 01 EC's legislative recommendation and encourages the use of DWC's
Return-To-Work Pilot Program whereby small employers may be reimbursed
up to $2,500 for workplace modifications to return an employee back to work.
" HB 888: authorizes 01 EC and its Ombudsman Program to obtain copies of an
injured employee's medical records to assist injured employees in
administrative dispute resolution proceedings. This bill is particularly helpful
in light of HB 724 (discussed above), which requires an administrative dispute
resolution hearing for medical issues prior to judicial review.
" HB 1003: requires all health care providers participating in the workers'
compensation system to have a Texas medical license. HB 1003 is based on
01 EC's legislative recommendation and requires all health care providers
performing peer reviews to hold a medical license issued by the Texas Medical
" HB 1006: requires health care providers performing medical necessity reviews
as a part of an Independent Review Organization (IRO) to hold a medical
license issued by the Texas Medical Board. This bill and HB 1003 assure
Texas patients are diagnosed, treated, and reviewed by Texas doctors. 01 EC
believes that requiring patients in the workers' compensation system to be
serviced by Texas doctors assures proper regulation over health care rendered
to the injured employee.
" HB 2004: requires a health care provider who performs peer reviews on a
workers' compensation case be certified in a professional specialty appropriate
to the care received by the injured employee.
" SB 458: includes prosthetic or orthotic devices as eligible medical care in the
workers' compensation system.
" SB 1169: provides for the reimbursement of an insurance carrier for the
overpayment of certain workers' compensation benefits from the Subsequent
Injury Fund. This bill was amended to include OIEC's legislative
recommendation to authorize DWC's Benefit Review Officers to issue an
interlocutory order at a Benefit Review Conference and reduce the time frame
for issuing the order from ten to three days.
Heading into its first legislative session, OlEC requested legislative guidance on
whether the agency should serve as a "One Stop Shop" and assist injured employees
prior to a formal dispute with the insurance carrier or whether the agency should only
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Texas. Office of Injured Employee Counsel. OIEC Quarterly Review, Number 6, April-June 2007, periodical, April 2007; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth575760/m1/2/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.