State News : Texas

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The number of doctors on the Division’s Designated Doctor List dropped in the past year from 1008
in July of 2014 to only 699 in July of 2015. Of the 699 still on the list, 250 of those doctors are
medical doctors, 37 are osteopaths and 332 are chiropractors. The number of medical doctors on
the list has dropped by half and the number of chiropractors is down by 129.
One explanation for the drop may be the “new” examination to test designated doctors’ competency
to evaluate MMI and impairment rating, which was implemented on 5/1/13. As that test would not
have been required of doctors on the list on 5/1/13 until the date there credentials expired (every 2
years) many of the doctors on the list were not required to take the test until 5/1/15.
According to many of the doctors, increased regulation and certification requirements without a
corresponding increase in the reimbursement rate paid for designated doctor examinations are
largely responsible for the drop in the number of doctors willing to perform designated doctor
Hopefully the new requirements will result in a smaller number of more qualified doctors. The down side continues to be a drop in the number of qualified doctors willing to travel west of I-35
to perform those examinations.