State News : Texas

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As the DWC continues to see the number of designated doctors dwindling (there are now less than 300 on the list and only 65 of those are MDs), the agency has posted proposed changes to various DWC rules dealing with the designated doctor program including billing and reimbursement for designated doctor, RME and MMI/IR examinations performed by treating and referral doctors.  The first informal proposal to the billing rules details changes to the methods for billing – so no information is available regarding changes to the actual rates charged for these examinations, which begs the question – will the reimbursement rate increase enough to entice medical doctors to return to the fold?  

DWC will offer a virtual DD Billing and Reimbursement Rule Stakeholder Meeting Thursday, September 8, 2022.  

For more information:

At a recent conference, Division staff addressed an increasing problem in finding qualified doctors to perform examinations for more complex injuries and offered as a potential solution the plan to open up the qualification standards to include all board certifications for those examinations requiring a specialization and allowing the Division more discretion in appointing doctors without specialization in those geographical regions where qualified doctors are not currently on the list.  

The Division focus certainly appears to be more on process and procedure rather than addressing the more systemic problems of quality, quantity and oversight of the remaining doctors on the list.  For now, the Division appears to be streamlining and reducing the amount of training, the frequency of testing and the certification process in efforts to make being a designated doctor less administratively burdensome for doctors.

Designated doctors and their administrators will, however, be required to use the Division’s own TXCOMP system to accept and manage appointments AND file their reports online beginning 9/19/22.  The Division will be training doctors in the use of the system. Apparently, RME doctors will also see pending RME appointments in their TXCOMP profile and enter basic information to upload their reports as well.

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