(a) To be eligible to serve as a designated doctor, a doctor must maintain an active certification by the division.
(a-1) The commissioner by rule shall develop a process for the certification of a designated doctor.
(a-2) The rules adopted by the commissioner under Subsection (a-1) must:
(1) require the division to evaluate the qualification of designated doctors for certification using eligibility requirements, including:
(A) educational experience;
(B) previous training; and
(C) demonstrated ability to perform the specific designated doctor duties described by Section 408.0041; and
(2) require standard training and testing to be completed in accordance with policies and guidelines developed by the division.
(a-3) The division shall develop guidelines for certification training programs for certification of a designated doctor under Subsection (a-1) to ensure a designated doctor’s competency and continued competency in providing assessments, including:
(1) a standard curriculum;
(2) standard course materials; and
(3) testing criteria.
(a-4) The division shall develop and implement a procedure to periodically review and update the guidelines developed under Subsection (a-3).
(a-5) The division may authorize an independent training and testing provider to conduct the certification program for the division under the guidelines developed under Subsection (a-3).
(b) The commissioner shall ensure the quality of designated doctor decisions and reviews through active monitoring of the decisions and reviews, and may take action as necessary to:
(1) restrict the participation of a designated doctor;
(2) deny renewal of a designated doctor’s certification; or
(3) revoke a designated doctor’s certification under Section 413.044.
(c) The report of the designated doctor has presumptive weight, and the division shall base its determination of whether the employee has reached maximum medical improvement on the report unless the preponderance of the other medical evidence is to the contrary.
(d) The commissioner shall develop rules to ensure that a designated doctor called on to conduct an examination under Section 408.0041 has no conflict of interest in serving as a designated doctor in performing any examination.
(e) A designated doctor, other than a chiropractor, is subject to Section 408.0043. A designated doctor who is a chiropractor is subject to Section 408.0045. To the extent of a conflict between this section and Section 408.0043 or 408.0045, this section controls.
(f) A designated doctor shall continue providing services related to a case assigned to the designated doctor, including performing subsequent examinations or acting as a resource for division disputes, unless the division authorizes the designated doctor to discontinue providing services. The commissioner by rule shall prescribe the circumstances under which a designated doctor is permitted to discontinue providing services, including:
(1) the doctor decides to stop practicing in the workers’ compensation system; or
(2) the doctor relocates the doctor’s residence or practice.
(g) On request of the division, a designated doctor shall provide the division with a copy of any contract that is:
(1) between the designated doctor and an authorized agent of the doctor; and
(2) for services provided by the agent related to the designated doctor’s duties, including scheduling, billing, and organizing medical records.
(h) A contract provided to the division under Subsection (g) is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.
Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.112, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1218 (H.B. 2004), § 5, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1162 (H.B. 2605), § 12, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 158 (H.B. 2056), § 1, eff. September 1, 2017.