(a) An insurance carrier shall, with the agreement of a participating employer, provide the employer with return-to-work coordination services on an ongoing basis as necessary to facilitate an employee’s return to employment, including on receipt of a notice that an injured employee is eligible to receive temporary income benefits. The insurance carrier shall notify the employer of the availability of the return-to-work reimbursement program under Section 413.022. The insurance carrier shall evaluate a compensable injury in which the injured employee sustains an injury that could potentially result in lost time from employment as early as practicable to determine if skilled case management is necessary for the injured employee’s case. As necessary, case managers who are appropriately certified shall be used to perform these evaluations. A claims adjuster may not be used as a case manager. These services may be offered by insurance carriers in conjunction with the accident prevention services provided under Section 411.061. Nothing in this section supersedes the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement between an employer and the employer’s employees, and nothing in this section authorizes or requires an employer to engage in conduct that would otherwise be a violation of the employer’s obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. Section 151 et seq.).
(b) Return-to-work coordination services under this section may include:
(1) job analysis to identify the physical demands of a job;
(2) job modification and restructuring assessments as necessary to match job requirements with the functional capacity of an employee; and
(3) medical or vocational case management to coordinate the efforts of the employer, the treating doctor, and the injured employee to achieve timely return to work.
(c) An insurance carrier is not required to provide physical workplace modifications under this section and is not liable for the cost of modifications made under this section to facilitate an employee’s return to employment.
(d) The division shall use certified rehabilitation counselors or other appropriately trained or credentialed specialists to provide training to division staff regarding the coordination of return-to-work services under this section.
(e) The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to collect data on return-to-work outcomes to allow full evaluations of successes and of barriers to achieving timely return to work after an injury.
(f) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 10, § 1.02(a).
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1456, § 3.02, eff. June 17, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 10, § 1.02(a), eff. Oct. 20, 2003.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.243, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1388 (S.B. 1814), § 1, eff. June 19, 2009.