(a) An examination by the injured employee’s treating doctor or another doctor to whom the injured employee is referred by the treating doctor to determine any issue other than certification of maximum medical improvement and the evaluation of permanent impairment may be appropriate after a designated doctor examination if:
(1) the designated doctor issued an opinion on the issue;
(2) the injured employee is not satisfied with the designated doctor’s opinion; and
(3) the treating doctor or the referral doctor has not already provided the injured employee with a written report that meets the standard described by subsection (b) of this section on the issue addressed by the designated doctor.
(b) The treating doctor or the referral doctor shall complete a narrative report. The report should include objective findings of the examination and an analysis that explains how the objective findings lead to the conclusion reached by the doctor. This report shall be filed with the insurance carrier, the injured employee and the injured employee’s representative. Notwithstanding § 129.5 of this title (relating to Work Status Reports), if the treating doctor or the referral doctor examines the injured employee to address an issue relating to return to work, the doctor must also file a Work Status Report.
(c) The insurance carrier shall reimburse the injured employee for all reasonable travel expenses as specified in Chapter 134, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Miscellaneous Reimbursement) for attending an appropriate medical examination.
(d) Nothing in this section is construed to limit or prohibit the injured employee from obtaining reasonable and necessary medical care for the compensable injury or from obtaining a written report from a treating doctor or a referral doctor on any issue under Labor Code § 408.0041(a)(3)-(6) prior to a designated doctor examination.
The provisions of this §126.17 adopted to be effective January 6, 2013, 37 TexReg 10215.
At a Glance: