(a) Applicability. This section applies to designated doctor applications received on or after the effective date of this section.
(b) If a designated doctor’s certification expires, the designated doctor must apply for recertification. Designated doctors seeking recertification must:
(1) submit to the division certificate(s) evidencing that the doctor has, within the past 12 months, successfully completed all division required trainings and passed all division required testing on the specific duties of a designated doctor under the Act and division rules, including demonstrated proficient knowledge of the current division adopted edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and the division’s adopted treatment and return-to-work guidelines;
(2) own or subscribe to, for the duration of the doctor’s term as a certified designated doctor, the current edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment adopted by the division for the assignment of impairment ratings and all return-to-work and treatment guidelines adopted by the division; and
(3) submit to the division a complete application for recertification that meets the requirements of §127.100(c) of this title (relating to Designated Doctor Certification). For purposes of recertification, division-required testing limitations as described in §127.100(d) of this title apply.
(c) The division will not assign examinations to a designated doctor during the 45 days prior to the expiration of the designated doctor’s certification if the division fails to receive the required information in subsection (b)(1)-(3) of this section from the designated doctor before that time though the designated doctor may still provide services on claims to which the designated doctor had been previously assigned during this period. A designated doctor who seeks to be recertified as a designated doctor and who fails to apply for recertification under subsection (b)(1)-(3) of this section at least 45 days prior to the expiration of the designated doctor’s certification commits an administrative violation. A designated doctor who fails to apply for recertification under this section within 30 days after the expiration of the designated doctor’s certification may no longer apply for recertification and must instead apply for certification of §127.100 of this title.
(d) The division will notify a doctor in writing of the commissioner’s approval or denial of the doctor’s application to be recertified as a designated doctor under subsection (b) of this section. Denials will include the reason(s) for the denial. Approvals recertify a doctor for a term of two years and will include the effective date and expiration date of the certification. Approvals will also include the designated doctor’s examination qualification criteria under §127.130 of this title (relating to Qualification Standards for Designated Doctor Examinations) that the division has assigned to the doctor as part of the doctor’s recertification.
(e) The division may deny an application for recertification under subsection (b) of this section for the following reasons:
(1) the doctor did not submit the information and documentation required by subsection (b) of this section;
(2) if the doctor failed to properly update the doctor’s initial application for certification under §127.100(c) of this title;
(3) for having a relevant restriction on their practice imposed on the doctor by a state licensing board, certification authority, or other appropriate state or federal agency, including the division;
(4) for requesting unnecessary referral examinations or testing or failure to comply with requirements of §180.24 of this title (relating to Financial Disclosure) when requesting referral examinations or additional testing; or
(5) for other activities, events, or occurrences that the commissioner determines to warrant denial of a doctor’s application for recertification as a designated doctor, including but not limited to:
(A) the quality of the designated doctor’s past reports;
(B) the designated doctor’s history of complaints;
(C) excess requests for deferral from the designated doctor list by the doctor;
(D) a pattern of overturned reports by the division or a court;
(E) a demonstrated lack of ability to apply or properly consider the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment adopted by the division for the assignment of impairment ratings and all return-to-work and treatment guidelines adopted by the division;
(F) a demonstrated lack of ability to consistently perform designated doctor examinations in a timely manner;
(G) a demonstrated failure to identify disqualifying associations;
(H) a demonstrated lack of ability to ensure the confidentiality of injured employee medical records and claim information provided to or generated by the designated doctor; or
(I) any grounds that would allow the division to sanction a health care provider under the Act or division rules.
(f) Within 15 working days after receiving a denial, a doctor may file a written response with the division that addresses the reasons given to the doctor for denial or may submit a written request an informal hearing before the division to address the reasons given for the denial.
(1) If neither a response nor a written request for informal hearing is received by the 15th working day after the date the doctor received the notice, the denial will be final effective the following day. No further notice will be sent.
(2) If a written response which disagrees with the denial is timely received, the division will review the response and will notify the doctor of the commissioner’s final decision in writing. If the final decision is still a denial, the division’s final notice shall provide the reason(s) why the doctor’s response did not change the commissioner’s decision to deny the doctor’s application for recertification as a designated doctor. The denial will be effective the day following the date the doctor receives notice of the denial unless otherwise specified in the notice.
(3) If a written request for informal hearing is timely received, the division will set the informal hearing to occur no later than 31 days after the request is received. At the informal hearing, the designated doctor may present evidence that addresses the reasons the doctor was denied recertification to the commissioner’s designated representatives. The designated doctor may have an attorney present. At the conclusion of the informal hearing, the designated representatives will provide the designated doctor with their final recommendation regarding the doctor’s recertification. If the final recommendation is still a denial, the designated representatives will provide the reason(s) why they decided not to recertify the doctor as a designated doctor. After the informal hearing, the designated representatives will forward their recommendation to the commissioner who will review the final recommendation and all evidence presented at the informal hearing and make a final decision. The division shall notify the designated doctor of the commissioner’s final decision in writing. The decision will be effective the day following the date the doctor receives notice of the decision unless otherwise specified in the notice.
(g) Designated doctors whose application for recertification under subsection (b) of this section is approved but wish to dispute the examination qualification criteria under §127.130 of this title that the division assigned to the doctor may do so through the procedures described in subsection (f) of this section. Designated doctors must include in their response to the division or present at the informal hearing the specific criteria they wish to be modified and documentation to justify the requested change.
(h) This section will become effective on December 6, 2018.
The provisions of this §127.110 adopted to be effective September 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 5422; amended to be effective November 4, 2018, 43 TexReg 7149.