(a) The division shall perform and release a record check on an employee, including current or prior injury information, to the parties listed in Subsection (b) if:
(1) the claim is:
(A) open or pending before the division;
(B) on appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction; or
(C) the subject of a subsequent suit in which the insurance carrier or the subsequent injury fund is subrogated to the rights of the named claimant; and
(2) the requesting party requests the release on a form prescribed by the division for this purpose and provides all required information.
(b) Information on a claim may be released as provided by Subsection (a) to:
(1) the employee or the employee's legal beneficiary;
(2) the employee's or the legal beneficiary's representative;
(3) the employer at the time of injury;
(4) the insurance carrier;
(5) the Texas Certified Self-Insurer Guaranty Association established under Subchapter G, Chapter 407, if that association has assumed the obligations of an impaired employer;
(6) the Texas Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, if that association has assumed the obligations of an impaired insurance company;
(7) a third-party litigant in a lawsuit in which the cause of action arises from the incident that gave rise to the injury; or
(8) with regard to information described by Subsection (c-3), an insurance carrier that has adopted an antifraud plan under Subchapter B, Chapter 704, Insurance Code, or the authorized representative of such an insurance carrier.
(c) The requirements of Subsection (a)(1) do not apply to a request from a third-party litigant described by Subsection (b)(7).
(c-1) For purposes of this section only, "insurance carrier" means:
(1) a certified self-insurer; or
(2) an entity authorized under the Insurance Code or another insurance law of this state that provides health insurance coverage or health benefits in this state, including:
(A) an insurance company, including an insurance company that holds a certificate of authority issued by the commissioner of insurance to engage in the business of workers' compensation insurance in this state;
(B) a group hospital service corporation under Chapter 842, Insurance Code;
(C) a health maintenance organization under Chapter 843, Insurance Code;
(D) a stipulated premium company under Chapter 884, Insurance Code;
(E) a fully self-insured plan, as described by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. Section 1001 et seq.);
(F) a governmental plan, as defined by Section 3(32), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. Section 1002(32));
(G) an employee welfare benefit plan, as defined by Section 3(1), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. Section 1002(1)); and
(H) an insurer authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance to offer disability insurance in this state.
(c-2) An insurance carrier is not required to demonstrate that a subclaim exists in order to obtain information under Subsection (b)(8).
(c-3) An insurance carrier described by Subsection (b)(8) or an authorized representative of the insurance carrier may submit to the commission on a monthly basis a written request for claims information. The request must contain a list of the names of persons about whom claims information is requested. The insurance carrier must certify in the carrier's request that each person listed is, or has been, an insured under the carrier's insurance program. The commission shall examine the commission's records to identify all claims related to the listed persons. If a claims record exists for a listed person, the commission promptly shall provide information on each workers' compensation claim filed by that person to the carrier or the carrier's representative in an electronic format. The information provided under this subsection must include, if available:
(1) the full name of the workers' compensation claimant;
(2) the social security number of the workers' compensation claimant;
(3) the date of birth of the workers' compensation claimant;
(4) the name of the employer of the workers' compensation claimant;
(5) the date of the injury;
(6) a description of the type of injury or the body part affected, including the workers' compensation claimant's description of how the injury occurred;
(7) the name of the treating doctor;
(8) the name, address, and claim number of the insurance carrier handling the claim;
(9) the name of the insurance adjustor handling the claim; and
(10) the identifying number assigned to the claim by the commission and the commission field office handling the claim.
(c-4) A potential subclaim identified by an insurance carrier described by Subsection (b)(8) or an authorized representative of the insurance carrier may form the basis for the identification and filing of a subclaim against an insurance carrier under this subtitle.
(c-5) Information received under this section by an insurance carrier described by Subsection (b)(8) or an authorized representative of the insurance carrier remains subject to confidentiality requirements of this subtitle while in the possession of the insurance carrier or representative. However, the following laws do not prohibit the commission from disclosing full information regarding a claim as necessary to determine if a valid subclaim exists:
(1) Chapter 552, Government Code;
(2) Chapter 159, Occupations Code; or
(3) any other analogous law restricting disclosure of health care information.
(c-6) The commission may not redact claims records produced in an electronic data format under a request made under this section.
(c-7) An insurance carrier and its authorized representative may request full claims data under Subsection (b)(8), and the records shall be produced once each month. For purposes of this subsection, "full claims data" means an electronic download or tape in an electronic data format of the information listed in Subsection (c-3) on all cases relating to the workers' compensation claimants listed as insureds of the requesting insurance carrier.
(d) The commissioner by rule may establish a reasonable fee, not to exceed five cents for each claimant listed in an information request, for all information requested by an insurance carrier described by Subsection (b)(8) or an authorized representative of the insurance carrier in an electronic data format. The commissioner shall adopt rules under Section 401.024(d) to establish:
(1) reasonable security parameters for all transfers of information requested under this section in electronic data format; and
(2) requirements regarding the maintenance of electronic data in the possession of an insurance carrier described by Subsection (b)(8) or an authorized representative of the insurance carrier.
(e) The insurance carrier or the carrier's authorized representative must execute a written agreement with the commission before submitting the carrier's first request under Subsection (c-3). The agreement must contain a provision by which the carrier and the representative agree to comply with the commission's rules governing security parameters applicable to the transfer of information under Subsection (d)(1) and the maintenance of electronic data under Subsection (d)(2).
Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1033, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 2.022, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), § 11.132, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1190 (H.B. 251), § 1, eff. June 18, 2005.