(a) On request of the insurance carrier, an injured employee is required to submit to a single examination per workers' compensation claim for the purpose of defining the compensable injury. The examination:
(1) shall not be requested prior to the eighth day after the date of injury, and
(2) shall be scheduled to occur no earlier than 15 days and no later than 30 days from the date the notice of examination is sent to the injured employee.
(b) The insurance carrier shall schedule the examination with the injured employee's treating doctor. If a request to change treating doctor has been filed by the injured employee, the insurance carrier shall not schedule this examination until after the treating doctor change has been processed.
(1) An insurance carrier that schedules the examination with a doctor other than the injured employee's treating doctor shall be liable for reimbursement of the examination and testing.
(2) The examination findings may only be used to define the compensable injury when provided by the treating doctor of record at the time the notice of examination was sent to the injured employee. The report by a doctor other than the treating doctor of record at the time the notice of examination was sent shall not be used for the purpose of defining the compensable injury.
(c) The insurance carrier shall send the injured employee a written notice of examination. A copy of a notice of examination shall be sent to the injured employee's representative (if any). The notice of examination, at a minimum, shall include:
(1) general information identifying the claim;
(2) the name of the treating doctor;
(3) the date, time, and the location of the scheduled examination with the treating doctor named; and
(4) the following statements in a bold font equal to the font size in the main body of the notice:
(A) The insurance carrier requests that you, the injured employee, attend a single examination for this workers' compensation claim for the sole purpose of defining the injuries and diagnoses that resulted from the work-related incident or activities. Section 408.0042 of the Labor Code requires you to attend.
(B) If the doctor named in this notice is not your treating doctor, immediately contact the insurance carrier (add name and phone number of contact person) or the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation. You are not required to attend this examination with a doctor other than your treating doctor, unless the doctor was your treating doctor on the day the notice of examination was sent to you. Once you receive notice of this examination, you should not request to change treating doctor until after the examination has been conducted.
(C) You are responsible for contacting your doctor to reschedule the examination if you have a conflict with the date and time that has been scheduled for you. The rescheduled examination shall take place within seven days of the originally scheduled date or the doctor's first available appointment date. If you fail to attend the examination at the time scheduled or rescheduled without good cause, an administrative penalty may be assessed.
(d) If a scheduling conflict exists, the injured employee shall immediately contact the treating doctor to reschedule the examination. The examination must be rescheduled to take place within seven working days of the original examination or the doctor's first available appointment date.
(e) An injured employee who fails or refuses to appear at the time scheduled for an examination may be assessed an administrative penalty unless good cause exists for such failure. An injured employee who fails to submit to an examination at the insurance carrier's request does not commit an administrative violation if the doctor named on the notice of examination is not the injured employee's treating doctor.
(f) The treating doctor shall submit a narrative report after the conclusion of the examination. The report shall contain, at a minimum:
(1) general information that identifies the claim;
(2) a description of the mechanism of injury;
(3) a list of all specific, confirmed diagnoses, including ICD-9 codes and the narrative description, that the doctor considers to be related to the compensable injury. The explanation shall describe how the mechanism of injury is a cause of each diagnosis. If the doctor identifies an aggravation of any pre-existing condition, including an ordinary disease of life, the explanation shall describe how the mechanism of injury caused a worsening, acceleration, or exacerbation of that pre-existing condition; and
(4) a list of each diagnostic test performed, if required to establish a diagnosis, including an explanation of why it was appropriate to perform each test to define the compensable injury.
(g) Any diagnostic testing necessary to define the compensable injury shall be performed no later than 10 working days after the examination and is not subject to the preauthorization requirements of either § 134.600 of this title (relating to Preauthorization, Concurrent Review, and Voluntary Certification of Health Care) or a worker's compensation health care network under Insurance Code Chapter 1305 or Chapter 10 of this title (relating to Workers' Compensation Health Care Networks).
(h) The treating doctor shall submit a copy of the narrative report to the insurance carrier, the injured employee, and the injured employee's representative (if any) no later than 10 days after the conclusion of the examination. If diagnostic testing is required to define the compensable injury, the filing of the report is extended to seven days after the conclusion of the testing.
(i) A treating doctor may bill, and the insurance carrier shall reimburse, for an examination performed under this section.
(1) Treating doctors shall bill for the examination using the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level I code, Evaluation and Management Section, for work-related or medical disability evaluation services performed by a treating physician. A Division modifier of “TX” shall be added to the Level I code.
(2) Reimbursement for the examination shall be $350. Reimbursement for the report is included in the examination fee. Doctors are not required to submit a copy of the report with the bill if the report was previously provided to the insurance carrier.
(3) Testing necessary to define the compensable injury shall be billed using the appropriate billing codes and reimbursed in addition to the examination fee. Reimbursement for testing shall not be retrospectively reviewed on the basis of compensability if the doctor has documented a rationale for why the testing was necessary for defining the compensable injury.
(j) An insurance carrier shall review the injuries and diagnoses identified in the treating doctor's report. If a specific injury or diagnosis is not accepted as part of the compensable injury, the insurance carrier shall file a denial in accordance with § 124.2 of this title (relating to Carrier Reporting and Notification Requirements) within the later of 60 days after the date written notice of the injury is received or within 10 working days of receipt of the treating doctor's report. In addition to the distribution requirements outlined in § 124.2 of this title, a copy of the written denial shall be sent to the treating doctor by fax or electronic transmission unless the recipient does not have the means to receive such transmission in which case the notice shall be personally delivered or sent by mail.
(1) A compensable injury established as a result of a waiver determination under Labor Code § 409.021, is not affected by a definition of the compensable injury under § 408.0042.
(2) The insurance carrier shall not deny reimbursement for treatment of any injury or diagnosis listed in the treating doctor's report on the basis of compensability or relatedness prior to filing a denial as required by § 124.2 of this title.
(k) The injured employee may initiate a request for a benefit review conference in accordance with Labor Code § 410.023 and § 141.1 of this title (relating to Requesting and Setting a Benefit Review Conference) upon receiving a denial regarding specific injuries or diagnoses.
(l) If the insurance carrier denies an injury or diagnosis identified in this examination, all treatment for that injury or diagnosis must be preauthorized prior to treatment occurring. For the treating doctor, the insurance carrier's denial is effective on the date the written notice of denial is received by the doctor. The preauthorization requirement continues until the injury or diagnosis is determined to be part of the compensable injury through dispute resolution or agreement of the parties.
(m) A health care provider may request a benefit review conference, in accordance with § 141.1 of this title, to address an extent of injury question if a request for preauthorization has been denied for treatment of an injury or diagnosis that was denied as unrelated to the compensable injury under this section; unless:
(1) the injured employee has already requested a benefit review conference to pursue the extent of injury denial, or
(2) an agreement, filed in accordance with § 147.4 of this title (relating to Filing Agreements with the Commission, Effective Dates) has been entered into by the insurance carrier and injured employee establishing the insurance carrier's liability on the disputed issues.
(n) Once the treating doctor has defined the compensable injury and the insurance carrier has accepted injuries or diagnoses as related, the insurance carrier shall not review treatment of the accepted injuries and diagnoses for compensability.
The provisions of this § 126.14 adopted to be effective July 9, 2006, 31 TexReg 5458.