(a) Duties. All designated doctors must:
(1) Perform designated doctor examinations in a facility:
(A) currently used and properly equipped for medical examinations or other similar health care services; and
(B) that ensures safety, privacy, and accessibility for injured employees, injured employee medical records, and other records containing confidential claim information.
(2) Ensure the confidentiality of medical records, analyses, and forms provided to or generated by the designated doctor in the doctor's capacity as a designated doctor for the duration of the retention period specified in §127.10(i) of this title (relating to General Procedures for Designated Doctor Examinations) and ensure the destruction of these medical records after both this retention period expires and the designated doctor determines the information is no longer needed.
(3) Ensure that all agreements with persons that permit those parties to perform designated doctor administrative duties, including, but not limited to, billing and scheduling duties, on the designated doctor's behalf:
(A) are in writing and signed by the designated doctor and the persons with whom the designated doctor is contracting;
(B) define the administrative duties that the person may perform on behalf of the designated doctor;
(C) require the persons to comply with all confidentiality provisions of the Labor Code and other applicable laws;
(D) comply with all medical billing and payment requirements under Chapter 133 of this title (relating to General Medical Provisions);
(E) do not constitute an improper inducement relating to the delivery of benefits to an injured employee under Labor Code §415.0036 and §180.25 of this title (relating to Improper Inducements, Influence and Threats); and
(F) are made available to the division on request.
(4) Notify the division in writing and in advance if the designated doctor voluntarily defers their availability to receive any offers of examinations for personal or other reasons. The notice must specify the duration and reason for the deferral.
(5) Notify the division in writing and in advance if the designated doctor no longer wishes to practice as a designated doctor before the doctor's current certification as a designated doctor expires. A designated doctor who no longer wishes to practice before their current certification expires must expressly surrender their certification in a signed, written statement to the division.
(6) Be physically present in the same room as the injured employee for the designated doctor examination or any other health care service provided to the injured employee that is not referred to another health care provider under §127.10(c) of this title.
(7) Apply the appropriate edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and division-adopted return-to-work guidelines under §137.10 (relating to Return to Work Guidelines) and consider division adopted treatment guidelines under §137.100 (relating to Treatment Guidelines) or other evidence-based medicine when appropriate.
(8) Provide the division with updated information within 10 working days of a change in any information they provide to the division on their application for certification.
(9) Maintain a professional and courteous demeanor when performing the duties of a designated doctor, including, but not limited to, explaining the purpose of a designated doctor examination to an injured employee at the beginning of the examination and using non-inflammatory, appropriate language in all reports and documents they produce.
(10) Bill for designated doctor examinations and receive payment for those examinations in accordance with Chapters 133 and 134 of this title (relating to Benefits--Guidelines for Medical Services, Charges, and Payments).
(11) Respond timely to all division appointments, clarifications, document requests, or other division inquiries.
(12) Notify the division if their continued participation on a claim they have already been assigned would exceed the scope of practice authorized by their license.
(13) Not perform required medical examinations, utilization reviews, or peer reviews on a claim they have been assigned as a designated doctor.
(14) Identify themselves at the beginning of every designated doctor examination.
(15) Consent to and cooperate during any on-site visits by the division under §180.4 of this title (relating to On-Site Visits).
(A) Notwithstanding §180.4(e)(2) of this title, the division's purpose for these visits is to ensure the designated doctor's compliance with the Labor Code and applicable division rules.
(B) The notice provided to the designated doctor under §180.4 of this title, either in advance or at the time of the on-site visit, will specify the duties the division will investigate during that visit.
(16) Cooperate with all division compliance audits and quality reviews.
(17) Complete required training or pass required testing detailed in the designated doctor's approval of certification.
(18) Comply with all applicable laws and rules.
(b) Agents. For the purposes of this chapter, Chapter 180 of this title (relating to Monitoring and Enforcement), and all other applicable laws and division rules, any person with whom a designated doctor contracts or otherwise permits to perform designated doctor administrative duties on behalf of the designated doctor qualifies as the doctor's "agent" as defined under §180.1 of this title (relating to Definitions).
The provisions of this §127.200 adopted to be effective September 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 5422; amended to be effective April 30, 2023, 48 TexReg 2123 and 48 TexReg 2133.