(a) Order assigning a designated doctor. Within 10 days after approving a valid request, the division will issue an order that assigns a designated doctor and will notify the designated doctor, the treating doctor, if any, the injured employee, the injured employee's representative, if any, and the insurance carrier that the designated doctor is directed to examine the injured employee. The order will:
(1) indicate the designated doctor's name, license number, examination address, fax number, telephone number, and the date and time of the examination or the date range for the examination to be conducted;
(2) explain the purpose of the designated doctor examination;
(3) require the injured employee to submit to an examination by the designated doctor;
(4) require the designated doctor to perform the examination at the indicated examination address; and
(5) require the treating doctor, if any, and insurance carrier to forward all medical records to the designated doctor in compliance with §127.10(a)(3) of this title (relating to General Procedures for Designated Doctor Examinations).
(b) Change of examination address. The examination address indicated on the order in subsection (a)(4) of this section may not be changed by any party or by an agreement of any parties without good cause and the division’s approval.
(c) Availability of designated doctor. Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, the division will select the next available doctor on the designated doctor list for a medical examination requested under §127.1 of this title (relating to Requesting Designated Doctor Examinations). A designated doctor is available to perform an examination at any address the doctor has filed with the division if the doctor:
(1) does not have any disqualifying associations as described in §127.140 of this title (relating to Disqualifying Associations);
(2) is appropriately qualified to perform the examination in accordance with §127.130 of this title (relating to Qualification Standards for Designated Doctor Examinations);
(3) is certified on the day the examination is offered and has not failed to timely file for renewal under §127.100 of this title (relating to Designated Doctor Certification), if applicable;
(4) has not treated or examined the injured employee in a different health care provider role:
(A) within the past 12 months; or
(B) for a medical condition being evaluated in the designated doctor examination.
(d) Designated doctor lists. To select the next available doctor, the division will maintain two independent designated doctor lists for each county in Texas.
(1) One list will consist of designated doctors qualified to perform examinations under §127.130(b)(1) - (4) of this title.
(2) The other list will consist of designated doctors qualified to perform examinations under §127.130(b)(5) - (9) of this title.
(3) Nothing in this section prevents a qualified designated doctor from being on both lists.
(4) A designated doctor will be added to the appropriate designated doctor list for the county of each address the doctor has filed with the division. (5) When a designated doctor adds an address for a county the doctor is not currently listed in, the doctor will be placed at the bottom of the appropriate list for that county.
(6) When a designated doctor removes the only address for a county the doctor is currently listed in, the designated doctor will be removed from the list for that county.
(e) Assignment of designated doctor examinations. Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, the division will assign designated doctor examinations as follows:
(1) Each working day, all examination requests within a county will be sorted and distributed to the appropriate list based on the designated doctor qualification standards.
(2) Depending on the volume of requested examinations, the division will assign up to five examinations to the next available designated doctor at the top of the appropriate list.
(3) An examination assignment moves the designated doctor receiving the assignment to the bottom of the list from which the designated doctor was selected. Receipt of an assignment on one list does not change a designated doctor's position on the other list.
(4) The division may choose not to offer a designated doctor an examination if it is reasonably probable that the designated doctor will not be certified on the date of the examination.
(f) Exemptions. Nothing in this section prevents the division from exempting a designated doctor from the applicable qualification standard under §127.130(d) of this title. If there is no available designated doctor in the county of the injured employee, the division may assign a designated doctor as necessary.
(g) Subsequent examinations. If the division has previously assigned a designated doctor to the claim at the time a request is made, the division will assign the same doctor to a subsequent examination for that claim unless the division has authorized or required the doctor to stop providing services on the claim in accordance with §127.130 of this title. Examinations under this subsection must be conducted at the same examination address as the designated doctor's previous examination of the injured employee or at another examination address approved by the division.
(h) Mutual agreement required to reschedule. The designated doctor's office and the injured employee must contact each other if there is a scheduling conflict. The designated doctor or the injured employee who has the scheduling conflict must contact the other at least one working day before the appointment. The one working day requirement is waived in an emergency situation. An examination cannot be rescheduled without the mutual agreement of the designated doctor and the injured employee. The designated doctor must maintain and document:
(1) the date and time of the designated doctor examination listed on the division's order;
(2) the date and time of the agreement to reschedule with the injured employee;
(3) how contact was made to reschedule, indicating the telephone number, fax number, or email used to make contact;
(4) the reason for the scheduling conflict; and
(5) the date and time of the rescheduled designated doctor examination.
(i) Documentation required. Failure to document and maintain the information in subsection (h) of this section creates a rebuttable presumption that the examination was rescheduled without mutual agreement of the designated doctor and injured employee.
(j) Rescheduling timeframes. The rescheduled examination must be set to occur no later than 21 days after the originally scheduled examination date. It may not be rescheduled to occur before the originally scheduled examination date.
(1) Within one working day of rescheduling, the designated doctor must provide the time and date of the rescheduled examination to the division, the injured employee or the injured employee's representative, if any, the injured employee's treating doctor, and the insurance carrier.
(2) If the examination cannot be rescheduled to occur within 21 days of the originally scheduled examination date, or if the injured employee fails to attend the rescheduled examination, the designated doctor must notify the division within 21 days of the originally scheduled examination date.
(3) After receiving this notice, the division may select a new designated doctor.
The provisions of this §127.5 adopted to be effective February 1, 2011, 35 TexReg 11324; amended to be effective September 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 5422; amended to be effective November 4, 2018, 43 TexReg 7149; amended to be effective April 30, 2023, 48 TexReg 2123 and 48 TexReg 2133.