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Carrier Self-Audit of Prehearing Conference

§ 61.85

Carrier Self-Audit of Prehearing Conference

A viable prehearing conference system is important to the efficient functioning of the workers' compensation program in this state. This necessarily includes a good faith effort on the part of both claimant or his/her attorney and of the carrier to negotiate in good faith. In order that the board might monitor the designed function of the prehearing conference in all claims which are the subject of a prehearing conference, except fatals, statutory total and permanent claims, and second injury fund claims, and where no A-2 payment is made or compromise settlement agreement is entered into at the prehearing conference:

(1) The carrier shall make and keep a written record of each compensation file which has been the subject of a prehearing conference, and an award recommendation has been made by the prehearing examiner, the following information: the name of the claimant; the name and permanent state bar number of the claimant's attorney, if known to the carrier; the board file number, the carrier file number; the date of the prehearing conference held on the claim; the amount of the final demand of the claimant or his/her attorney at the prehearing conference; the amount of the final offer made by the carrier; and the net award by the board.

(2) Such record shall also include the date of final disposition, the net amount thereof, and whether by way of compromise settlement agreement, judgment, or dismissal without judgment entry.

(3) The record described in this rule shall be retained by the carrier for not less than five years following its completion, and shall be made available to the board, upon its request therefore.

(4) Neither the carrier nor claimant's attorney shall ever be required to file such information as directed herein by the board, and such information shall never become a part of the records of the board. A carrier or an attorney shall, at the request of the board, make these records available to the carrier for the purpose of the board and carrier or attorney evaluating the negotiation record of the board or the attorney at prehearing conferences. No board member or officer or employee of the board shall ever disclose such information, or any part thereof, to any other person, corporation, or agency.

The provisions of this § 61.85 adopted to be effective November 11, 1983, 8 TexReg 4497.

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