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Senate Bill No 378

December 17, 2008                                                 Bulletin 2008-No. 12.


State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio has pre-filed Senate Bill No. 378 relating to the designated doctor's examination under the workers' compensation system.


Senate Bill No. 378 amends Texas Labor Code Section 408.0041 by adding Subsections (f-2) and (f-3) and amending Subsection (h) to read as follows:


(f-2) An employee required to be examined by a designated doctor may request a medical examination to determine maximum medical improvement and the employee's impairment rating from the treating doctor or from another doctor to whom the employee is referred by the treating doctor if:


(1) the designated doctor's opinion is the employee's first evaluation of maximum medical improvement and impairment rating; and


(2) the employee is not satisfied with the designated doctor's opinion.


(f-3) The commissioner shall provide the insurance carrier and the employee with reasonable time to obtain and present the opinion of a doctor selected under Subsection (f) or (f-2) before the commissioner makes a decision on the merits of the issue.


(h) The insurance carrier shall pay for:


(1) an examination required under Subsection (a)


(f), or (f-2); and


(2) the reasonable expenses incident to the employee in submitting to the examination.


Senate Bill No. 378 will take effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If the Bill does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, then it will take effect on September 1, 2009.


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