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Rules changes give Texas workers comp commissioner greater authority


The Texas Division of Workers Compensation has adopted rules that will give its commissioner increased authority next month over cases heard by the state Office of Administrative Hearings, which handles disputes over workers comp medical care and provider reimbursement.

The new rules, published in the July 18 issue of the Texas Register, will become effective on Aug. 7, according to a release by the Texas Department of Insurance. The change is part of H.B. 2605, a 2011 bill that refined processes over benefit dispute resolution and other workers comp matters.

According to the Texas Register, the new rules will allow the Division of Workers Compensation to make final decisions on disputes considered by the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings. It also will allow the workers comp division to conduct hearings over independent medical reviews, rather than the administrative hearing office.