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The Texas Division of Workers Compensation has announced a rulemaking period to make conforming amendments for the implementation of H.B. 1752.
The bill was signed into law in June and will allow the division to conduct benefit review conferences by phone or video conference.
The law allows the Texas DWC to continue to schedule all such conferences by video or phone unless the division determines that a “good cause” exception exists. Parties are allowed to file a request for an exception once they receive notice that a benefits review conference has been set.
The DWC said it is revising conference request forms and revising language for insurers to send to injured workers when taking actions on their claim to conform with the new law.
The division is proposing a 90-day implementation date from the final posting of rulemaking.
The DWC is also allowing an opportunity to review and comment on changes it has made to conform with S.B. 22, which took effect in June 14 and created rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 injuries or deaths are to be deemed work-related for certain first responders retroactive to March 13, 2020.
Under the law, first responders or their beneficiaries have until Dec. 14, 2021, to file a claim. They can also resubmit previously denied claims to the insurer up until June 14, 2022, asking in writing that it be reprocessed.
The division has created a sample “request to reprocess” form for injured workers or beneficiaries to use and is accepting public comment on its draft plain language notice that insurers must use when reprocessing such claims.
The law requires insurers to reprocess claims under S.B. 22 within 60 days of receiving a request.
The Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would allow physicians to certify maximum medical improvement or impairment ratings remotely.