The Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission reported that, as required by the Texas Labor Code, it has recommended changes to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act to be considered by the 79th Texas Legislature beginning in January 2005.
The recommendations, approved by the Commission at its Nov. 18, 2004, public meeting, were delivered to Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick as well as to the chairmen of legislative committees handling workers’ compensation issues, on Nov. 22.
“This report summarizes changes needed in the law relating to the delivery of workers’ compensation benefits,” said Mike Hachtman, chairman of the Commission. “These changes will improve treatment for injured workers and get them back to work sooner.
“We also have made recommendations to streamline the dispute resolution processes and reduce the ‘hassles’ of the system to all participants,” Hachtman said. “These changes will ultimately lower costs.”
Recommendations under the general heading of Medical Cost Containment include the creation of health care networks in the workers’ compensation system to treat injured workers. Other recommendations in the report are listed in sections titled Fraud, Increased Protection for Claimants/Injured Workers, Reduced Regulatory Responsibilities for Employers, Clarifications and Miscellaneous.
The report to the Legislature is posted on the Commission Web site at http://www.twcc.state.tx.us/commission/79th_leg_recs.pdf.
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