Next Review Date: 2024-2025 Review Cycle - 89th Legislative Session
Last Review Cycle: 2010-2011 Review Cycle - 82nd Legislative Session
Final Results of Last Sunset Review
The 79th Legislature made sweeping changes to the workers’ compensation system including abolishing the standing regulatory agency and creating the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) within the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Today, as a division of TDI, DWC oversees the workers’ compensation system by regulating carriers and health care providers to ensure the prompt payment of income benefits and that injured employees receive high-quality, necessary medical care. To accomplish this goal, DWC monitors the system through a variety of compliance efforts, taking enforcement action when necessary, and administers a dispute resolution process, acting as the neutral adjudicator of claim disputes.
House Bill 2605 continues the Division of Workers’ Compensation, which has a separate Sunset date from TDI, for six years. The Legislature adopted the majority of the Sunset Commission’s recommendations and added other statutory modifications to help ensure injured employees receive prompt, high-quality medical care and all entitled benefits. A list of the bill’s major provisions follows.
- Streamline the dispute resolution process to provide a quicker, more accessible alternative to the courts.
- Improve the medical quality review process to ensure thorough and fair oversight of workers’ compensation medical care.
- Strengthen the Division’s ability to take timely and efficient enforcement actions to protect workers’ compensation system participants.
- Increase the Division’s oversight of Designated Doctors to ensure meaningful use of expert medical opinions in dispute resolution.
- Continue the Division of Workers’ Compensation for six years.
- Expedite medical claims for certain seriously injured first responders.
- Authorize injured employees to obtain a second opinion for certain medical determinations.