On March 22, three workers’ compensation bills sponsored by state Rep. Helen Giddings passed the full House.
House Bill 886 modifies the return-to-work pilot program, which grants small businesses up to $2,500 to make workplace modifications for injured employees to return to work. While small businesses are not currently guaranteed reimbursement for their improvements, the bill would allow them to submit a plan for preauthorization.
Giddings’ other bills—House Bill 1006 and House Bill 1003—require that all doctors who participate in the workers’ compensation system be licensed to practice medicine in Texas. Currently, neither utilization-review doctors nor independent-review organization doctors are required to be licensed in Texas.
“Doctors licensed in Texas should be the only doctors allowed to practice medicine in Texas,” says Giddings.