SE Texas Doctors Threaten to Turn Away Workers’ Comp Patients

August 22, 2002

A number of doctors in Southeast Texas are threatening to stop treating workers’ compensation patients on Sept. 1, the effective date of recent changes to the Texas workers’ compensation fee guidelines. According to the Beaumont Enterprise the doctors are saying they can’t make any money under the new fee schedule.

The Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission (TWCC) adopted the fee guidelines in April. Physicians are reportedly concerned that the new schedule reduces the reimbursement amounts for physical medicine and rehabilitation, surgery, radiology and pathology.

The Texas Medical Association and Texas AFL-CIO filed suit against the TWCC in July, seeking to stop implementation of the new fee schedule. The suit alleges, among other things, that the fee guidelines violate the law by tying the fees to those in the federal Medicare system.

Business groups assert that employers are already paying more per claim than the national average.

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