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You are here: Home . wc . news . advisories . ad2002-13

Advisory 2002-13

Impairment Ratings for Employees Who Received
Intra Discal Electro Thermal Treatment (IDET)

The Texas Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission) provides clarification for the assignment of an impairment rating for employees who received Intra Discal Electro Thermal Treatment (IDET).

For the purpose of assigning an impairment rating under Rule 130.1, IDET shall be considered surgical treatment of the spinal disk(s) under the following conditions:

(a) If the impairment rating is assigned using table 49 of the American Medical Association, "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment," Third Edition, Second Printing, dated February 1989, or

(b) If the impairment rating is assigned using the range of motion model and table 75 of the American Medical Association, "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment," Fourth Edition, any printing.

The Injury Model, also called the diagnostic-related estimate (DRE) model, of impairment rating as described in the American Medical Association, "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment," Fourth Edition, any printing, does not consider surgery when assigning an impairment rating. Therefore, impairment ratings assigned using the Injury Model/DRE are not affected by this Advisory.

The documentation supporting the impairment rating assigned to employees who were treated with IDET may be reviewed by the doctor authorized to assign an impairment rating, the insurance carrier, the employee, or the employee's representative to determine if an impairment rating assigned using the above referenced tables considered the IDET procedure as a surgical treatment. If the impairment rating was assigned by considering IDET as a surgical treatment, no further action is required. However, if IDET was not considered as a surgical treatment in assigning the impairment rating, a letter of clarification may be requested from the doctor who assigned the impairment rating. If the doctor who assigned the IR was not acting as a designated doctor, any party may request the letter of clarification. If the doctor who assigned the impairment rating was acting as a designated doctor, only the Commission can contact the designated doctor to request a letter of clarification.

When appropriate, the impairment rating shall be recalculated and impairment benefits shall be adjusted as necessary. This process is a review of documentation supporting the assignment of an impairment rating and does not require a re-examination of the employee.

Signed this 7th day of August, 2002

Richard F. Reynolds, Executive Director

Distribution:
TWCC Staff
Carrier Representatives
Forms Notification List
Public Information List
TWCC Website



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