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Advisory 96-01

CARRIER REQUEST FOR REQUIRED MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

Disputes have arisen when an injured employee failed to submit to a carrier's Required Medical Examination because the doctor would not allow a witness other than the employee's doctor to attend the examination or allow the examination to be video or audio taped.

Texas Labor Code Section 408.004(b) authorizes the Commission to require an employee to submit to a medical examination at the request of an insurance carrier. Texas Labor Code Section 408.004(d) and Commission Rule 126.6(c) allow the employee to have his/her doctor present at the examination. Should the employee desire to have anyone other than his/her doctor present at the examination, he/she must obtain prior authorization from the examining doctor. Additionally, video cameras or other recording equipment will not be allowed in the examination without prior authorization from the examining doctor. The examining doctor shall decide on a case by case basis, and must base his/her decision on the facts presented showing the employee's need for the special request, e.g. the need for a sign-language interpreter. A doctor's decision not to allow a witness other than the employee's doctor to attend the examination or allow the examination to be video or audio taped is not, in and of itself, good cause for failure to submit to the examination.

Under Texas Labor Code Section 408.004(f), failure of an employee to submit to a Required Medical Examination without good cause may result in the issuance of an administrative penalty against the employee in an amount not to exceed $500.00. Additionally, if the employee fails to submit to the Required Medical Examination, the insurance carrier may request a Benefit Review Conference on the existence/extent of disability.

Signed February 23, 1996

Todd K. Brown, Executive Director



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