Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Saturday, April 10, 2004

TWCC Power to Conduct Desk Audit of Physician Upheld by Austin Court of Appeals

Part of the Texas Workers Compensation reforms of legislative sessions past was to give the TWCC the power to perform desk audits of physicians "services to workers compensation patients." Upon receipt of such a request, rather than complying, a physician challenged the request on three different grounds: "the Commission lacks statutory authority to conduct a desk review, that the desk review in question is a warrantless search that violates his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and that the desk review constitutes an impermissible regulation of the practice of medicine." Schade v. Texas Workers Compensation Commission (Tx. App. - Austin 4/8/04). In keeping with the opening of baseball season, it was in effect, "three strikes and you're out," as the doctor lost all three arguments.

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