News & Information
DWC Removes Pre-Auth for CARF WC and WH Services
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 28, 2018 09:15 PM

On October 11, 2018, Commissioner of Workers' Compensation Cassie Brown adopted amendments to 28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §134.600, Preauthorization, Concurrent Utilization Review, and Voluntary Certification of Health Care A courtesy copy of the adoption is available on the Texas Department of Insurance website at www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/rules/2018rules.html.  The amendments remove references to the preauthorization exemption for Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredited programs related to work conditioning (WC) and work hardening (WH) services. 

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Drugmakers Funnel Millions to Lawmakers
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 28, 2018 08:52 PM

Before the midterm elections dozens of drugmakers had already poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress.

Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Two of those each received more than $200,000.

A new database, “Pharma Cash to Congress,"tracks up to 10 years of pharmaceutical company contributions to any or all members of Congress, illuminating drugmakers' efforts to influence legislation.

The drug industry ranks among lawmakers' most generous patrons. In the past decade, Congress has received $79 million from 68 pharma political action committees, or PACs, run by employees of companies that make drugs. Drugmakers’ campaign contributions have reached record-breaking levels in recent years as skyrocketing drug prices have become a hot-button political issue.

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WC Weekly Benefit Rates Set
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 28, 2018 08:28 PM

The workers’ compensation state average weekly wage for dates of injury from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019, is set at $937.70. The maximum weekly benefit rates for workers’ compensation income benefits is set at $938 and the minimum weekly benefit rate is set at $141 for that period.

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New Era in DWC Claims Processing
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 28, 2018 08:14 PM

Texas Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Cassie Brown turned in the keys to a secure warehouse that the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has used since 1992 to store injured employee claims. The 24,000-square-foot building that housed rows and rows of floor to ceiling racks, filled to the brim with claim files, now sits empty. 

Two years ago, DWC began a massive project to digitize injured employee claims files going back 26 years. The project saves DWC $300,000 a year in storage costs, improves data security, and makes it faster and easier to fulfill records requests from the public. Until now, as many as two million claim files were only available on paper.

All of DWC’s individual claims files are now available digitally. To request a copy of a claim file, visit the TDI website.

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DCs Among Top Choices for Spine Care
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 28, 2018 07:58 PM

According to the National Institutes of Health, back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the U.S. and can affect one’s ability to work, complete daily tasks and enjoy life.  The latest Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic annual reportManaging Neck and Back Pain in America, surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. adults and found that twenty-five percent of adults in the United States have neck or back pain significant enough that they saw a healthcare provider for care in the past 12 months.

Sufferers who saw healthcare professionals were most likely to seek care from a medical doctor (62%) or a chiropractor (53%). About a third visited a massage therapist or a physical therapist for their neck or back pain (34% for each).  Smaller percentages sought care from physician's assistants (26%), nurse practitioners (22%), surgeons who can operate on the spine (22%), doctors of osteopathic medicine (15%) or acupuncturists (9%).

Most patients with this kind of pain (81%) saw more than one type of healthcare provider for care in the past year, demonstrating a willingness to address their pain through different types of care.
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