On March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott declared COVID-19 a statewide public health disaster. The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is working diligently to help system participants and protect the health and safety of the public in our response to COVID-19.
On March 25, 2020, Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0010-20 announced that DWC was ceasing orders for designated doctor (DD) exams and was holding requests and suspending required medical exams (RMEs), DD, and referral exams that have already been ordered.
On June 15, 2020, doctors with DD or maximum medical improvement (MMI) and impairment rating (IR) certifications and referral doctors may resume scheduling and conducting DD examinations and RMEs previously ordered by DWC. Since work search requirements remain suspended under Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0012-20, doctors should not perform any portions of the examination or reports related to the injured employee's ability to return to work or disability as a direct result of the compensable injury. DWC will allow these examination issues to resume at a later date. DWC will issue new orders removing these issues from exams previously ordered but not yet completed.
On June 22, 2020, DWC will resume processing requests for DD examinations and RMEs except for the issues of return to work or disability as a direct result of the compensable injury. DWC will only order approved pending DD examination requests for the issues of MMI, IR, extent of injury, or other similar issues. Approved pending RME requests will only be ordered for the evaluation of a DD determination for the issues of MMI, IR, extent of injury, other similar issues, or requests to assess the appropriateness of health care. System participants should not resend requests, since duplicates will only delay processing.
DWC will first process all examinations based on a Presiding Officer's Directive (POD), then requests received by system participants in the order in which they were received.
DWC strongly encourages doctors and injured employees to follow the recommendations of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on infection control, specifically for COVID-19.
- Information for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals
- Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Preventing Getting Sick
These recommendations provide guidelines and information for health care providers on providing safe and sanitary conditions, using personal protective equipment, social distancing management, and screening procedures.
Doctors must also comply with the requirements of their respective licensing boards.
Contact DWC at 800-252-7300, Option 1 with any concerns about these requirements as they relate to specific exams. This bulletin supersedes the requirements for DD, RME, and referral examinations in Commissioner's Bulletin # B-0010-20.
Please refer to the DWC COVID-19 resource page for updates, frequently asked questions, and contact information.
Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation