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TOA Supports Legislative Effort to Increase Physician Designated Doctors

March 27, 2023

Texas Orthopaedic Association
Statement in Support of HB 2702

The legislation would create an incentive for more physicians serve as designated doctors. Injured employees with complex injuries deserve access to designated doctors with the highest level of training, physicians.

The Texas Orthopaedic Association (TOA) strongly supports HB 2702, which would provide long-awaited payment increases to designated doctors in the Texas workers’ compensation program.

The past two decades failed to produce payment updates for designated doctors. Much of the current designated doctor fee schedule was set in 2003. On top of the lack of payment updates over the past two decades, designated doctors are responsible for covering their own travel and overhead.

The Nation’s Leading Workers’ Comp System Requires Strong Physician Participation

Policymakers around the nation point to the Texas workers’ compensation program as one of the nation’s model programs. Designated doctors play a critical role in the program as a neutral doctor who determines what work-related injuries and occupational illnesses are subject to injured workers’ employment, and this may include maximum medical improvement status, impairment rating and return to work.

The workers’ compensation program faces an acute need for designated doctors in rural areas. In addition, physicians with the highest level of training are needed to ensure that injured workers who have the most severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. This bill would not only incentivize physicians to remain in the system, but it would also recruit new medical experts for the state’s workers’ compensation program.

HB 2702 would:

  • Create a no-show fee when an injured employee fails to show up for a scheduled exam. The no-show fee would be paid by the party responsible for paying the fee (an insurance carrier or employer).
  • Establish a payment increase for designated doctors that would be tied to the Medicare Economic Index (MEI) inflation factor.


Bobby Hillert | Texas Orthopaedic Association
Executive Director | 214.728.7672 m