Cambridge, MA – In 2005, the Texas legislature passed House Bill 7, which ushered in several medical management initiatives. Among them was one by the Texas Department of Insurance, which announced that, effective May 1, 2007, use of the Official Disability Guidelines – Treatment in Workers’ Comp was required for the treatment of all injured workers not covered by a certified health care network.
In this report, WCRI presents their findings from investigations into how the use of evidence-based treatment guidelines affected the medical care received by injured workers and the duration of their temporary disability spells. Specifically, WCRI examined the following policy questions for four groups of injuries covered by the guidelines:
- Did the utilization of medical services change after the evidence-based treatment guidelines became effective?
- Did the proportion of injured workers who received certain types of medical services change?
- Was there a change in the number of visits? If there was a change in the number of visits, was there a response by providers to increase or decrease the number of services per visit?
- Did injured workers experience a change in the duration of temporary total disability benefits?
Copies of the study are available for purchase online by visiting the WCRI website: http://www.wcrinet.org/recent_pub.html