Tribpedia: Division Of Workers' Compensation

Tribpedia

The Division of Workers' Compensation is a sub-agency inside the Texas Department of Insurance. In 2005, lawmakers merged the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission into TDI, which created the Division of Workers' Compensation that exists today. A Sunset Commission review in 2010 found the agency in a state of transition, as lawmakers have overhauled it and made several changes to its ...

Read More...

Injured Worker's Ex-Employer Denies Retaliation

The Workers Defense Project and Iron Workers Union organized a demonstration Nov. 23, 2013.
The Workers Defense Project and Iron Workers Union organized a demonstration Nov. 23, 2013.

UPDATED: A 19-year-old Honduran injured on the job is at the center of a workplace safety controversy. The Workers Defense Project says he was fired for speaking to investigators. His former employer says the firing was unrelated.

Jessinia Romero, center, listens as clergy joined janitors and supporters during a press conference to express interfaith leaders' support of janitorial workers in Houston, August 2, 2012 in Houston.
Jessinia Romero, center, listens as clergy joined janitors and supporters during a press conference to express interfaith leaders' support of janitorial workers in Houston, August 2, 2012 in Houston.

Houston Janitors in Their Fifth Week of Protests

Janitors in Houston are in their fifth week of protests amid unsettled negotiations with employers over a wage increase. Their employers say the janitors' proposal is unrealistic given current economic conditions.

Tribweek Friday, April 6th.
Tribweek Friday, April 6th.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/2/12

The first two parts of M. Smith's series on failing school districts (plus Murphy and Seger's interactive on how districts' characteristics relate to ratings), Root on lagging GOP candidates for president trying to shore things up in Texas, Ramshaw on a "fiscal switcheroo" to get federal money for women's health programs, Galbraith talks to a West Texas farmer about crop insurance and climate change and Aguilar on the money behind a lawsuit on long rifle sales: The best of our best content from April 2 to 6, 2012.

Former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, on the Texas House floor in 2007
Former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, on the Texas House floor in 2007

Did Lawmaker Access Private Records to Help Donors?

In the closing days of his last term in the Texas House, former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, used his legislative authority to obtain confidential records from the Texas Medical Board, The Texas Tribune has learned. His reason? To defend doctors who he believes were wrongly the subjects of misconduct investigations by the board, which licenses the state's physicians.

In this clip from Monday's testimony, Commissioner Rod Bordelon of the state Division of Workers' Compensation explains why he dismissed several cases against doctors that a physician review panel had already sent to enforcement. Under questioning, he admits he looked into the process and subsequently shut it down after a call from state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler.

Amid Tumult, House Panel Seeks Workers' Comp Fixes

Was it a broken process or a breakdown in leadership that kept bad doctors from getting removed from the state workers' compensation system? Lawmakers sought to answer that question on Monday but left a House hearing with no clear understanding of why hundreds of potential enforcement actions stalled or disappeared entirely over the last half-decade.

Workers' Comp Head Explains His Dismissal of Cases

In this clip from Monday's testimony, Commissioner Rod Bordelon of the state Division of Workers' Compensation explains why he dismissed several cases against doctors that a physician review panel had already sent to enforcement. Under questioning, he admits he looked into the process and subsequently shut it down after a call from state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler.
The best of our best from the week of July 12th.
The best of our best from the week of July 12th.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of July 12, 2010

Grissom's three-part series (here, here and here) on prosperity and peril along the U.S.-Mexico border, Hu on the Division of Workers' Compensation audit report, Stiles puts more than 3,000 personal disclosure forms filed by politicians, candidates and state officials online, M. Smith on attempts to curb the practice of barratry (better known as ambulance chasing), Ramsey interviews the chair of the Texas Libertarian Party, Hamilton on attempts to improve the success rates of community colleges, Galbraith on whether electric deregulation has helped or hurt Texans, Aguilar talks to a chronicler of the bloody narco-wars and Ramshaw on doctors who most often prescribe antipsychotic drugs to the state's neediest patients: The best of our best from July 12 to 16, 2010.

State Audit Finds Massive Backlog at Workers' Comp

State auditors found muddled chains of command, missing files and a massive backlog of cases when they dug into the enforcement process at the Division of Workers' Compensation, according to a report released Thursday. The findings support the claims of former employees who exited the division this year amid complaints of stalled action on dozens of cases against workers' comp physicians accused of abusing the system.

Dr. Donald Patrick, neurosurgeon and Medical Advisor at the Division of Workers' Compensation.
Dr. Donald Patrick, neurosurgeon and Medical Advisor at the Division of Workers' Compensation.

Workers' Comp Division Hires Patrick as Medical Advisor

After the exodus of at least half a dozen employees and swirling questions about its lack of enforcement against unscrupulous doctors, the Division of Workers' Compensation has put a new man in charge of the investigations. The former executive director of the Texas Medical Board, Dr. Donald Patrick, started Monday.

State lawmakers on the Sunset Advisory Commission make final remarks after the panel unanimously approves changes to the Division of Workers' Compensation's medical quality review process.

Sunset Commission Approves Workers' Comp Changes

Sunset Advisory Commissioners unanimously approved a series of changes to the troubled Division of Workers' Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday, but not before aggressively rewriting the Sunset staff's original recommendations to improve the division's medical quality review process.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of June 28, 2010

Grissom, Hamilton, and Philpott on the Texas Democratic Party's state convention, the two-step, the forecast, and the ticket; Galbraith on the political and environmental battle between state and federal environmental regulators, and on a new age of nukes in Texas; Burnson on signs of the times in San Antonio; Ramshaw on hackers breaking into the state's confidential cancer database; Aguilar's interview with Katherine Glass, the Libertarian Party's nominee for governor; Acosta on efforts to stop 'Murderabilia' items that sell because of the association with killers;  Ramshaw and the Houston Chronicle's Terri Langford on the criminal arrest records of workers in state-funded foster care centers; Hu on accusations that state Sunset examiners missed problems with workers compensation regulators because they didn't ask the right questions of the right people; Ramsey and Stiles on the rush to rake in campaign cash, and on political races that could be won or lost because of voter attraction to Libertarian candidates; and Aguilar's fresh take on South Texas' reputation for corruption. The best of our best from June 28 to July 3, 2010.

Division of Workers' Compensation Commissioner Rod Bordelon and the Sunset Advisory Commission, May 26, 2010.
Division of Workers' Compensation Commissioner Rod Bordelon and the Sunset Advisory Commission, May 26, 2010.

Sunset Commission to Vote on Workers' Comp Changes

Physician fraud investigators inside the troubled Division of Workers' Compensation say state examiners failed to uncover serious problems there — and then recommended changes that would take key decisions away from trained physicians and give them to bureaucrats.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of May 24, 2010

Ramsey on what the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll says about the governor's race, education, immigration, and other issues; Grissom on a far West Texas county divided over Arizona's immigration law; Ramshaw talks health care reform and obesity in Texas with a legendary Dallas doctor; M. Smith on the Collin County community that's about to break ground on a $60 million high school football stadium; Aguilar on the backlog of cases in the federal immigration detention system; Philpott of the Green Party's plans to get back on the ballot; Hu on the latest in the Division of Workers' Comp contretemps; Mulvaney on the punishing process of getting compensated for time spent in jail when you didn't commit a crime; Hamilton on the fight over higher ed formula funding; and my sit-down with state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin: The best of our best from May 24-28, 2010.

Sunset Commission Vets Division of Workers' Comp

The state Division of Workers' Compensation has uncovered "tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary medical care" in the last several years, but its commissioner failed to sanction the doctors involved, a key former employee told members of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Tuesday night.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of May 17, 2010

Thevenot on the ideological backbiting at the internationally famous State Board of Education; Stiles, Narioka and Hamilton plumb employee salary data in Texas colleges and universities; Grissom looks at the problem of insufficient indigent defense; Cervantes on the push for "veterans courts" emphasizing treatment and counseling over punishment; Aguilar finds border congressmen asking the governor for a fair break on federal homeland security dollars; M. Smith on another BP rig in the Gulf; Ramshaw reports on nurse practitioners trying to get permission slips from doctors; Hu follows up with lawmakers poking at whistleblower allegations of trouble in the state's workers' compensation regulation; Hamilton stops in on Luke Hayes and his efforts to turn Texas into a political powerhouse for Obama; and Ramsey writes on generation changes at the Capitol and on political pranksters: The best of our best from May 17 to 21, 2010.

Joe Deshotel, Rod Bordelon, Glenn Hegar
Joe Deshotel, Rod Bordelon, Glenn Hegar

Lawmakers Pledge Action After Workers' Comp

Lawmakers are pledging to take a closer look at the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers' Compensation in light of allegations by former employees that their higher-ups failed to sanction or remove dozens of doctors accused of overmedicating patients and overbilling insurers. The chairman of the House panel that oversees workers' compensation says he's planning a hearing on the matter this summer, and the chair of the Sunset Advisory Commission plans to question the division's commissioner at a public hearing next week.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of May 10, 2010

Grissom on the transgender marriage conundrum, Hu on the workers' comp whistleblowers, M. Smith on the Texas GOP's brush with debt, Garcia-Ditta on why student regents should vote, Aguilar on the tripling of the number of visas given by the feds to undocumented crime victims, Hamilton on the paltry number of state universities with graduation rates above 50 percent, Ramshaw and Stiles on the high percentage of Texas doctors trained in another country, Ramsey and Stiles on congressmen giving to congressmen, Galbraith on how prepared Texas is (very) for a BP-like oil spill, and my conversation with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: The best of our best from May 10 to 14, 2010.

Dr. Ken Ford and attorney Cathy Lockhart, who until recently investigated medical fraud for the state Division of Workers' Compensation, say the agency has failed to properly sanction unscrupulous doctors over the last half decade.
Dr. Ken Ford and attorney Cathy Lockhart, who until recently investigated medical fraud for the state Division of Workers' Compensation, say the agency has failed to properly sanction unscrupulous doctors over the last half decade.

Blowing the Whistle on Workers' Comp Abuse

Former employees of the Division of Workers' Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance say their higher-ups have failed to sanction or remove dozens of physicians accused of fraudently overbilling and overtreating patients, costing insurers millions of dollars. The allegations of stalled enforcement action have sparked an inquiry by the State Auditor’s Office, records show.