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More on worker’s comp fraud

Elise Hu has a followup to her story from last week about worker’s comp fraud and the lack of investigation of same. It seems she attracted the attention of the Lege.

“My primary concern is patients getting improper treatment — things that are going to end up hurting them or getting them hooked on painkillers,” said state Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, who chairs the House Business and Industry Committee, which oversees workers’ compensation laws in Texas. “What’s the impact of fraudulent claims on our already strapped budget?”

Deshotel said he plans to hold a committee hearing as early as mid-June to address the enforcement questions. Nearer on the horizon — May 25 — is the Sunset Advisory Commission’s public hearing and final recommendations for changes to the Division’s statutory structure, which will guide legislation next session. Bordelon is expected to appear before the Sunset commission, according to its chairman, state Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy.

“I will ask the Commissioner questions regarding the issues brought up in the [Tribune] story,” Hegar says. “I firmly believe that Texans deserve quality medical care, especially those who have been injured in the workplace. We don’t want any doctors scamming the system in any shape, form or fashion. I am very interested in making sure there is a fair and equitable process.”

Good, and not surprising. This really is low-hanging fruit, the proverbial “waste, fraud and abuse” we’re all supposed to be on the lookout for. Why it hasn’t been pursued more vigorously is a question that deserves an answer. I’m glad to see the Lege playing its role in getting to that answer.

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