Recently, the Texas Court of Appeals overturned a trial court’s judgment against the medical center that provided care to an injured worker in Hand and Wrist Center of Houston v. Maintenance Supply Headquarters.
Daniel Contreras was an employee for Maintenance Supply when he injured his hand in June 2009. The assistant operations manager took him to one clinic for treatment before being directed to the Hand and Wrist Center. The assistant operations manager then signed a letter of guarantee, which stated that the employer agreed to pay the Center the “usual and customary fees” for medical care rendered to Contraras, and that payment would be made regardless of whether the injury occurred at work, or if the patient tested positive for drugs or alcohol at the time of injury.
Contraras had wrist surgery and the Hand and Wrist Center billed the employer $3,612.62 and $19,138.30 for his care. Soon after, Contraras received notice from his employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier that his claim had been denied due to the discovery that he had tested positive for drugs at the time of injury. The denial was later upheld by the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers Compensation.