Thursday, March 25, 2004 
                                     10:00 a.m. 
                           Capitol Extension, Room E1.036 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Workers'  
         Compensation, Select Interim was held on Thursday, March 25,  
         2004, in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.036, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Todd Staples                    Senator Juan Hinojosa 
         Senator John Carona 
         Senator Robert Duncan 
         Senator Craig Estes 
         Senator Kyle Janek 
         Senator Frank Madla 
         Senator Jane Nelson 
         Senator Royce West 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 10:08 a.m.  There being  
         a quorum present, the following business was transacted:   
         The Chairman made opening remarks and announced the purpose of  
         the meeting was to consider  and receive testimony on interim  
         charges 4 & 5 as issued by Lieutenant Governor David  Dewhurst.   
         Interim charge #4:   "Study the costs and benefits of other  
         health system cost-containment strategies as they relate to  
         medical, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical care, including but not  
         limited to, doctor selection, deductibles, co-payments,  
         preauthorization of services, and return-to-work programs." 
         Committee interim charge #5:   " Conduct a cost-benefit analysis,  
         to the extent possible, 
         comparing the Texas workers' compensation system to systems  
         operating in other states. Make recommendations to improve the  
         quality of care for injured workers, reduce fraud and  
         inefficiencies, reduce overall claim costs, and streamline the  
         administration of the system. Recommendations should address  
         data exchange, advisory groups and review panels, dispute  
         resolution, enforcement issues, paperwork reduction, and billing  
         and administrative efficiencies.  
         The Chairman asked adoption of the February 26th hearing  
         minutes, Senator Nelson moves adoption, without objection they 
	 are adopted.  At 10:12 the Chairman lays out interim  
         charges 4 & 5 jointly and begins to take testimony,  invited 
	 followed by public testimony is taken on both  
         Senator West arrives at 10:18 a.m.       
         At 11:15 a.m. Senator Nelson assumed the chair.   
         At 11:20 a.m. Senator Staples resumed the chair.   
         At 11:59 a.m.  the committee recessed until 12:20 p.m; without
	 objection, it was so ordered.   
         At 11:23 a.m. the committee reconvened and resumed testimony on interim 
	 charges 4 & 5. 
         At 1:50 p.m. Senator West assumed the chair.  
         At 1:54 p.m. Senator Staples resumed the chair.    
         At 3:05 p.m. Senator Estes assumed the chair.      
         At 3:08 p.m. Senator Staples resumed the chair.                   
         At 3:48 p.m. Chairman Staples asked if any others wish to testify, with 
	 none being present, both charges 4 & 5 are left open. 
         The Chairman announced the next tentative hearing date to be April 29, 2004. 
         With no other business before the committee, the chairman recessed the 
	 committee at 3:48 p.m., subject to the call of the chairman. 
          Senator Todd Staples, Chairman 
          Patricia Gajda, Committee Clerk