.04 General Rules for Vocational Rehabilitation Service Practitioners.

A. A practitioner shall consider the best interests of a disabled covered employee in providing vocational rehabilitation services. Unrepresented disabled covered employees shall be treated in the same manner as represented disabled covered employees.

B. A practitioner may not misrepresent the practitioner's duties or responsibilities or the workers' compensation process to disabled covered employees.

C. The vocational rehabilitation practitioner shall exercise independent and professional judgment when performing an assessment or developing a vocational rehabilitation plan.

D. At the initial comprehensive assessment, a practitioner shall advise the disabled covered employee that:

(1) The practitioner's fees are paid by the employer/insurer; and

(2) The practitioner is an independent professional and shall render an opinion based solely on the facts and evidence in the case.

E. Subject to any applicable privilege, a practitioner shall notify all parties of any contact with or about the disabled covered employee, whether that contact was in person, in writing, or made electronically.

F. Unless the disabled covered employee consents in writing, a practitioner may not be present during a medical examination.

G. With the written consent of the disabled covered employee, a practitioner may seek a healthcare provider's opinion following examination.

H. A practitioner shall comply with:

(1) The Commissioner's orders and procedures; and

(2) Standards of practice adopted by the practitioner's State licensing board or commission, if applicable.

I. Penalties. Violation of this regulation may result in the Commission:

(1) Suspending or revoking the practitioner's registration;

(2) Placing the practitioner on probation; or

(3) Reprimanding the practitioner.