Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rulemaking Overturned

Last April, The Oracle reported that the Jackson Clinic had filed a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge to decide whether the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development had violated its rulemaking authority in adopting amendments to its workers' compensation medical fee schedule rules without providing an opportunity for notice or a hearing.

The Department failed to respond to the filing, and the case ultimately ended up in Davidson County Chancery Court. With a hearing scheduled for February 9 on a motion by the plaintiffs for summary judgment, the Department filed new emergency rules last week with the Secretary of State that became effective immediately. The new rules removed the provisions in question in the lawsuit. Because the justification statement for the adoption of the emergency rules specifically cited the February 9 hearing, their adoption amounts to a tacit admission that they were on the verge of losing the case.

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