President's Report - February 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013  

With the New Year we have new challenges. As many of you know, we have been battling State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) for almost two years on an issue that has now hit very close to home for many of our members. SCIF began the RFP process in 2011 to choose a "Vendor Management” company that would oversee investigations and manage the more than 100 vendors they had on their approved vendor panel at the time. When CALI became aware of SCIF’s intentions, our President at the time, Chris Reynolds, and Legislative Chair Francie Koehler, met with SCIF to discuss their intentions so we could determine the effect if would have, if any, on the PIs in California and more specifically our members. There were several meetings over the next 19+ months and every time our CALI representatives were assured that the company that won the RFP bid would be utilized to manage the vendors only, not work the investigations themselves. CALI also highlighted the importance of making sure the company that won the RFP was a California-based company to keep existing commerce in the state.

In late January of this year we received notification that two companies that were chosen as SCIF’s new vendor managers were HUB Enterprises headquartered in Louisiana, and Veracity Research Company Investigations [VRC Inc.] out of Texas. Approximately one week later we were informed that at least one of the companies would be allowed to hire and utilize their own employee investigators, not ONLY manage current vendor investigators as was originally represented to us. In other words, SCIF reversed everything they had told us from the beginning and would not only be contracting with out-of-state companies to manage the investigations, but they would be allowed to use their own employees at a substantially lower hourly rate than contract investigators.

Since receiving this information, the following actions are underway:

  1. We initiated an immediate CALL-TO-ACTION for Members to contact their Senators and Assembly Members, urging them to take a personal interest in this critical matter and apply the appropriate pressure on SCIF to halt implementation of this program, and identify alternative approaches to cost savings that do not impede the effectiveness and efficiency of investigations of workers compensation fraud and abuse.
  2. CALI will continue to lobby in opposition to the RFP with the Governor, statewide office-holders, and members of the Senate and the Assembly.
  3. CALI is in the process of ramping up efforts at CALI’s 2013 Campaign for CALI Annual Legislative day on Monday, March 18. Please save this date and register today. You can make a big difference by taking just one day to assist your fellow PI's in protecting our industry.

If you have not yet sent in your letter to your legislators, please contact me mjulian@investigations-nbi.com or Francie Koehler at francie.koehler@gmail.com and we will send you the template to put on your letterhead. You can find your legislator’s contact information at http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

We will be working diligently on this issue and appreciate your previous and continued support.

Michael Julian, CPI PPS
President