President's Report - November 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013  

Late last month CALI had another Meet and Confer with State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) in an effort to resolve issues and concerns in the new Vendor Management Program.

I am happy to report that the California Association of Licensed Investigator’s (CALI) Legislative subcommittee now working on this industry impacting issue has been able to make a number of strides forward.

The Meet and Confer team consisting of myself, CALI President Michael Julian, CALI's Legislative Advocate, Jerry Desmond, CALI Legislative Committee Chair, Francie Koehler, SCIF Subcommittee Chair, CW Sellers and North Bay District Director Anthony Hopkins, have worked with SCIF to achieve the following events;

  1. Obtained a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from SCIF in which they agreed to a number of key concessions that otherwise would not have been established without CALI’s involvement.
  2. Immediately stop all involvement in investigation activity being conducted on SCIF cases by VMC employees.
  3. Ensuring that the role of the Vendor Management Companies (VMC) is that of managing PI Vendor/Subcontractors, not performing investigations themselves with their employees
  4. Negotiated complete autonomy for CA investigators in that the CA vendor agency doing the work is now reporting on their own letterhead with logos and branding and representing themselves to claimants and witnesses as being from our own companies, not employees of the VMCs.
  5. The team has also been successful in bringing forward several legal issues of concern regarding investigative reports remaining intact as written and not being arbitrarily added to or content removed from our reports by the VMCs. The integrity of Investigative reports submitted by California investigators will no longer be compromised by the VMCs editing our reports or adding their pre-investigation research content.
  6. We were able to get the VMCs to change their position on prohibiting investigators from discussing vital claim content and/or investigation challenges with the assigned SCIF adjuster by allowing us to request a conference call with them and the VMC representative.
  7. Gained a commitment from SCIF that the panel will remain open to qualified investigators.
  8. Established that all approved investigation company vendors may utilize their employees to perform SCIF investigations.
  9. Gained a commitment from SCIF that there will be a process, with State Fund oversight, before a VMC removes a vendor from the panel.
  10. Negotiated a compensation increase for report writing from one-half hour to one hour per day of surveillance.
  11. Established that the submission of "interim” reports by the vendor are acceptable in situations where the adjuster makes a special request for an "interim” report and or a situation where the investigator advises that the investigation is experiencing complications which may not allow the investigation to be completed within a time frame that will satisfy the 90 days acceptance rule of the claim.
  12. The team continues to work on the following concerns;
    1. SCIF's process of providing more descriptive identifying information to investigators working surveillance cases.
    2. Vendors/subcontractor investigators being directed and treated as employees.
    3. Developing consistency among the MVCs concerning portal to portal pay for all time and mileage (which will most likely not be amended until the next contract cycle in a few months).
    4. Compensation for all services rendered i.e. updates, data entry, video editing, photo logs, etc.

There are other small issues that the team remains committed to work on which will benefit CALI members and every investigator in the State working within SCIF's new VM program.

We realize that this process and the changes caused by it have been a challenge to many of you and that negotiation compromises don’t allow for either party to get everything they want. We hope you understand that we are doing everything in our power to represent you in the best possible way and fight to get everything we can in this process on your behalf. If you are not experiencing the positive changes listed above, please notify us so we can advise SCIF and request that corrective action be taken with their VMCs.

The CALI Legislative Committee’s SCIF Subcommittee is appointed by the president and Chair of the CALI Legislative Committee to address all issues which will or may effect or influence CALI members and other California private investigators. The SCIF Subcommittee team remains committed to meet with SCIF until all issues are resolved on behalf of members and every licensed investigator in the State of California.

If you are working within the new SCIF Vendor Management Program and have issues you wish to have addressed during Meet and Confer meetings, please feel free to forward your concerns to the CALI team at their emails below. The team’s contact information can also be found on the CALI website at www.cali-pi.org. All you have to do is go to "Find an investigator" field and enter their name.

SCIF Subcommittee Team
Michael Julian, CALI President, mjulian@investigations-nbi.com
Francie Koehler, CALI Leg Chair, francie.koehler@gmail.com
CW Sellers, SCIF Subcommittee Chair, cwcali@att.net
Anthony Hopkins, CALI North Bay District Director, anthonyhopkinsinvestigations@yahoo.com

We would like to thank everyone that has shared their experiences with and thoughts about this issue to help us adequately represent the needs of our members. A special thanks to CW’s wife and Case Manager, Sherry Sellers and my Case Manager, Michele O’Brien, for all the time they have put into not only gathering and reporting information obtained directly from the VMCs but their skill in building relationships with the HUB and VRC representatives in an attempt to make them understand the challenges that we face, created by their contracts and restrictions, to provide the best possible investigations that we can to them and their client, State Fund.

We will continue to update you as progress is made.

Michael Julian, President