Testifying live before the legislature in Sacramento yesterday, Nicholas P. Roxborough, co-managing partner at Roxborough, Pomerance, Nye & Adreani (RPNA), provided detailed evidence to support Assemblymember Rubio’s successful request for an audit of the Division of Workers Compensation (DWC) by the California State Auditor Elaine Howle.
In her request, Assemblymember Rubio stated her hope that an audit would uncover “the root causes of what appears to be DWC’s mismanagement of the QME program and provide options for swift remediation.” Roxborough and Assemblymember Rubio carefully laid out DWC’s pattern and practice of targeting highly qualified QMEs for allegedly improper billing practices, most of which were based upon secret underground regulations created by DWC. As some of you may recall, this specific conduct was uncovered by RPNA through deposition testimony and was the subject of two separate writ proceedings filed by RPNA, on behalf of its many QME clients.
After considering the evidence presented, the members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) voted unanimously (14-0) to approve Assemblymember Rubio’s request that the California State Auditor conduct an audit of DWC spanning the period of the past five years. This is the first time that the California Legislature ordered the California State Auditor to audit DWC. Not surprisingly, the testimony in support of the audit request and the JLAC members’ unanimous approval of the request sent shockwaves throughout the industry and community.
Ms. Howle anticipates that the audit (spanning five years of DWC activity) should be completed in about six months. The audit comes on the heels of DWC’s longstanding assurances that it will promulgate regulations that are fair and reflective of the critical role that QMEs play in California’s Workers Compensation System.
RPNA cannot be prouder of the work that we are privileged to do for our clients and the impact that our work has made on all of the stakeholders in the California workers’ compensation system. We look forward to seeing what is ultimately uncovered when the proverbial curtains of DWC are rolled back to reveal who has been pulling the strings for the last five years.
We will keep everybody posted.