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QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:56 pm
by jobmdpsych
Wondering if anyone has any new about whether or not this is being cleaned up. The wait times are getting absurd. Really hard to find reliable information on the Interweb about what is going on.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:20 pm
by billarm141
Based on recent experience together with information provided at the State Bar Spring Conference, the wait time is about 6 months for represented situations. Even with the time extension from 15 to 20 days on the unrepresented side per SB863, I recently reviewed an in pro-per panel which took 30 days to issue.
With IMR also now being generated through the Medical Unit, coupled with what I would think could be a dramatic increase in the numbers on the IMR side after July 1, 2013, I am not sure how reasonable it is to expect the QME panel process/time-frames to mitigate in the next several months.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:21 am
by jobmdpsych
If that is the case, this is a total disaster. Meaning total collapse of the system. How come no one is talking about the elephant in the room?

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California) (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:07 am
by jobmdpsych
I've seen unrepped claimants who waited much longer than that.

Can't some of that prop 30 money be assigned to the medical unit on an emergency basis?

Otherwise we need emergency legislation because the system has ground to a halt.

If this continues, benefits will run out on the 104 week limit before people even get seen.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:28 pm
by vampireinthenight
I have to imagine there are only a few people cranking out these panels. Conceptually, it would not seem all that difficult. Maybe if they went OCR on all the basic identifying information that would help.

Or maybe we could just audit them and penalize them!

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:51 pm
by jobmdpsych
All that money that went to DeLoitte for the joke that is EAMS (they could have hired an 18 year old programmer who knows file sharing software for a fraction of those millions). Would have come in handy right now.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:11 pm
by compquest
Maybe it is time to get rid of the panel qme process on represented cases. Go back to the old QME method where each side picks a Doctor.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:14 pm
by billarm141
EAMS and the QME process have little to nothing in common, in terms of the panel issues and delays. EAMS is the litigation system of the WCAB. it is different than the process for filing and handling of QME requests through the Medical Unit.
As described by Dr. Das, the volume of QME filings with the form 105 and 106 is compelling and is repeated every single day. Every envelope is manually handled from the time of receipt, to opening, to processing. In one presentation, Dr Das described the noise levels from the opening of each envelope to be at such a level she needed to close her door to be able to concentrate. She also, if I understood correctly, had to consider an assessment of noise exposure. From the description, the process sounds like it is manually intensive. It also sounds as if there are not enough people assigned to complete the manually intensive process with the volumes received, and this pre-exists whatever increase IMR will bring, which is another manually intensive process.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California) (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:18 pm
by jobmdpsych
I understand that but it wasn't my point. My point was that EAMS was a massive waste of money. And we need it right now for manpower. The fact the we have separator sheets in a system designed to save paper would be a joke in The Onion, if it weren't real. Given that things in the medical unit office are still handled manually and primitively as you described, why hasn't this been automated (by someone other than those who screwed up EAMS and the LAUSD payroll system).

Of course, realistically things don't work like that. The money would have been squandered elsewhere by now.

Re: QME assignment backlog thread (California)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:46 pm
by billarm141
I truly wonder if $$$$ is at the core of the problem. With the new assessments and Revolving Fund, employers are looking to fund the DWC to the tune of around $310,000,000 in the next fiscal year. This amount includes an $88,000,000 assessment levied in late 2012 to allow upgrading for the SB863 changes and mandates. There is another proposed $160,000,000 or so coming with the new State budget for more resources and to fund the LC 139.48 fund.
The DWC is funded by employers and rapidly increasing assessments. One might question, as I am starting to do, if the issue is revenue, as opposed to other aspects for which there is limited to no transparency.