Code Section

Labor Code - LAB

DIVISION 1. DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS [50 - 176]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. )
  

CHAPTER 5. Division of Workers’ Compensation [110 - 139.6]
  ( Heading of Chapter 5 amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 6, Sec. 23.5. )

  
129.  

(a) To make certain that injured workers, and their dependents in the event of their death, receive promptly and accurately the full measure of compensation to which they are entitled, the administrative director shall audit insurers, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators to determine if they have met their obligations under this code. Each audit subject shall be audited at least once every five years. The audit subjects shall be selected and the audits conducted pursuant to subdivision (b). The results of audits of insurers shall be provided to the Insurance Commissioner, and the results of audits of self-insurers and third-party administrators shall be provided to the Director of Industrial Relations. Nothing in this section shall restrict the authority of the Director of Industrial Relations or the Insurance Commissioner to audit their licensees.

(b) The administrative director shall schedule and conduct audits as follows:

(1) A profile audit review of every audit subject shall be conducted once every five years and on additional occasions indicated by target audit criteria. The administrative director shall annually establish a profile audit review performance standard that will identify the poorest performing audit subjects.

(2) A full compliance audit shall be conducted of each profile audited subject failing to meet or exceed the profile audit review performance standard. The full compliance audit shall be a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the audit subject’s performance. The administrative director shall annually establish a full compliance audit performance standard that will identify the audit subjects that are performing satisfactorily. Any full compliance audit subject that fails to meet or exceed the full compliance audit performance standard shall be audited again within two years.

(3) A targeted profile audit review or a full compliance audit may be conducted at any time in accordance with target audit criteria adopted by the administrative director. The target audit criteria shall be based on information obtained from benefit notices, from information and assistance officers, and from other reliable sources providing factual information that indicates an insurer, self-insured employer, or third-party administrator is failing to meet its obligations under this division or Division 4 (commencing with Section 3200) or the regulations of the administrative director.

(c) If, as a result of a profile audit review or a full compliance audit, the administrative director determines that any compensation, interest, or penalty is due and unpaid to an employee or dependent, the administrative director shall issue and cause to be served upon the insurer, self-insured employer, or third-party administrator a notice of assessment detailing the amounts due and unpaid in each case, and shall order the amounts paid to the person entitled thereto. The notice of assessment shall be served personally or by registered mail in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 11505 of the Government Code. A copy of the notice of assessment shall also be sent to the affected employee or dependent.

If the amounts are not paid within 30 days after service of the notice of assessment, the employer shall also be liable for reasonable attorney’s fees necessarily incurred by the employee or dependent to obtain amounts due. The administrative director shall advise each employee or dependent still owed compensation after this 30-day period of his or her rights with respect to the commencement of proceedings to collect the compensation owed. Amounts unpaid because the person entitled thereto cannot be located shall be paid to the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund. The Director of Industrial Relations shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing standards and procedures for the payment of compensation from moneys deposited in the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund whenever the person entitled thereto applies for compensation.

(d) A determination by the administrative director that an amount is or is not due to an employee or dependent shall not in any manner limit the jurisdiction or authority of the appeals board to determine the issue.

(e) Annually, commencing on April 1, 1991, the administrative director shall publish a report detailing the results of audits conducted pursuant to this section during the preceding calendar year. The report shall include the name of each insurer, self-insured employer, and third-party administrator audited during that period. For each insurer, self-insured employer, and third-party administrator audited, the report shall specify the total number of files audited, the number of violations found by type and amount of compensation, interest and penalties payable, and the amount collected for each violation. The administrative director shall also publish and make available to the public on request a list ranking all insurers, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators audited during the period according to their performance measured by the profile audit review and full compliance audit performance standards.

These reports shall not identify the particular claim file that resulted in a particular violation or penalty. Except as required by this subdivision or other provisions of law, the contents of individual claim files and auditor’s working papers shall be confidential. Disclosure of claim information to the administrative director pursuant to an audit shall not waive the provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege.

(f) A profile audit review of the adjustment of claims against the Uninsured Employers Fund by the claims and collections unit of the Division of Workers’ Compensation shall be conducted at least every five years. The results of this profile audit review shall be included in the report required by subdivision (e).

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 6, Sec. 33. Effective January 1, 2003.)