Saturday, September 24, 2016

Colorado Open Records Act pries into Pinnacol Assurance’s dirty laundry

 and they don't like what they found.  Not much to add to this one, it speaks volumes by itself.


Judge orders Pinnacol to comply with CORA on golf trip

After suing KMGH Channel 7 to block a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) inquiry into expenses related to an “extravagant” golf trip to Pebble Beach, Calif., Pinnacol Assurance was told Thursday by a Denver District Court judge that the state workers’ compensation giant should adhere to the same CORA requirements as any other public entity.

“This is the right decision under the law and the right decision for the people of Colorado,” said Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, who testified before the court Thursday. “If we learned anything over the past year, it is that Pinnacol needs to answer to injured workers, to the businesses it serves, and to taxpayers about how it does business, just like any governmental agency. I’m glad the courts agreed.”

Carroll serves on the Legislative Audit Committee that released Pinnacol’s financial and performance audit in June. That report found numerous faults with Pinnacol’s procedures and practices.

At the time of the audit release, Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, was incensed by what he saw as poor business practices. … Link to the rest of the story
Also see: 
More pain lined up for big-spending Pinnacol Assurance execs
John Tomasic | March 14, 2011

Dr. Horiagon reviews CORA results: Pinnacol Assurance
Oct 1, 2015 | Tom Horiagon MD MOccH

The results of the CORA inquiry made of Pinnacol Assurance last August have some interesting contents:

1.  A 5 year record of medical expenditures that will need some collapsing of treatment categories in order to show much useful (stay tuned).

2.  A record of the Pinnacol Board meeting minutes for the past year which is nearly content-free.  Conspicuously absent are any actions on the recommendations of the 2010 State Auditor performance review that address worker health, safety, or treatment satisfaction.  No record of any labor or medical perspective exists in these minutes of the Board meetings.

3.  Over the past 5 years, Pinnacol Assurance spent about $5.5 million annually on "external investigations", $2.5 million annually on respondent Independent Medical Examinations (IME’s) and special reports, a little under $2 million annually on WC164 form fees, and vast sums (that will simply take some time to tabulate) on public relations, crisis communication, advertising, and marketing.

4.  Pinnacol Assurance refuses to disclose what it pays for legal consultants as an overall category and I have asked the State Auditor to help obtain this information.

5.  Pinnacol Assurance states that they have "thousands" of pages of documents that refer to me in some fashion but want another $1000 to disclose that information.  Some of it details my interactions with Colorado state legislators.

There is quite a lot of work to do with cleaning up this data set and making stronger conclusions but it looks to be a worthwhile endeavor because of the insights into the medical payment practices of a Colorado workers compensation insurer of this size.

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