ALERT: Municipal Pooling Authority Bounces QME Check (Twice)

ALERT: Municipal Pooling Authority Bounces QME Check (Twice)

The Municipal Pooling Authority (MPA) recently bounced a check to a California Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) — not once, but twice.

According to MPA representatives, the doubly-bounced check was the result of a technical glitch caused by a MPA “software system conversion.” Further, the MPA representative acknowledged that the glitch and subsequent bounced checks have affected more than a single practice.

Alert: Providers treating injured workers or performing Medical-Legal services for the MPA should investigate whether checks recently received from MPA bounced. Note that redepositing the check may result in a second bank denial.

This MPA tale highlights a gross reality of workers’ comp (Attn: California regulators and legislators)

  • When a doctor makes a clerical billing mistake, the claims administrator profits, because California law allows the claims administrator to simply deny payment.
  • When a claims administrator makes a clerical payment mistake, the claims administrator profits, because California law often offers no reasonable recourse to the doctor to pursue payment.

A QME evaluated an injured worker. The MPA bounced the check (twice) for those services. What can the doctor do (besides hiring an attorney)?

MPA Bounces Check for Med-Legal Services

The MPA is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), a group of public, self-insured California employers pooling their workers’ comp coverage. In October, a daisyCollect QME client reported that a check from the MPA did not clear after receiving a notice from the bank (below).

daisyCollect representatives reached out to the MPA, a representative who explained that a “software system conversion” resulted in subsequent payment troubles. To receive payment, the representative instructed the daisyCollect agent to simply redeposit the bounced check — instructions which proved more optimistic than accurate.

MPA Bounces Check…Again

When the QME redeposited the bounced check, it bounced for a second time. daisyCollect reached out to MPA again and requested a new check. To date our agents have not received a reply to our voicemail. 

However, when an MPA Office Assistant called daisyCollect on an unrelated matter, our agents inquired about the bouncing check. The MPA Office Assistant 1) confirmed the payment troubles, 2) acknowledged that other providers were affected, and 3) reiterated the MPA’s previous instruction that providers redeposit bounced checks. Disturbingly:

  • The MPA Office Assistant failed to offer instructions regarding the already-twice-bounced check.
  • When asked when the technical issues started, the MPA representative offered no firm date.
  • The MPA Office Assistant did not offer to reimburse the provider(s) for bounced checks fees incurred by providers.

MPA’s lack of provider outreach regarding their (continued) failure to pay providers is a symptom of a broader, more critical problem affecting California workers’ comp: When payers fail, there are no consequences — and thus no sense of urgency. The result is chaos in doctors’ Accounts Receivables, and increasing frustration with a system that seems to reward payer non-compliance.

daisyCollect will continue to follow up on this issue until it is resolved; we again strongly encourage providers to take a look at any attempted deposits of MPA-issued checks, and to (somehow) follow up where necessary.

Med-Legal billing requires specialized expertise. daisyCollect professionals use our advanced software (and years of experience) to protect your practice. Learn more and request a demo below:


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