By Jeff Baker, Program Administrator, BWC Special Investigations Department
Every day members of our BWC Special Investigations Department are reminded why we created our on-line fraud referral form. It works. Effective December 1, we had received more than 8,000 allegations from external sources via the referral form. And, since fiscal year 2002, the percentage of new allegations we have received from external sources via referral forms has steadily increased from one percent to 17 percent.
Here is how the form works: simply select the type of subject you suspect – injured worker, employer, provider, or other – and the interactive form will prompt you for pertinent information. To “complete” the form, just post whatever information you have to a few screens. No field is required. You decide how much or little information you care to furnish us. You may advance past any screen at your discretion. Many sources have furnished their allegations in a matter of a minute or two.
The form will display a confirmation that we have received your allegation. All members of our SID intake team immediately receive an e-mail containing all information from the form. They promptly enter the allegation into our secure database, the Fraud Management System, and commence their review and research of the subject. If you elect to furnish us with a contact phone number or e-mail address, a SID professional will contact you with an investigative update within 14 days. They will also re-contact you when we have a known outcome, such as a criminal conviction and/or sentencing.
For example, as recently as December 11, we reported on the conviction of Rachel Madison, a Bedford woman who pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. She was ordered by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to pay $12,319 in restitution to the BWC. SID commenced its investigation of Madison after an acquaintance confidentially reported his/her suspicions via a fraud referral form.
To report suspected fraud via the fraud referral form click here. You may also report suspected fraud by calling either the BWC fraud hotline at 1-800-644-6292 or Jeff in SID Administration at 1-614-466-7837.