BWC e-news - February 2011
BWC Welcomes Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer Steve Buehrer was sworn in January 10 as BWC Administrator/CEO. During a brief ceremony at BWC’s William Green Building in Columbus, he vowed to an audience of staff, business leaders, labor representatives and representatives of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system that their input will be expected and important in making workers’ compensation a compliment to Ohio’s overall business climate.
“Your voice will be heard,” said Administrator Buehrer. “Change is not always easy, but it’s vital to our state’s future. We must put Ohio first at this time. The door is open, we need your feedback.” In his remarks, the former senator and attorney stressed the importance of service to BWC’s two primary customers, injured workers and employers. He told BWC staff that they are pivotal in developing ways to better serve these customer groups.
A native of Delta in northwest Ohio, Administrator Buehrer has been a practicing attorney and most recently represented Ohio’s 1st Senate District, a seat he held since 2007. There, he served as chairman of the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, focusing on key issues that impact Ohio’s economy, including business regulations, consumer protection and workers' compensation law. Buehrer previously served four terms beginning in 1999 as the state representative for the 82nd Ohio House District. He has extensive experience in state government including work in the offices of the late Congressman Paul Gillmor, and former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson. He also served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services; Deputy Director with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services; and was BWC’s Chief of Human Resources from 1995 to 1998. Administrator Buehrer attended Bowling Green State University, where he earned a degree in social studies education. He also holds a law degree from Capital University.
Audit reveals lax oversight for bureau of workers’ comp
June 8, 2007
The Toledo Blade reports that an internal audit of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) reveals a significant lack of spending oversight that may have cost the agency millions. The Bureau’s top auditor said that it’s unclear if the $637 million that passed through the BWC’s prescription drug program since 2002 was properly spent by ACS State Healthcare, the outside company hired to administer pharmacy benefits for the state’s injured workers. BWC money flowed into an account managed by ACS along with funds from 12 other customers nationwide, a system that raised concerns after the audit found ACS hadn’t verified banking statements against accounting records of BWC funds. Besides causing what the audit called a “significant” risk of loss or misappropriation of BWC funds, the system may also increase the risk that providers and injured workers would be paid erroneously, late, or not at all. The 44-page audit offers other criticisms of the company’s practices, including failure to return over $300,000 in uncashed checks, conduct on-site reviews of pharmacies, and collect rebates on drugs with no generic equivalent on the agency’s behalf, a practice that could save the bureau about $9 million annually. The report also included a scathing indictment of the agency’s management and operations, the focal point of scandal for over two years.
For full story, see: http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070608/NEWS24/706080355/-1/NEWS
$216 MILLION LOST IN OHIO BWC FRAUD SCANDAL
June 15, 2007 - Cleveland Plain Dealer