A Department of General Services hearing officer for the state of California has dismissed a protest put forth by Peer Review Solutions in June that questioned the state’s contract with Maximus for the new independent medical review (IMR) process. This decision allows the Department of Industrial Relations in the state to continue contracting with Maximus Federal Services. Maximus has been conducting the state IMRs since the overhaul of California’s workers’ comp system in 2013 via Senate Bill 863. The contract runs through calendar year 2018 as written and can be extended an additional two years after that period. However, the hearing officer decision, while avoiding accusing the DIR of any wrongdoing, did state that the Department’s seemingly intention lack of contact with one bidder “is cause for concern.” In specific terms, Peer Review claimed that the DIR made the oral presentation process excessively difficult to schedule and that the department was prejudiced. California’s restructuring of their workers’ comp system is considered by many to be a model for other states, so contracting issues have implications for all states looking toward administrative reform. Read the full story from WorkCompCentral here. Read the hearing officer’s decision here. Read David DePaolo’s editorial on the issue here.