A chiropractor convicted as part of a major kickback scheme is being forced to give up over $18 million in workers’ comp liens connected to 944 cases. There is no question this is made possible because of the workers’ comp reforms championed by Christine Baker when she was Director of the Department of Industrial Relations. The Baker workers’ comp reforms allowed the Department to suspend providers convicted of fraud and handle liens filed by these providers on a consolidated basis rather than individually.
A Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board judge dismissed the liens filed by Michael Barri, Jojaso Management, and Tristar Medical Group. The liens are being dismissed as part of the DWC’s lien adjudication process authorized by Labor Code section 139.21.
Barri was suspended from the California workers’ comp system after pleading guilty to federal conspiracy charges and collecting $206,506 in kickbacks. The illegal payments were for referring injured workers to Pacific Hospital of Long Beach for spinal surgeries and other services.
Michael Drobot was convicted of running the kickback scheme at the Pacific Hospital. While Barri was suspended from treating workers’ comp claimants, he continued attempts to collect on the liens he had already filed in the system.
Those liens are now history.
“Notice is hereby given that all bills or liens filed by or that could have been filed or asserted on behalf of Michael E. Barri, D.C. and individual, Michael Barri, a Chiropractic Corp., Jojaso Management, Inc., Tristar Medical Grou, Tri-Star Medical Group…are dismissed with prejudice, forthwith,” says Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board judge Alan Skelly in the order dismissing the liens.