From Analysis of Hearing Offices Using Key Risk Factors, a report from Social Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG):
We developed a model that measured variances among multiple risk factors . The model analyzes performance and outcome data among ALJs in the same office and uses five risk factors: (1) ALJ allowance rates, (2) ALJ dispositions, (3) ALJ on-the- record (OTR) decision rates, (4) ALJ dismissal rates, and (5) ALJ average processing time. While the Agency’s monitoring process identified a number of potential workload problems at the time of our review , such as ALJ -specific issues and productivity declines, our model offers another method to evaluate the performance of individual hearing offices.
Using our model and FY 2012 workload data, we identified hearing offices with the highest and lowest variance score s. We believe o utlier hearing office s provide ODAR managers with indications of potential processing issues (high-variance) as well as potential best practices (low - variance). We fou nd 4 regions had 20 percent or more of their hearing offices among the 25 high- variance offices , and 4 regions had 20 percent or more of their hearing offices among the 25 low- variance offices. In discussions with ODAR regional managers, we learned that they focused their oversight on individual ALJ performance rather than variances among ALJs in hearing office s as we do in our model.
Finally, our review of the hearing offices with the 10 highest variance scores identified an outlier ALJ who had a significant number of dispositions and OTR decisions with 1 claimant representative. We referred this case to ODAR management for additional review.No, they don't explain their model all that well nor do they give the variance score for any office, other than indicating that the Huntington, WV office had high variance scores in past years. The OIG model also identified the Huntington ALJ who was the subject of media attention as being an outlier. Of course, the model was probably tailored so that it would point to Huntington and that particular ALJ.