Exclusive: MedCo finally reveals MRO numbers as it fights off bid to halt downgrade of tier 1 agency
MedCo has for the first time revealed the number of medical reporting organisations (MROs) on its system following the recent annual audit programme. It came as one of the legal challenges that has beset MedCo of late was published, in which On Medical failed in its bid to halt being downgraded from a tier 1 MROs to a tier 2.
There are too many poor-quality medical reports being produced via MedCo, and so it is premature to extend it to other types of personal injury claim, a leading claimant solicitor has cautioned. He also called on practitioners to tell MedCo about sub-standard reports.
A body representing ‘tier 2’ medical reporting organisations (MROs) has accused MedCo of “cashing in” on its members after it announced significant hikes in fees. It follows what Litigation Futures understands has been a culling of the 14 tier 1 MROs – the high-volume, national providers – during the recent auditing programme.
Insurers need to take a close look at suspicious treatments to avoid the danger of ‘claims layering’, a leading defendant law firm has warned after it helped uncover bogus physiotherapy treatments. The investigation led to an 18-month interim suspension for the physiotherapist.
A High Court judge has thrown out judicial reviews brought by two medical reporting organisations (MROs) against their suspension from the MedCo portal. Mr Justice Lavender said there was “obviously something unsatisfactory” about the approach taken by Med Chambers and Prime Medicals.
UK motor insurers should see “a strong uplift in profits” next year as a result of the discount rate review and whiplash reforms, Big Four accountancy firm EY has predicted. It forecast that insurance premiums would also fall by up to £21 if the discount rate rises from -2.5% to 0-1%, as suggested by the Ministry of Justice.
Claimant lawyers have leapt on a newspaper report that accused insurers of “routinely inflating repair costs” by as much as 100%, while receiving “undisclosed kickbacks” for the difference. Lobbying group Access to Justice said the Association of British Insurers had shown “breathtaking hypocrisy” in failing to condemn the practice while continuing to argue for whiplash reform.
Some 560 authorised users of MedCo – law firms, claims management companies and compensators – were suspended from the system earlier in the spring for failing to accept the new user agreement that requires them to declare financial links with any medical reporting organisation. Meanwhile, four tier 1 MROs have been reclassified as tier 2.