Hundreds of users suspended by MedCo for failing to sign financial links agreement

Deal: Links with MROs not allowed

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 (MRO), Legal Futures can reveal.

Some 160 have since been reinstated, having now accepted their agreement.

Users were required to declare by 6 April that nobody in the firm owned, worked at or held at least a 3% shareholding in an MRO at the time or in the previous three years, or that the firm was not part of a group that contained an MRO, or employed or contracted with a medico-legal expert to provide reports on soft-tissue injury claims.

A spokeswoman said: “MedCo acknowledges that a number of the remaining suspended authorised users will not have needed to use the system since the new user agreements came into force; these users will gradually be reinstated as they click to accept their agreement when their need to use MedCo arises.

“MedCo also anticipates that a number of authorised users may have chosen to leave the market and so have no further requirement for the MedCo system or user agreement.”

MROs and experts also had to accept user agreements; 46 direct medical experts were suspended for not doing so, with 19 since reinstated; 49 indirect medical experts were suspended, with 16 since reinstated.

Three MROs were suspended, with one reinstated and two allowing their MedCo renewal to expire.

Meanwhile, MedCo also reported this week that as part of its audit programme, it has removed tier 1 status from four MROs for failing to meet the criteria that qualifies them as high-volume national operations.

They have been reclassified and will in future be presented in the MedCo search offer as tier 2 MROs.

A further two tier 1 MROs have been suspended from the system for failing to comply with the revised qualifying criteria and will no longer appear in the search offer.

The six MROS will be allowed to complete existing instructions.

Last week, a further 21 ‘shell’ MROs were removed from the system, taking the number to 155 in total.

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