MedCo has today reversed its decision not to allow remote medical examinations after pressure from its users and in light of government advice.
Only last week, MedCo said the validity of diagnosis and prognosis opinions arising from video examinations was uncertain.
But in new guidance today, it said it was introducing temporary measures during the Covid-19 pandemic “having considered a number of issues which have been raised by our users in recent weeks together with the rapid development of government policy and advice”.
MedCo accepted that there were likely to be delays in providing medical reports given the priority for experts to prioritise their NHS work and their “wider general public duties”.
It continued: “Following discussions with the Ministry of Justice, the board has agreed the current ban on the use of remote examinations will be lifted.
“However, there are a number of conditions, and other factors, which users will need to consider before making any arrangements with claimants for a remote ‘examinations’.”
Further details will be in a separate notice which will be issued “shortly”.
To help medical reporting organisations’ (MROs) financial situation, MedCo said those whose annual renewal fees become due on or after 6 April should delay making payment until further notice, while those that have already paid “will be contacted direct in due course”.
However, direct medical experts are still be required to pay their renewal fee of £300 on the due dates until further notice.
MedCo is also suspending all audit visits with immediate effect, as well as MRO registration applications that are in the system, while it will not be accepting new applications until further notice. But new registrations for direct medical experts and claimant representatives will continue to be accepted
Finally, the annual CPD requirement for medical experts to be completed by 1 June 2020 has been suspended until further notice.