We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

ABI calls regulation Medical Reporting Organisations ensure MedCo provides fair transparent service

In its submission to the Ministry of Justice review of the operation of MedCo the ABI is calling for the regulation of medical reporting agencies (MRO’s).

The call is in response to the actions of some MRO’s to circumvent the rules of the new system. For example, some have sought to undermine MedCo’s operations by registering several shell companies to manipulate the selection process. This results in the user having significantly reduced choice because many search returns will now show several linked MRO’s, rather than the offer of seven different MRO’s as intended.

Another concern is the ‘hub and spoke’ model where smaller MRO’s are linked through a central IT hub. This allows them to state that they have national coverage, but limits the control that these MRO’s have over experts and impacts on service standards.

The ABI believes that regulation of MRO’s could be delivered by the Claims Management Regulator, and want to see this issue considered by the review of the claims management regulation announced by the Chancellor in the Budget in July.

Rob Cummings, ABI’s Manager, General Insurance, said:

Rob Cummings"While MedCo is fundamentally delivering on its aims, multiple registrations by some MRO’s, together with the ‘hub and spoke’ model, represent a significant operational challenge that must be resolved. While insurers, solicitors, claims management companies and medical experts are all regulated, MRO’s are not, and this needs to change. MedCo was not designed nor has powers to regulate, which is why the regulation of MRO’s is vital to the effective running of MedCo."

Other issues raised in ABI’s submission include:

  • Asking the Solicitors Regulation Authority to investigate any referrals made by MedCo where it is suspected that the introducing solicitor could be in breach of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act by paying referral fees.
  • Consider amending MedCo requirements to ensure that medical reports are carried out on the basis of a physical examination, and not, as has happened over the internet, such as by Skype.

View the ABI's submission to the MoJ's Medco Framework Review: call for evidence (pdf 308kB)

Last updated 01/07/2016