The number of high-volume national medical reporting organisations (MROs) registered with MedCo is set to fall after some failed the auditing process.
There are currently 14 tier 1 MROs and according to MedCo, several have failed to meet the qualifying criteria and are to be reclassified as tier 2 non-national MROs. MedCo is now dealing with appeals against its decisions.
The Ministry of Justice, has admitted that the government had seen business practices from the MRO side that they weren’t expecting, including some MROs registering as tier 1 and then registering again, while others claiming they have more capacity than they have.
Following complaints that users of MedCo are not receiving consistent and reasonable standards of service, at the start of November MedCo introduced minimum service standards which must be met by medical experts and tier 2 MROs. Tier 1 MROs are already bound by their own minimum standards and service levels as defined by MedCo.
Under the standards, experts have to acknowledge their initial instructions within 24 hours, provide an appointment date within 14 days, identify a clinic that is no more than 30 miles from the claimant’s home or work, and deliver the report within 14 days of the appointment or, where relevant, receipt of all the claimant’s medical records. Any further comments or amendments must also be made within 14 days.
Failure to meet these minimum service standards would result in enforcement action and potential suspension, MedCo warned. It is hoped these standards are actively policed and sanctions are meted out when breaches occur.