Medics writing whiplash reports have been warned that failure to upload them to the online portal in good time could result in enforcement action.
The MedCo company wrote to medical reporting organisations this week saying the uploading of reports was being ’monitored’ and will form part of this year’s audit.
The same message was given to direct medical experts, who are reminded they have a maximum period of six months from the date of selection by the instructing party.
Potential action could include removal from the scheme, which accredits experts and randomly allocates them to diagnose whiplash claims submitted by lawyers.
The scheme is set to become more important if the government goes ahead with plans to ban insurance companies from making offers to settle before claimants have had medical checks.
MedCo made a similar warning to users of the scheme last year about regularly uploading medical case data, but this week’s communication suggests that message is still not getting through.
The quality of medico-legal reports was questioned this week by James Dalton, head of general insurance at the Association of British Insurers.
Speaking at an evidence session of the justice committee of the House of Commons, Dalton said insurers are minded to make pre-med settlement offers because ‘we do not have any faith in the medico-legal reporting system’.
He noted that trust has improved since the establishment of MedCo, but said the sector was still largely unregulated.
‘Until recently, there were unregulated medical reporting organisations, which are an industry in and of themselves, producing medical reports in support of whiplash claims,’ said Dalton.
‘MedCo is specifically designed to try to put in place better disciplines on both the doctors who write medical reports, so that there is an accreditation framework underpinning them, and the companies they work for. To be perfectly frank, that is not a regulatory framework.’