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LATEST MEDCO ANNOUNCEMENTS

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MedCo MRO Audit Outcomes - 13th June 2017

As part of MedCo’s ongoing 2017 audit programme, the MedCo Board has removed HVN [Tier 1] status from four MRO organisations.  These organisations failed to meet the required criteria, as set out in Table 2 of the Revised Qualifying Criteria published by the MoJ on 25th October 2016. 

In applying the new policy, aligned to the MedCo Guidance published on 8th November 2016, MedCo has determined the four organisations meet the minimum criteria for a MedCo Registered MRO, as set out in Table 1 of the Revised Qualifying Criteria.  The organisations have been reclassified on the MedCo system accordingly and in future will be presented in the MedCo search offer as Tier 2 MROs. 

A further two HVN [Tier 1] MROs have been suspended from the system and will no longer appear in the MedCo search offer.

MedCo is in communication with each of the six organisations who have been made aware of the Board’s decision regarding their individual status.

The six MROS will be permitted to complete existing instructions using MedCo accredited medical experts, to avoid impact on Authorised Users [AUTs] who have prior selected them from a MedCo search offer.   

MedCo has written to all users informing them of the latest outcomes from the ongoing 2017 audit programme. 

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MedCo Identifies and Suspends Further Shell Companies - 6th June 2017

MedCo has identified and suspended a further 21 ‘shell’ companies from the MedCo system for failing to meet the Revised Qualifying Criteria published by the MoJ on 25th October 2016.  The MRO organisations concerned have been contacted and notified.

These MROs will no longer appear in the MedCo search offer.  The suspended MROs will be permitted to complete existing instructions to avoid impact on Authorised Users [AUTs] who have prior selected them from a MedCo search offer.

MedCo has contacted users to advise them of this latest enforcement action which follows the earlier removal of 134 ‘shell’ companies in November 2016.

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MedCo Suspends Users for Failing to Upload Case Data - 31st May 2017

Following earlier warnings of enforcement action, MedCo has suspended 23 Medical Reporting Organisations [MROs] and 14 Direct Medical Experts [DMEs] for failing to upload medical case data to the MedCo system. 

MROS and Direct Medical Experts are required to upload medical case data as part of their User Agreements. MROs must adhere to the SLA as published in the MedCo Guidance on Revised Qualifying Criteria October 2016.  Direct Medical Experts must upload to the MedCo system within a maximum period of six months from the date of selection by the instructing party.

The suspended MROs and DMEs will be permitted to complete existing instructions to avoid impact on Authorised Users [AUTs] who have prior selected them from a MedCo search offer.  The suspended MROs and DMEs will no longer be presented in MedCo search offers and MedCo will reassess their position on the system once their outstanding case data has been uploaded.

MedCo has written to users informing them of the enforcement action and reminding them that medical case data upload continues to be monitored and forms part of the MedCo 2017 Audits.    

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Prisons and Courts Bill - 21st April 2017 

David Lidington, leader of the House of Commons confirmed yesterday that the Prisons and Courts Bill, including the proposed whiplash reforms, will not proceed through Parliament before its dissolution for the General Election.

MedCo will work closely with the MoJ, at the appropriate time, to assess the implications of any future proposed legislation in this area. In the meantime, MedCo will continue to implement existing MoJ policy; facilitating the sourcing of medical reports in soft tissue injury claims brought under the MoJ’s Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents.

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MedCo User Agreements Acceptance and Financial Links Declaration DEADLINE 5PM TODAY - 6 APRIL 2017 

Direct Medical Experts (DMEs), Indirect Medical Experts (IMEs) and the Primary or Secondary user of an Authorised User (AUT) account or Medical Reporting Organisation (MRO) must log in and click to accept the User Agreement and declare financial links using the new option on the Main Menu.

To assist users, MedCo has published a release note for the new function that can be viewed here.

Users who have not accepted the user agreement and declared financial links by 5PM TODAY - 6 April 2017 - will be suspended.

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Solicitor and Medical Expert Fee Arrangements – 14th March 2017

Medical Experts who have concerns that an instructing Solicitor’s terms and conditions may be in breach of the relevant rules, directions and guidance should contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority. For further information please find MedCo’s FAQ on Solicitor & Expert Fee Arrangements here.

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MedCo User Agreements and Financial Links Declaration Ready to Agree - 11th March 2017

Following the User Agreements and Financial Links announcement on 24th February 2017, MedCo has today notified users that the functionality to accept the User Agreement (UA) and declare financial links is now available.

Direct Medical Experts (DMEs), Indirect Medical Experts (IMEs) and the Primary or Secondary user of an Authorised User (AUT) account or Medical Reporting Organisation (MRO) must now log in and click to accept the UA and declare financial links using the new option on the Main Menu.

To assist users, MedCo has published a release note for the new function that can be viewed here.

All users are required to click to accept the UA and declare financial links by 6 April 2017.

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MedCo Charging Policy – 7th March 2017

As notified in January, MRO renewal fees for April 2017 - March 2018 inclusive have been abated by 23% reflecting MedCo’s 2015 operating surplus.  The abated annual subscription fees for High Volume National MROs will be £57,500.00+VAT and for Regional Based MROs £11,500.00+VAT.  The annual subscription fee for DMEs remains unchanged at £150.00+VAT.

The abated fees only apply to renewals. Therefore, all new Regional Based MRO applicants to MedCo will be subject to the non-abated subscription fee of £15,000.00+VAT.

An existing Regional Based MRO that is successful in its application to move to become a High Volume National MRO will be subject to payment of the full non-abated fee of £75,000.00+VAT and will be reimbursed pro-rata for any remaining Regional Based MRO fee already paid.

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Important Reminder - MedCo User Agreements and Financial Links - 24th February 2017

Following the publication of the new MedCo User Agreements and declaration of Financial Links on 6 January 2017, MedCo has notified users of an update to the confidentiality clause in each User Agreement.  A copy of the communication highlighting the update can be found here.

Users are also reminded that from next month they will be required to click to accept the new MedCo User Agreements and declare their financial links by 6 April 2017.  User Agreement acceptance and declaration of financial links will be an annual requirement from 2017. 

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Government Response to Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (Whiplash) Claims Process - 23rd February 2017 

Part 1 of the Government Response to: Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (‘whiplash’) Claims Process has been published with a proposed implementation date of 1st October 2018.  

The Government has confirmed it will raise the small claims limit for RTA related personal injury claims to £5,000 and will impose a lower threshold of £2,000 for other personal injury claims.  There will be a ban on any offers to settle RTA related whiplash claims without medical evidence and the introduction of a tariff of fixed compensation for pain and suffering and loss of amenity for claims with an injury between 0 and 24 months.

MedCo will be assessing the full impact of this and will continue to work with the MoJ to implement the reforms in due course and as appropriate.

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Important Reminder re. DME Availability and MedCo Practising Addresses - 21st February 2017

MedCo has written to Direct Medical Experts registered on the system to remind them about the facility to update their availability on the system and the requirements related to their practising addresses.

Direct Medical Experts are reminded to set themselves as 'inactive' within their registration details when they are aware that they are going to be unavailable to provide consultations for a period of time.  This enables an expert to temporarily withdraw from the search and selection process.    

Direct Medical Expert MedCo practising addresses must be a true reflection of where the Medical Expert is prepared to see a single claimant and must be an appropriate location where they can provide a consultation. 

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MedCo Reminds MROs and DMES of their Obligations to Upload Case Data - 8th February 2017

MedCo has reminded MROs and DMEs of their obligations to upload case data and that failure to comply may result in enforcement action.  The prognosis period contained in the case data upload should be the prognosis from the accident date and not the examination date.

MROs can find a copy of the MedCo communication here and DMEs can find a copy of the MedCo communication here.

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MedCo Gives Formal Notice of Changes to the MedCo User Agreement – Effective for All Users on 6th April 2017 - 6th January 2016

In accordance with the terms of their existing agreements with MedCo, all users have today been given formal notice of changes to the MedCo User Agreements which will become effective for all Users on 6th April 2017. 

Users will be required to “click to accept” the new terms before 6th April 2017 and MedCo will inform users when the new “click to accept” function is available.

Copies of the revised User Agreements can be found here.  Users should familiarise themselves with these new agreements and should note that there have been some minor amendments to the previously published drafts.

MedCo also draws users’ attention to the MoJ Revised Statement on Direct Financial Links which can be found here.

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MedCo Notifies Users of Planned Updates to User Agreements - 21st December 2016

MedCo has contacted system users to notify them of updates it intends to make to its User Agreements.  MedCo is circulating the changes in advance of service of contractual notice to enable users to familiarise themselves with the changes and begin to consider any modifications their organisation may need to put in place as a result.  Copies of the updated User Agreements can be found here.

MedCo has also drawn users’ attention to the MoJ Revised Statement on Direct Financial Links which can be found here.

 

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AGED MEDCO ANNOUNCEMENTS

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MedCo is the new system to facilitate the sourcing of medical reports in soft tissue injury claims brought under the MoJ’s Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents.

The new system went live on 6th April 2015. Medical Experts, MROs and Commissioners of Medical Reports must register via this website in order to be able to provide or commission medico-legal reports in relation to RTA soft tissue injury claims.

Please take the time to explore the website to familiarise yourself with how the new system will work, user updates, and your registration requirements depending on whether you are a Medical Expert, MRO or Commissioner of Medical Reports

 

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