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LATEST MEDCO ANNOUNCEMENTS

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MoJ Consultation: ‘Reforming the soft tissue injury (whiplash) claims process’ - 17th November 2016

MedCo continues to implement the MoJ  policy of medical reporting in RTA soft tissue claims and awaits the outcome of the MoJ consultation on ‘proposals to reduce the unacceptably high number of whiplash claims’, which closes on 6 January 2017.

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         MedCo Implements New Search Offer and Suspends Shell Companies - 8th November 2016 

MedCo has today implemented the new search offer, previously announced by the MoJ in March 2016.  The revised offer for MROs, upon completion of a search on MedCo, will be: two high volume national MROs and ten regional based MROs.  No changes will be made to the number of direct medical experts presented.  MedCo also confirms that in interpreting and applying the revised Qualifying Criteria as published by the MoJ on 25th October 2016, 134 identified ‘shell’ companies have today been suspended from the MedCo system and will no longer appear in the MRO search offer.

MROs which have been suspended  from the system for failure to meet the revised Qualifying Criteria, but which have been instructed prior to produce a medical report following selection via MedCo, will be able to fulfil the instruction and have an ongoing obligation to upload their case data. 

Under the new definition of an MRO, included in the revised Qualifying Criteria and designed to demonstrate the types of MRO model acceptable for the purposes of providing medical reports via MedCo; organisations set up purely as a ‘shell’ to gather instructions and forward them on to a related organisation are not allowed.

The revised Qualifying Criteria enable MedCo to ensure that MROs registered on the system, or applying to register, do not undermine the system’s random allocation model.  MedCo applies the revised Qualifying Criteria to determine that MROs are properly constituted businesses with satisfactory systems and sufficient resources in place to operate to the minimum required standards.

Failure to meet the revised Qualifying Criteria will result in suspension with immediate effect from the MedCo system for registered MROs and rejection of applications for new MROs attempting to register.

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MedCo Guidance for MROs on MoJ Revised Qualifying Criteria published 25th October 2016 - 7 November 2016

MedCo has developed and today publishes supporting Guidance for MROs to assist with the interpretation of the revised Qualifying Criteria announced by the MoJ on 25th October 2016.  A copy of the MedCo Guidance for MROs can be found here.

Please contact enquiries@medco.org.uk  if you require further information after reading the MedCo Guidance. 

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MedCo Confirms Details of New MRO Search Offer to be Implemented on 8 November 2016 - 27th October 2016

Further to the publication of the revised Qualifying Criteria by the MoJ on 25th October 2016;  the new search offer, previously announced by the MoJ in March 2016 will be implemented by MedCo on November 8th 2016. The revised offer for MROs, upon completion of a search on MedCo, will be: two high volume national MROs and ten regional based MROs.  No changes will be made to the number of direct medical experts presented.

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MoJ Publishes Revised Qualifying Criteria for MROs Registered with MedCo - 25th October 2016

The MoJ has today published the revised Qualifying Criteria for MROs.  MedCo has developed and will be publishing supporting Guidance for MROs to assist with the interpretation of the revised Qualifying Criteria.  MedCo will implement and enforce compliance with the revised Qualifying Criteria.

The revised Qualifying Criteria will enable MedCo to ensure that MROs currently registered on the system, and MROs applying to register, are properly constituted businesses with satisfactory systems and sufficient resources in place to operate to the minimum required standards.

The revised Qualifying Criteria also include a definition of an MRO which is designed to demonstrate the types of MRO model acceptable for the purposes of providing medical reports via MedCo. Under the definition, organisations set up purely as a ‘shell’ to gather instructions and forward them on to a related organisation are not allowed.  MedCo will be contacting all ‘shell’ companies direct.

MedCo will interpret and apply the new Qualifying Criteria in auditing MROs that are already registered on the system and when considering applications from MROs to register on the system.  The revised Qualifying Criteria will enable MedCo to ensure that MROs registered on the system, or applying to register, do not undermine the system’s random allocation model.  Further to the notices published by MedCo on 20 May, 3 August and 9 September 2016, failure to meet the revised Qualifying Criteria will result in removal from the MedCo system for registered MROs and the rejection of applications from new MROs attempting to register.

MROs which are removed from the system for failure to meet the revised Qualifying Criteria, but which have been instructed to produce a medical report following selection via MedCo, will be able to fulfil the instruction. 

The revised Qualifying Criteria take effect from the date of MoJ publication for all new MROs registering on MedCo and those applying for reclassification as a High Volume National MRO.  For all existing ‘shell’ companies the criteria will be implemented on 8th November 2016 and MedCo will be contacting identified shell companies that do not appear to comply with the revised criteria on or shortly after that date to implement their removal from the system.  For all other MROs, the criteria will be implemented three months from today.

Please contact enquiries@medco.org.uk  if you require further information after reading the revised Qualifying Criteria

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 MedCo Confirms Position re. Multiple Registration Applications – 9th September 2016

As currently worded, MedCo does not consider that the qualifying criteria, set by government in early 2015, allow it to refuse applications for multiple Tier 2 MRO registrations.  Legal advice taken by the MedCo Board in an attempt to address this issue confirmed the position.  

On 16 July 2015 the Ministry of Justice [MoJ] issued a Call for Evidence as part of a review of the qualifying criteria and other matters. Following this it announced on 29 March 2016 that it would put in place new qualifying criteria and a new definition of an MRO to prevent this practice and facilitate the removal of all “multiple registered” Tier 2 MROs from the system. 

When the MoJ publishes the revised qualifying criteria, which will address the problem of multiple registrations, the MedCo Board will take steps to apply the new policy. Organisations that clearly do not meet the new definition of an MRO and fulfil the new qualifying criteria will be suspended from the system and made non-operational.  A full audit programme will follow to ensure all remaining MROs comply with the new criteria.

In these circumstances, and in accordance with the terms of the agreements signed by those companies, registration fees will not be refunded.  MedCo has repeatedly made the MRO community aware of this impending action and continues to warn MROs applying to make multiple registrations.

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MedCo Reinforces Notification re. Multiple Registration Applications – 3rd August 2016

MedCo is continuing to receive multiple registration applications for non-HVN MROs, despite the stated intention to remove ‘shell companies’ from the system when the MoJ publishes its new definition of an MRO and related qualifying criteria. 

MedCo reinforces its earlier notifications stating that in these circumstances related to MoJ policy implementation, and in accordance with the terms of the agreement that applicants are required to sign, registration fees will not be refunded.

Any individual or company making, or considering making, multiple registration applications should refer to the website notification posted on 20th May 2016.  

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Notification on Multiple Registrations/Shell Companies - 20th May 2016

The MedCo Board anticipates that all “multiple registered” non-HVN MROs will be made non-operational and removed from the MedCo system when the Ministry of Justice implements its new policy on multiple registrations and the new definition of an MRO.   In these circumstances, and in accordance with the terms of the agreements signed by those companies, registration fees will not be refunded.

Any individual or company currently considering making multiple applications, prior to implementation of the new MoJ policy, is advised to take particular note of this notification.  MedCo will be communicating with all MROs as applicable, to advise them of these potential policy implications. 

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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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