Plan for new medical reporting regime to speed settlements

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is to begin discussions on introducing a predictable costs regime for medical reports, to speed up settlements and reduce insurers' claims costs.

The move follows a recent experts forum hosted by the CJC which concluded that predictable medical costs should be extended to all lower value, fast-track cases.

The CJC is now set to convene a 'big tent' discussion with the insurance industry to thrash out the details.

A statement from the CJC read: "Predictable fees for the cost of obtaining such medical evidence should be the subject of an industry agreement facilitated by the CJC. These provisions should, after review, be extended to all fast-track cases."

Earlier this month, the Association of Medical Reporting Organisations, which represents 60% of the medical reporting market, said it would offer fixed fees on certain reports.

The CJC's involvement will expand the regime across the market.

' Rehabilitation providers could be the next body in the insurance supply chain to come under statutory regulation.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is understood to be progressing the idea after it was alluded to in a speech last month by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer.

Lord Falconer said: "The Department for Work and Pensions has already committed to take forward many of the issues highlighted by the workshop [into rehabilitation] such as the importance of standards and accreditation."