Medical experts must now register with the portal in order to conduct whiplash examinations and reporting
Whiplash claims will now require medical examiner reports from MedCo-registered experts following the launch of the portal this week.
Medical reporting organisations (MROs) and individual medical experts are now required to register with the portal in order to receive commissions for work on whiplash claims.
Medical experts are charged an annual fee of £150 to be included in the portal, while MROs must pay an annual registration fee of either £15,000 or £75,000 depending on how they are classified by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
MedCo Board independent chair Lorraine Rogerson said: “We would encourage users to sign up at their earliest opportunity to minimise any internal disruption to their service whilst we process their registration.
“We are also encouraging users to familiarise themselves with the entry criteria in advance to ensure registrations are approved first time round.”
It is hoped that the introduction of the portal will cut the number and cost of spurious whiplash claims by improving the standard of medical assessment and reporting.
Aviva claims director Rob Townend said: “Aviva welcomes the next phase of MedCo, which should help to separate the relationship between solicitors and the medical agencies they instruct in whiplash-type claims. We also look forward to MedCo working to making sure medical experts are truly independent, accredited and the quality of the medical evidence is improved.
“Adding independence and rigour to the medical assessment process should help ensure that those who need medical treatment get it quickly, while those who are exaggerating or lying about their injury for a ‘whip-cash’ payment get shown the door.”
From 1 January 2016 medical experts will also be required to meet the MoJ’s stamdard for accreditation in order to continue to be registered with MedCo.