Big savings for insurers as two top UK medical reporting companies join up

The merger of two of the UK’s largest medical reporting companies could transform the market and save insurers considerable amounts of money.

Backed by private equity, Premier Medical and Medico-Legal Reporting merged last week to become the UK’s largest provider of medical opinion, claiming 15% of the market.

Insurers and medical reporting companies have traditionally had an acrimonious relationship that has sometimes resulted in drawn out battles over fees.

The ruling in Woollard v Fowler in 2006 paved the way for the Association of Medical Reporting Organisations and 10 leading insurers to reach a deal on fee caps.

But the merger could result in additional savings by tightening up the medical reporting process and pushing the smaller or less sound companies out of the market.

Andrew Welch, partner at law firm Stephensons, said: “This will enable the new organisation to have a significant impact on doctors because they (Premier Medical Group) can dictate some fairly tight terms which could result in savings for insurers.”

Jason Powell, chief executive of the new Premier Medical Group said: “This is the biggest deal of its kind in the industry. This creates an interesting proposition for insurers because it provides the opportunity to drive down their unit costs.”

Welch said insurers would find it easier to work with a smaller number of large organisations