Doctors Chambers has followed Speed Medical and set up a number of Tier 2 MRO alternative names on Medco.
The Tier 1 agency has made the move amid rumours that national agencies have seen a drastic fall in report enquiries since the introduction of the portal which deals with soft tissue medical reports. It is thought that nearly 20 MROs have registered as Tier 1 operators.
Litigation Futures has reported that Doctors Chambers’ CEO, Dr Bippon Vinayak, believes that the playing field in MedCo is not level. This has lead the MRO, which also owns Tier 1 agency Bodycare Clinics, to establish ten new Tier 2 businesses.
Litigation Futures has said that MedCo is only starting to audit MROs over their eligibility to be in the top tier of the portal now. Tier 1 MROs need to be able to process at least 40,000 instructions on an annual basis, have a minimum of two years’ experience, and have national coverage.
“I am hopeful that the audit process will be robust and correctly identify the companies that can provide the level of service required for that tier,” Dr Vinayak told Litigation Futures.
He called the current state of MedCo as ‘version 0’ and hopes that once the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) carries out its promised six-month review, it will improve the portal and tighten up the rules governing it.
Earlier this month, Speed Medical’s commercial director, Chris Chatterton, told Claims Media that the MROs worst fears had been realised and that its volumes had been drastically reduced.
“We’re very concerned,” he said. “It is fundamentally anti-competitive. “Despite representations from across the industry, MedCo do not appear to be making any changes.”
To counter its drastic loss of business, Speed Medical admitted to setting up multiple entries on the portal, which went live in mid-May.
“This is essentially an attempt to pull back our market share, lost through no fault of our own,” said Chatterton. “Many solicitors want to work with us because we provide a great service and so this enables this to happen. If Medco was working correctly there would be no need for the additional agencies.”