One year on from the implementation of MedCo it appears the medical legal sector is yet to come to terms with the changes.
In just one year we have witnessed the goliath’s of the industry fight for their very existence and in some instances, by using unauthorised tactics increase their market share. We have witnessed legal challenges to the Governments whiplash reforms come and go, the introduction of Shell Companies to circumvent the randomisation process and the general gaming of the MedCo system to maintain the status quo.
The Government and MedCo have been slow to react with the outcome of the Governments call for evidence taking over 6 months to be published. This set against the background of launching MedCo from start to finish in under 12 weeks! As we sit here today medical reporting organisations are struggling to effectively plan their future business strategy as the detail of the planned reforms is yet to be published by MedCo and as we all know ‘the devil is in the detail’.
The MedCo system generates revenue in excess of £114 million per annum, so where will the industry be in 12 months’ time?
It appears that to some companies ‘the end justifies the means’ when it comes to protecting their market share so will any of the planned reforms have any real effect?
- If the government increases the small claims limit what effect will it have on the volume put through MedCo?
- If the government proceeds with its proposals to remove a claimant’s right to claim for a whiplash type injury, will there even be a sustainable MRO model?
- How many companies will still be operating within the sector once the shell companies have been removed?
- Will we see further new entrants to the sector, or businesses exiting?
- Will referral fees be banned, and if so what effect will that have on competition?
- Will there be consolidation within the marketplace through mergers and acquisitions?
- Will there be regulation of the industry?
- Will MedCo be extended to other claim types?
As with all things Medico-Legal there are more questions than answers so to paraphrase Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ “it is not the strongest or the fittest of the species that will survive, but, the species that is most readily able to adapt to change”
The industry will face future challenges so companies and experts looking to flourish in a highly competitive medical reporting environment will need to focus on the basics, quality, and clarity, speed of response and customer satisfaction.
By getting the basics right and delivering the service on time, first time, every time, companies will be able to adapt to the future challenges, evolve and innovate and increase their market penetration.