Executive Chair's Update - 4 February 2021
Published: 4 February 2021
I last wrote to you in November 2020 about some of the key priority areas for MedCo and wanted to provide you with an update on behalf of the MedCo board.
PERSONAL INJURY REFORMS
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) recently announced that the proposed implementation date for the reforms has been pushed back to May.
For further information see: -
As soon as the MoJ publish details of the new qualifying criteria for MROs, rules for DMEs and the relevant pre-action protocol(s) we will notify all Users of the requirements which will entitle them to undertake all MedCo related medical reports and publish details of the registration/audit process for MROs and DMEs who wish to register as operational for unrepresented claimant work.
MEDCO GOVERNANCE AND SUPPLIER REVIEW
The MedCo Board has continued to develop its plan for the implementation of the review recommendations. This work will continue throughout 2021. One of the recommendations which has been considered recently is the appointment to the Board of at least one independent non-executive director with relevant senior experience who could give specialist assistance in areas such as finance and management of supplier contracts. Progress has been made on this and I am hoping to make a further announcement very soon.
ACCOUNTS 2020/BUDGET 2021
In my last update in November 2020 I indicated that management accounts for year end 31 December forecast a deficit of £1.4 million and that there was a forecast for surplus funds held at year end of £2.8 million. (down from £3.25 million at year end 2019).
I am pleased to inform you that efforts made by the Board to decrease costs has resulted in substantial savings of approximately £400,000. Subject to audit, the management accounts for the year ended 31 December 2020 are therefore likely to result in surplus funds of £3.2 million carried forward to 2021.
Operating costs will rise in 2021 due to increases in operating costs of our managed services provider, as well as other third party supplier plus continuing costs associated with the implementation of the forthcoming personal injury reforms.
CHARGING POLICY – 2021
For some time, the MedCo Board has been considering the current charging methodology with a view to implementing a model that is fairer and spreads the cost of funding MedCo across all users of the service to reflect the level of usage by, and services provided to, all who use the system.
A new charging policy with effect from 6th April has been agreed by the Board. Full details and official notice will be published shortly.
For now I can confirm that there will be no abatement of annual fees for MROs this year but the temporary facility to pay by advance quarterly instalments, which was introduced last year, will continue until April 2022. The annual registration fees for DMEs will be increased and additional charges will be raised depending on the number of uploaded reports. For the first time IMEs will now be required to pay an annual registration fee. There will continue to be no charge to authorised users during the current year but this will be reviewed for 2022.
The review for April 2022 charges will also include the current MRO charging methodology.
The MedCo Board fully appreciates the implications of increasing fees for its Users at this time but it is of paramount importance that they take every step to ensure the organisation’s future sustainability as well as performing their statutory/fiduciary duties as directors.