On Friday, personal injury professionals descended upon London's Russell Hotel for the 2013 Motor Accident Solicitors' Society conference. Premex Group CEO Donald Fowler was among the speakers in a packed schedule of events…
With the Ministry of Justice's response to the whiplash consultation arriving just in time, the agenda for #Mass13 took on added significance. After the MOJ had indicated that it is "attracted" to the outlawing of 'pre-med' offers and wants to push ahead with the introduction of independent medical panels, Donald Fowler, CEO of Premex Group explained how future developments could benefit the market.
Joined by Irwin Mitchell partner Matt Currie and Senior Claims Manager at Aviva, Andrew Wilkinson, Donald explained how the MOJ would appear to have taken on board the recommendations submitted to them in the cross industry consensus paper put together by the ABI, MASS, AMRO and FOIL in the summer. "We are excited by the prospect of working with the MOJ to put the flesh on the bones of the paper," Donald told delegates.
He added that Premex welcomes the accreditation of medical expert proposals but "sanctions" (e.g. loss of accreditation) must accompany the scheme and apply to any experts falling short on either the quality or independence fronts.
"It is essential in our view that we need a system whereby certain mandatory pieces of information from the medical report are captured electronically and centrally in order that the industry can start to highlight any outliers in opinion," he declared. "Auditing and peer reviewing each and every medical report is neither practical nor cost effective, so we need a system that provides some direction and focus to any new audit/peer review system and that is where electronic capture of injury details and related prognosis periods comes in."
In the subsequent Q&A, Donald was asked about whether regulation of medical agencies themselves might be a way forward. "The accreditation principle should apply not only to individual experts but also to MRO's themselves," he replied. "Any professional outfit that is serious about quality and independence should have nothing to fear or hide."