By: 4 June 2014

The ABI has suggested that the Government sets the fee for GP reports in whiplash medico-legal reports to no more than £170 in is response to the proposals set out by Ministers in relation to whiplash injuries.

According to the ABI, the proposed figure of £180 from the Government would be appropriate if it included the still to be implemented accreditation process.

“However, if it is the intention that the figure is for the current process, then the figure is still too high given that it incorporates an element charged for a referral fee that is now banned under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act”, said the body in its response.

“In our view, therefore, the fee should be no higher than £170. This fee would remove most of the referral fee element and still leave a sufficient profit element for the doctor and the MRO.”

In its response, the association also said that insurers had significant concerns about allowing physiotherapists to produce initial medical reports as they would be unqualified to provide a diagnosis for a psychological element of a claim. This, it said, would lead to the need for a further report from a psychologist, leading to added costs.

“Secondly,” warned the ABI, “inclusion of physiotherapists is likely to lead to a steep rise in the number of recommendations for rehabilitation, where the cost benefit for low value soft tissue injuries has not been demonstrated.”