Fees for medical reports to rise

GPs have welcomed a legal ruling that could boost the fees they receive for medical reports.

Many GPs who provide reports to support insurance claims in personal injury cases are commissioned through specialist medical reporting firms.

But until a High Court ruling last week, doubt remained over whether the firms' fees could be claimed in full as a legitimate cost in an insurance claim.

There was also little transparency over what proportion of the firms' fees were paid to a doctor commissioned to provide a report, and what proportion was a mark-up imposed by the firm.

The BMA expressed concern last year that medical reporting firms were 'forcing down fees' paid to clinicians.

The value of fees for medical reports is variable depending on complexity in each case, but GPs are likely to be paid several hundred pounds per report. The ruling means fees paid to medical reporting firms could be claimed in full from insurers if they are 'reasonable and proportionate'.

BMA professional fees committee chairman Dr Peter Holden said: 'This ruling clarifies that firms can no longer claim that they have to keep doctors' fees low - the costs are claimable.'

nick.bostock@haynet.com.

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