Don't sell yourself short if doing traffic injury reports
From Dr Michael Rosen
St Helens, Merseyside
I cannot let your article on GP traffic injury reports (News, 19 November) pass without adding some observations. The principal reason why the agencies are in business is because the law firms encourage them despite so many being nothing more than an administrative shambles.
The law firm benefits financially. The agency buys the case from the law firm typically for £30 to £50 depending on negotiated terms.
The report a GP provides to the agency for £75-£90 is in turn billed to the law firm for £250-£300. Of that, there is the payment to the doctor, payment for the case, and the remainder is 'administration'.
It is not difficult to understand the financial advantage to a busy law firm which might open 100 new personal injury cases a month.
At the end of a case, the agency sends its bill for some £300 to the law firm. The insurance company ends up paying £300 for a report which in fact cost no more than £90. Am I missing something here?
Why should a busy GP be happy with £75-£90 to prepare a report for the courts when for roughly the same fee, he can do an insurance medical examination which involves checking boxes, and adding a short comment.
Payment from the insurance company is usually within the week, and there is no comeback. If all GPs refused to do the work for what the agencies pay, their days would be numbered.