Hyderabad: Public sector insurance companies have stated that they will only reimburse bills if the laboratory reports are countersigned by a registered medical practitioner.
These instructions have been issued based on the orders of the Medical Council of India and the Supreme Court. Regional branches and third-party administrators have been asked to check medical reports and not grant reimbursements unless they are signed by a registered practitioner.
The Medical Council of India in its order dated June 14, 2017, has said that only persons qualified with an MBBS or an MD in pathology, biochemistry, or microbiology are eligible to sign laboratory reports.
80 per cent of laboratory reports are signed by persons with M.Sc or PhD degrees in applied sciences, life sciences, medical microbiology, medical biochemistry or biotechnology. This practice is not followed in accredited hospitals and diagnostic centres as the rules do not permit it.
The issue was stirred up when the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories sought clarification on who was eligible to sign medical reports. Insurance companies have taken a cue from this and amended their reimbursement policy.