Kolkata, November 8: In order to streamline the system of insurance policy, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India directed all the Third Party Agencies (TPAs) across the country to get the pathological reports of policyholders countersigned by registered medical professionals who have postgraduate (PG) qualification in pathology.
LIC has also directed the TPAs to sensitise all the licensed diagnostic centres empanelled by these agencies in the country to follow the directives with immediate effect.
Rattled by a section of TPA-listed pathological laboratories’ practice of allegedly engaging doctors who don’t have PG medical qualification in pathology to countersign on test reports of willing insurance policy makers, LIC has decided to take such strong measures to overhaul the service.
On 30 October, LIC’s executive director (NR&R) wrote to all TPAs to follow the instructions. “We have been informed by IRDAI vide their letter ref: IRDAI/Life/DARPG/ 2018-19 dated 10.10.2018, that as per the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 12.12.2017 it is mandatory for all the laboratory reports to be countersigned only by a registered practitioner with post graduate qualification in pathology,” the executive director’s letter states.
“As such you are hereby advised to inform all the diagnostic centres empanelled by you to adhere to above instructions with immediate effect,” the letter went to state further.
Sources in the LIC’s different divisions in Kolkata felt that the move will help the policyholders get their medical treatment claims in a prompt and hassle-free system.
“As per the existing system, LIC recommends for medical examinations including pathological tests if any person seeks to make an insurance policy of more than Rs 10 lakh. We send the person along with necessary documents required for the policy to the concerned TPA for medical tests and it’s the look out of the agency to get the tests done at its listed diagnostic laboratories.
“The new move will definitely help the insurance holders a fair and prompt service,” said Mr Shyamsundar Hazra, an LIC agent in Howrah.
“The TPA sends the test report to the concerned division of the LIC maintain confidentiality,” he added.
“LIC’s directive clearly indicates that all pathological reports done in TPA-listed labs must be verified and countersigned by qualified pathologists. Reports signed only by biochemists can’t be entertained for making life insurance policy,” said a senior pathologist associated with a government hospital in Howrah.
“But many pathological laboratories engage pathologists who are doing rampant practice of pre-signing on blank report pads of tests without physically visiting the concerned laboratories. This is a very dangerous trend,” he felt. (Agencies)