By Mike Riggs/The Washington PostA $500 million, five-year contract to perform MRI scans for $5 million worth of cars has been delayed by a contract dispute.
The Department of Motor Vehicles, the agency that enforces state rules on insurance, has canceled the contract for a two-year period, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The dispute dates to a 2012 contract that required the company to pay for the medical scans, but not for the work performed on the cars.
The contract, signed by Gov.
Jay Inslee, also included a $250,000 payment for the testing of the vehicles’ engines.
Inslee initially signed the agreement with the state’s insurance company, which provided $25 million of the cost, and it had been scheduled to expire at the end of June.
Inslees office spokesman Bill Molloy told the Post that the suspension is unrelated to the MRI contract.
Insurance companies have been fighting over the MRI contracts in recent years, and the industry has struggled to find a way to negotiate prices for a procedure that is typically not covered by insurance.
Insurers argue that MRI scans are valuable for predicting whether an insured person will have an accident, but a 2015 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said the cost of MRI scans could increase to about $1,000 per scan.
The study also said that MRI scanners may not provide enough data to provide accurate information about whether someone is in an accident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.