FAST! The Impact of Collecting Medical Records

Man unning across bridgeFAST - A legal practice that primarily caters to personal injury (PI) cases has an intrinsic desire to get matters closed quickly.

One simple reason: They get paid. PI cases are often known for the attorneys' willingness to work on a contingency basis. Simply put, they recover their expenses and collect their agreed-to percentage of the amount awarded to their client once the case is settled or if they win at trial.

Likewise, their client is also floating some costs related to being out of work, getting treatment for injuries, maybe renting an automobile. All of this is pending the outcome of the case.

Therefore, speed is the most valuable commodity to both the attorney's cash flow, and his/her client's satisfaction.

man in suit running

If speed is so important, why then do some attorneys choose to get their own medical records instead of outsourcing? Many incorrectly make assumptions and thus have a misunderstanding of the costs of using a medical record retrieval service. Sometimes it simply seems easier to ask a paralegal, associate or paralegal to make the request. After all, how hard can it be to contact a hospital and get a patient's records when you possess a signed HIPAA authorization form?

image of outsourcing

Here's what's missing from the above equation:

1) Firm staff may be unaware of the client being brought into the ER and the billings that are part of the records needed.
2) Calling any hospital and expecting to immediately find the right person willing to assist with your needs simply isn't reality. No one is sitting waiting for the phone to ring.
3) Assuming a staff member does get through to the correct person, are they prepared to receive records in a variety of fashions including PDFs, Electronic Health Records (EHR), or in some cases, via a DVD, CD or paper copies?

Let's look at the human capital involved

Legal staff, often doing several jobs to keep matters up to date and moving forward. Add a health care provider who also has a overworked staff responding to a request. It's can be like a bad game of Monopoly.
Did you include the upfront payment with the request? No? Back to START. Was the HIPAA release form signed during the new client intake months ago, and is now too old for the provider to accept? Yes? Back to START. Once the records are ready, who will pay the invoice and what format can the firm accept, AND who will review the records to make sure they are actually for the patient you requested (two people with the same name)?

The FAST Alternative

Firm submits request to medical record specialist who knows the contacts for patient records since its their everyday job. They know to check the date on the HIPAA form BEFORE it goes to the healthcare provider, AND to include the requisite fee with the request form. Record Retrieval Solutions (RRS) knows when to follow up, can provide the payment for the records on behalf of the firm, can accept the records regardless of format, and host them in a secure cloud environment. The attorney is notified the records are ready and can download them conveniently. And this all happens FAST by avoiding the "speed-bumps" referenced above.The gears of record retrieval

In the end, the case gets settled or gets to trial FAST. The attorney recovers any costs plus contingency fees FAST and the client is HAPPY to collect the settlement and get on with life - FAST!.

If this sounds familiar, talk to Chuck [email protected]. Chuck Dart is the president of Record Retrieval Solutions and has been handling medical records retrieval for almost 30 years. He can give you great advice on how to incorporate RRS into the workflow of your personal injury, medical malpractice, mass tort or class actions suits. He can also be reached at 866-211-7866. Or visit recordrs.pi.bypronto.com/2

Note: images courtesy of owners