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Medical records play a key role in a variety of legal cases and insurance claims. With certain practice areas being dependent on the information they contain, it’s important to have a quick, reliable, and secure way of retrieving them. Moreover, if the process is handled incorrectly, it can result in a breach of regulatory compliance. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the process to reduce costs and better manage your time spent putting together a case.
Here are four essential tips to make that happen:
#1. Obtain the necessary authorization
Every medical record contains highly sensitive information, hence it often takes up to a month to obtain them. Every organization that handles medical records or other patient health information (PHI) must be HIPAA-compliant. To request a record in the first place, you’ll need a signed authorization form provided by a plaintiff. However, the processes for obtaining these authorizations vary considerably from one organization to the next. Make sure you’re aware of the processes a given healthcare provider or insurance company uses to obtain the proper documentation before you begin.
#2. Understand the scope of the request
One of the biggest challenges in medical records retrieval is ensuring that each request is received by the correct party. Another is identifying the scope of the request. Since it can take several weeks to obtain a medical record, with each request being priced individually, it helps to fully understand what sort of information you need before you make a request. If your approach is too broad, you’ll only end up wasting time and money, but the same applies if you’re too specific. If, for example, you need all the records collected during a specific hospital stay, then be sure to include those requirements in your request.
#3. Gather the right information
Another common challenge of medical records retrieval is the lack of information consistency. This is one of the main causes of low retrieval rates. The first step is to identify where medical records are located to determine the most suitable point of contact. To locate records quickly, you should go after the right data points. These include tax identification numbers, rendering provider addresses, and national provider identifiers. With this information, you can provide a frame of reference for looking into historical data and you can find the right contact details efficiently.
#4. Track and manage each request
It typically takes around 30 days to fulfill a records retrieval request, although we at Record Retrieval Solutions have managed to achieve an average turnaround time of 12 days. To prevent undue delays, it’s important to track and manage every request, preferably through a HIPAA-compliant online portal provided by your records retrieval company. By doing so, even if issues that can halt the progress of the request arise, you’ll be able to resolve them faster. Tracking will also reduce the chances of missing deadlines or struggling to obtain the necessary information at the last minute. Organize your records effectively for easy analysis and reference later on.
Record Retrieval Solutions helps lawyers and insurance companies work smarter and faster with easy online ordering and an average delivery time of 12 days. Call us today to get started.