Law Firms: How are you doing against 2016 goals?

2016 CheckpointsTime To Review 2016 Goals (and adjust plans as needed)

At the beginning of each year, most businesses including law firms large and small set out with a set of goals to be accomplished by year-end. These goals are typically reviewed at the end of each fiscal quarter, so that adjustments to income and expense plans can be enacted to keep the plan on track. However, few things in the business of law stay constant enough to wait until the 4th quarter to make final adjustments.

As we approach the midpoint of the 3rd quarter, now is a good time to start inspecting those goals and whether they are tracking to plan. Fortunate businesses will find pleasant good news, while others will note the are behind the pace.

Calculator and tapeOne of the best ways to reduce expense, is to look for those activities that are necessary for compliance with government rules, and which are exceeding their planned expense-often for a good reason. For example, if your firm has been selected to handle a mass tort case involving a medical device, while the new opportunity for an incremental revenue stream is to be praised, it can create problems when it comes to budget already booked for the current fiscal year.

Largely and by their nature, long cases involving mass torts can take years to close. In the meantime, expenses (all or in part) for those cases are being absorbed by the firm until settlement. It can impact morale, as employees are required to work longer hours to capture as much relevant data to support their client as possible. Thus time is wasted, and efficiencies lost as casework moves from one person or group to another. After all, there are only so many hours in a week!

Account and magnifying glassIf confronted with an unplanned expense of significant magnitude that it will affect the profits (and subsequent bonuses of staff) there is another choice, and a better one, than simply bringing on additional temporary resources or working the staff longer hours, especially during the high vacation-planning months of the summer.

Consider another choice.

Outsource the retrieval of medical records to a professional. Be sure to seek someone who can deliver results, and online updates rapidly and frequently. This one step can save a significant part of the workload being shifted, the time to capture the information, and the ability to have at-your-fingertips information for medical records associated with the case.

HIPAA ChartAvoid a-la-carte vendors who merely insert a web page to their list of services, and it happens to include medical record retrieval. It’s simple – in an effort to lose business to a potential competitor whose only business is record retrieval, they add another web page. It’s a 5 minute job for someone with basic WordPress skills.

Let’s take a positive approach instead. Consider a record retrieval practice that has 20+ years of experience, a secure, encrypted website where data and status can be checked from anywhere, and long standing relationships with providers especially hospitals, to match your needs.

passable expensesFinally cost. In many interviews with law firms records management teams, they enjoy the process in place and are reluctant to change it. But part of that reluctance is fear of duplicity of workload, resulting in layoffs of those staffs. And candidly, it might. But your best workers are those who can adapt and embrace change, not be afraid of it. Help them understand that an hour of their time a day to follow up on calls to hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, radiologists and other members of the healthcare community who keep these records, simply isn’t the most strategic, efficient and fastest way of collecting medical records.

goalsSo now really is a great time to take a look at your goals, and where you are meeting and missing those goals. It’s also a great time to test outsourced medical record retrieval while some of your staff is enjoying well deserved vacation. You will be amazed at the cost savings alone vs doing those same requests, compilation and cloud storage in house.
If you have questions about the process or the costs of outsourcing medical records, please feel free to ask me. There's no cost for a consultation. You'll find our fees incredibly affordable, and our staff friendly. Thank you for liking, sharing and your comments which are always welcome and greatly appreciated. Please do press the follow button, so you can catch updates on trends in medical records.

Chuck Dart is the President of Record Retrieval Services and has been in the industry for more than 25 years. He is highly sought after for his insights into electronic health record trends and directions. Contact Chuck [email protected] or via phone at 866-211-7866