What to look for when choosing a medical records retrieval service

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Medical records retrieval can be a time-consuming task fraught with potential pitfalls such as breaches of compliance and lengthy delays. It’s also a critical function for insurance and legal firms, which rely heavily on their abilities to settle claims quickly. Choosing the right solutions can help reduce risk and free up employee time to focus on value-adding business tasks, but there are some key considerations to think about first:

#1. Proven fast turnaround

If it’s taking your firm a month to retrieve medical records and resolve cases, employees will end up wasting valuable time, and customers will start losing patience. That’s one of the most important reasons why companies are moving to cloud-based solutions where all records are stored in encrypted online repositories for immediate download. You should be looking for a service which provides an average turnaround time of 12-14 days.

#2. Web-based delivery system

Even though paper is gradually being phased out to make way for digital documents, they’re still being used by some organizations. That’s why you should opt for a service which covers the pickup, copying, and digitization of paper records before uploading them to an online repository. This means you’ll be able to request retrievals any time of day, everyday of the year and track the status of requests in progress through a web-based dashboard.

#3. Core competencies

One of the most important questions to ask any potential service provider is whether records retrieval is among their core competencies. Some vendors in the legal sector provide it as an addon service, which is generally something you should stay clear of. That’s because records retrieval is a highly detail-orientated task which involves handling highly sensitive information. It’s imperative you hire a service provider which is fully dedicated to this task.

#4. Knowledgeable employees

Records retrieval is a lot more complex than many people give it credit for. It requires expertise and dedication, as well as complete compliance with HIPAA legislation. When evaluating providers, be sure to ask them about the security procedures and training programs they have in place. Their employees should have a thorough understanding of any relevant federal, state, and corporate rules governing the release of medical records in various jurisdictions.

#5. Cost per retrieval

Cost is one of the major factors, though you should never make it your number-one priority when it comes to handling sensitive medical records.

Choosing the right provider is an investment, since it frees up time for your staff. Some service providers offer volume discounts, but this can result in undesirable consequences such as reduced quality of service. Instead, you should negotiate fees based on your specific needs and prioritize transparency rather than discounts.

#6. Industry expertise

Experience is often the deciding factor when choosing a record retrieval service. It can be risky working with a record retrieval company that’s only been in business for a year. They may not have the experience with the types of records your firm deals with, and they may still have process bottlenecks that affect their turnaround times. What’s more, there’s no guarantee their business will survive long enough to support your firm in the long run.

The most reliable providers are the ones who have been operating smoothly for two to three decades. This demonstrates they have long-standing experience and expertise in the record retrieval field, have streamlined retrieval processes, and are able to understand the pain points unique to your industry. Working with record retrieval experts who have over 30 years of industry experience also shows they can adapt to frequently changing regulations and trends.

A simple website visit can tell you how long a record retrieval company has been in business, but another great way to gauge experience levels is to read reviews and case studies.

#7. Retrieval capacity

Naturally, you need to know that your retrieval vendor can handle the volume of requests you expect, while also being able to provide some leeway for periods of increased demand. But expertise and workflow efficiency offer much better insights into the capacity than the size of the vendor alone.

Some vendors, particularly those operating at a national level, are severely understaffed. Instead of focusing on the size of the company or the number of offices, look for success rates.
Record Retrieval Solutions helps law firms and insurance companies settle claims faster and with less risk. Call us today to get top-notch service from California’s leading record retrieval provider.

About The Author

img Chuck Dart
Chuck Dart started in the record retrieval business three decades ago. As the industry evolved from analog to digital, he recognized an opportunity to create a single, simple online solution that standardizes the record request and retrieval process across the entire healthcare industry.