Outsourcing Record Retrieval Pays Off

RNG Medical Records

Medical records play a key role in a variety of legal cases and insurance claims. Retrieving medical records when putting together a case has always been a laborious task, with requests typically taking up to a month to complete. It can get costly too, not just because you usually must pay for each record, but also because it can take multiple working hours to prepare and submit requests, as well as track progress. You need all the time you can get to put together a compelling case, but if a lot of that time is being spent on retrieving important documents, then it will not take long before the costs start piling up and delays become a part of the process. 

Consider the following breakdown of this best-case scenario of retrieving records and billing statements:

In House Record Retrieval

Processing Paperwork for Request15 minutes
Faxing or Mailing Paperwork20 minutes
Follow Up with the Provider (3 follow-ups at 10 minutes per follow up)30 minutes
Paying & Tracking the Invoice15 minutes
Reviewing & Scanning Records30 minutes
Total1 hour 50 minutes
Legal Assistant US Avg: $18.34/hour$34.84
Taxes, Equipment, Operating, Insurance, Benefits: 30%$10.45
Total$45.29

This is a best-case scenario of how the entire process plays out and the actual time your staff spends on getting records from the provider. Mind you, this is the best-case scenario. What happens if the request is lost by the provider? Documents are incorrect? The provider takes 10 phone calls before they will send the records. Let us look at additional tasks and issues that arise that can take up hours:

Tasks Requiring Additional Time

Re-submitting a Request10 minutes$3.00
Resending Paperwork10 minutes$3.00
Each Additional Follow Up10 minutes$3.00
Receive Wrong Records
Reach Back Out to Get Corrected
30 minutes$7.80
Affidavit (filling out, quality checking, etc.)30 minutes$7.80
Setting Up Courier Service30 minutes$7.80
Coordinating Courier Service (average 3 visits to provider)60 minutes$15.60

If you must re-submit the request, have 6 extra follow-up calls, and must reach back out to get an affidavit corrected you have just added $48 of expenses for a total of approximately $93.29 for just one request.

By using R&G Medical Legal Solutions, all tasks having to do with managing the retrieval process fall on R&G. The only tasks needed to be done by the firm are submitting the request and providing us with any necessary documents. It is as easy as that!

On top of a budget-friendly process, we have a secure Online Legal Case Management Database System (LCMS) providing anytime-anywhere access to case details, retrieved medical records, and completed work products.  R&Gs secure, online picture archiving and communication system (PACs) allows clients and/or their Expert Witnesses to view radiology images in one location, online, in lieu of pdf/jpeg copies. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) features such as video imaging and panning and digital measuring tools are included in the viewer. There are no additional fees associated with access. 

All of R&G’s medical-legal consulting or document management clients can:

  • Track case deadlines and status of records in real-time
  • Access medical records and completed work products
  • Data is safe and private!  LCMS uses BOTH redundant storage (to protect your data in real-time) AND frequent backups (to protect data in case of disaster)

Please call us at 623-566-3333 to get a free quote today. We can’t wait to hear from you!

How Chronologies Can Assist the Client in Litigation

May 2021 

Chronologies provide an exact and easy to read timeline of medical events. They are an efficient means to parse out relevant data related to a case. When records are voluminous, or a precise and detailed identification of critical events are needed, a chronology may be warranted.  

There are many styles and formats for creating a chronology. Information such as the date, time, place, and provider of care are identified. Further customizable details such bates numbers, an explanation of medical terms/abbreviations, imbedding of pdf medical record pages, and comments regarding standard of care are sometimes included per client preference. Chronologies can be written in a partial verbatim format whereas the nurse utilizes exact words from the chart, or can a summary be written in the nurse’s own words as an interpretation of events. There is no one size fits all chronology. Sometimes a combination of verbatim and pertinent verbatim can be used to produce the most efficient work product.  Pertinent style may be used for events surrounding the alleged injury, while a summary is used for related but noncritical information. Headers within the chronology can be used to identify information such as the source document and author. 

Microsoft Word or Excel can be used as the foundation for a chronology.  The table format is Word is most common.  There is also specialized software to create work products however, given chronologies are sometimes shared, compatibility can be an issue. 

BATES DATE /TIME SOURCE COMMENT 
Pdf 00123 of 000150  Or  JDOE-WAVERLYMED-00010 03/23/2021  0700 Waverly Medical Center / Bill Smith, MD   23 yo presents to ER with cough x3 days & fever 103.2. SOB, unable to complete sentences without cough  SOB = shortness of breath 
Example of a Chron entry

Small, seemingly unrelated events are often a precursor to an injury. Non-medical staff may lack insight and real-world experience needed to understand the relevance to injury and thus, these details are often omitted from the work product. Nurse provided chronologies are a cost-effective way to obtain relevant case data. Through training and education, nurses have in-depth medical knowledge regarding standards of care and the ability to analyze data and link events to breaches in the standard of care, Missing and tampered records as well as gaps in medical care are easily identifiable to a nurse.  

R&G Medical Legal Solution’s nurses provide accurate chronologies and customizable work products. Please call 623-555-3333 today to find out more information about obtaining case related chronologies.