Advisory Concept Evolvers: 7 Medical Record Tips For Faster Record Retrieval

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These 7 tips from Advisory Concept Evolvers will allow you to acquire wanted medical record information without risking your litigation timetable.

So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.”
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, August 9, 2019 / -- ++ By Maryann Fasanella ++

7 ACE Tips To Help Your Law Firm Get Medical Records Faster and Easier

At Advisory Concepts Evolvers (ACE) we have spent a lot of time talking about how to get clients into your firm. Now we turn our attention to what happens once your law firm marketing strategy has gotten them into your portfolio. Now, you may be thinking that medical record retrieval is only applicable in a personal injury trial, but this type of evidence has been used successfully in real estate transfer and tax fraud.

The value of having medical records at your fingertips in an instant is not to be taken lightly or for granted. Here are 7 tips from your friends at Advisory Concept Evolvers that will allow you to acquire wanted medical record information without risking your litigation timetable.

ACE Tip #1: Filing Once means Filing Fast

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your records will not arrive in time is to place an incorrect request. This is not to suggest that it is commonplace for a records request for John Smith be filed when you meant Jane Doe, but with HIPAA compliance you will probably need to refile if you meant Jon Smith.

Small typos and errors in the filing can equal days of delay which can derail a case that should be easily won. Double or even triple-checking the forms for correct and complete information can be the difference between filing fast and filing failure.

ACE Tip #2: Location Location Location

In the days of house visits and small practice, gathering records could be as simple as stopping by the doctor’s office and requesting files. However with hospitals becoming larger and larger and the types of medical care provided in a single facility more and more diverse, knowing where to place your request is paramount. Merely sending a request to the records office is no longer an option, so knowing what specialized department has the records you are seeking is a crucial time-saver.

ACE Tip #3: Compliance with your Wallet

The cost associated with medical record retrieval can be significant, but their value in a trial’s outcome more than outweighs the initial expenditure. However, making sure that you are not being overcharged for those retrievals can mitigate the cost to your client, which cannot be understated. A lawsuit is a very stressful time for everyone involved, so keeping the charge to your client’s wallet as light as possible should be a goal of any well-rounded law firm marketing strategy or legal marketing strategy.

Now, federal regulations set down in HIPAA and HITECH prohibit price gouging, but that doesn’t stop some companies from charging rates allowed in older state legislation so check carefully that the company you are using is HIPAA compliant.

ACE Tip #4: You can send it, but don’t Forget it

In the 80s and 90s, there was a pitchman named Ron Popeil that had a reputation for a line of humorous infomercials for a variety of specialty appliances and gadgets. One of which was a rotisserie cooker that you could “Set it and forget it.” I bring this up not as a piece of advice, but a cautionary tale. The task of placing a request for record retrieval is a complex and daunting task. However, placing the request is only the first step in actually getting the records in hand.
Just as you would expect a client to follow up with you on the status of pending litigation, make sure you follow up with the companies you are working with to get your medical records in a timely fashion. Federal law provides companies 30 days from the receipt of your request to produce results, but some companies can hug that line quite closely. Sending a quick reminder to keep you and your request on their radar can help ensure that your request is not lost in the shuffle.

ACE Tip #5: Trust your Process

With all of this talk on the necessity of picking and working with the right company to retrieve your medical records, you may think that we have departed from our narrative. Here is where we bring your lawyer marketing strategy back into play.
Think of your medical records request process as just another facet of your overall marketing strategy. In a world where competition is becoming more and more global and finding a replacement firm is easier and easier, consistency and diligence must be front and center in everything that you do.

Starting from a baseline of a repeatable process will allow you to streamline your requests, making the turnaround time much shorter. Keeping your requests consistent will also allow for the companies you work with to get comfortable with your process as well, making the need for repeat inquiries minimal. Also, make sure this process is written down for the inevitable eventuality that someone else needs to file a request in your absence. You are only as good as your last case, so make sure that you and your partners have the blueprint in place to ensure every case is handled like clockwork.

ACE Tip #6: Automating your process

In days past, the actual retrieval of medical records required going to a records clerk, handing over forms to a clerk, who would then physically go into row upon row of records to retrieve your information. Thankfully, in today’s world of global networks and instantaneous transmission of information, there are automated methods of medical records retrieval.

Selecting one of these services can ensure faster turnaround, as well as helping to enforce the consistency we just talked about being such a cornerstone of a successful process.

ACE Tip #7: You’ve got the information, Now What?

Once you have the information in hand, you may be tempted to declare victory. However, navigating the massive pile of information contained in these records can make the act of obtaining them seem like a walk in the park. That’s where your diligence in selecting a service will pay off. Make certain that when you are choosing a service to help you automate your process, you select one that will keep assisting you through the entire lifecycle of the medical records retrieval process.

A service that merely hands the records off to you is only by your side for half the battle. You wouldn’t bring your expertise to half of a case, so you shouldn’t accept anything less from your medical records retrieval service. Make sure your service includes features like in-depth search capability and availability for integration with your existing systems.

Though every case may not have cause for medical records, for those that do they play a vital role. Many a verdict can and has turned on evidence that could only be provided by the information presented in these records. Make sure that your comfort level, and that of your firm, is unshakable.

Though we have spent most of our time in these posts talking tips, the Advisory Concept Evolvers team has a deep knowledge and understanding about law firm marketing company strategy, where we bring the same level of expertise and dedication to this important area of your practice.

Please contact us at (215)-510-2167 and ask for Maryann Fasanella. Her team will help you navigate through this complex world of medical records retrieval. After all, we believe in what we preach: getting clients through the door means much less if you cannot deliver excellent service consistently once they are through.

Maryann Fasanella, Founder/CEO
Advisory Concept Evolvers
+1 215-393-8700
email us here
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