Collecting and reviewing medical records are very important, when building a mass tort case. These records not only provide proof of use, injury, and treatment, but can also identify pre-existing conditions that might limit or eliminate recovery. As mass tort litigation involves a large number of plaintiffs against one or more defendants in a state or federal court, handling the case also requires attorneys to review voluminous medical records of those affected people to prove the case. Plaintiff fact sheet preparation and mass tort medical record review are both time-consuming and often overwhelming tasks. Not only personal injury attorneys, paralegals, medical-legal consultants, independent medical examiners and legal nurse reviewers also need to analyze medical records to understand the facts, causation, and losses relevant to a case.
In a mass tort case, a plaintiff’s harm can be established mainly by including
- a diagnosis of the injury or illness
- a record of all medical care received, and
- the prediction of future treatment
The types of damages that are compensable in a mass tort case under state and federal law include current and future medical bills, injury-related transportation costs, pain and suffering, lost work time related to your injury, and disability and disfigurement. Chronologically sorted and well-organized medical records make it easy for attorneys and expert legal consultants to access the records for any specific information much faster. The medical record review process involves collecting and organizing the information received, reviewing the medical records, and summarizing the key points on the injuries and harm caused by the defendant. Attorneys and law firms are now considering partnering with a litigation support provider to handle medical record review tasks easily.
Benefits of outsourcing Mass Tort Medical Record Review
Here are the benefits of outsourcing mass tort medical record review –
Save time and cost
A patient’s medical records constitute hundreds of pages of private medical information and comprehensive medical terminologies. Examining hundreds or even thousands of medical records is time consuming for attorneys. Extra attention is crucial for accurate review of medical records. Managing an in-house record review team and training them is also costly, when compared to outsourcing the task to professional companies. Law firms can also save on the cost of hiring, training and employing paralegals and other support staff to review the medical records. Referring unorganized data will also make it difficult to access crucial data from the records. Some of these records may be duplicate ones, which makes it difficult to access crucial information.
A skilled medical records reviewer will be familiar with the complexities involved in the review process and the team will be able to immediately deal with the task at hand, and ensure the best possible outcome in a timely manner.
Services from an expert team of reviewers
Professional medical record review companies will have a team or expert record reviewers and nurse consultants with experience in overseeing numerous mass tort projects for injuries caused by toxic exposures, defective medical devices and dangerous drugs. Paralegals and other staff will be well-versed in understanding medical records, medical terminologies and standard medical practices.
These professional medical record reviewers can assist mass tort attorneys with diverse services including
- Collecting and organizing medical records
- Bookmarking and highlighting relevant content
- Reviewing the medical records
- Preparing the medical case chronology
- Determining case merit
- Summarizing the key points on the injuries and harm caused by the defective product or drug
To review those voluminous medical records, it is mandatory for the medical records review expert to have soft skills and subject knowledge. Skilled reviewers also provide a first or second medical opinion from a provider on any issue in the case. They will be knowledgeable about the medical jargons and they know exactly what data is missing.
Improve work efficiency
Professional medical review companies help law firms to manage their mass tort cases, freeing their time to concentrate on the litigation rather than administrative matters. With an expert team to support in medical record review, attorneys can focus more on the non-medical perspectives of the case. Outsourcing medical records retrieval and review for mass tort cases allows law firms to focus on other important case-related-tasks, such as investigating and proving liability, causation, and damages.
Proper management of medical records is crucial to collect relevant details that support the case. Expert litigation support providers maintain a very strong data security infrastructure which will keep the confidential information and PHI highly secure. Professional companies will stay compliant with HIPAA’s strict data security and privacy standards. They’ll have strong privacy and security measures, and will conduct risk assessments and self-audits regularly.
When outsourcing mass tort medical record review, make sure that the litigation support provider you are relying on is staffed with experts in the medico-legal profession who have the experience of having handled thousands of similar cases.