Law firms, insurers, lawyers, medico-legal case review firms, plaintiffs and life care planning agencies require accurate review of medical records to understand the case, for trial preparation, and for medico-legal and other claim handling requirements. A proper medical case history and summary will enable these professionals to have a clear idea of the various medical aspects involved.
To prepare for product liability, personal injury, medical malpractice or workers’ compensation cases, lawyers have to review, interpret, and analyze the facts and figures in a medical record. This helps them find the relevant evidence, understand the case details and prepare for the trial.
The medical record analysis process involves
- Collecting and sorting medical records
- Analyzing and interpreting the data
- Creating medical chronology/timeline
- Making summarized written reports
All these processes can be done either with an in-house team of reviewers, which is an expensive option or by outsourcing the task to an experienced medical record review company.
Here are the pros and cons for each approach:
In-house Record Review
|Easy to access||Expensive option|
|Direct control of the team||Time-consuming|
|Better use of resources||Outdated methods|
Easy to access: By arranging an in-house review team, it is easy to manage the process and get access to case summaries without waiting for a call back. You can also easily communicate with them, manage the team and solve any issues.
Direct control of the team: Your in-house review team is always accountable to you and this makes them more productive and responsive. Your team will be more loyal to your firm than an outsourced professional.
Better use of resources: As you have already invested for the best record review team, result-oriented processes and resources, now you can make the best use of those resources without any additional costs.
Expensive option: Managing a fully functional medical record review team in-house is more expensive than outsourcing the task. Along with investing in infrastructure and technology from time to time, you have to pay for the hired paralegal staff and also provide them with additional benefits such as insurance, paid leave and more. You have to implement proper hiring strategies to get better results.
Time-consuming: If your team is not skilled and knowledgeable in handling large volume medical records, the process will become time-consuming and really complex to understand. Further, this will delay your trial preparation too, affecting your firm’s workflow.
Outdated methods: Your team may not be up to date with the changing record review standards, as your firm’s primary goal is not to organize medical records, but to serve your clients who need legal assistance. They may not be aware of the current technology options or best practices to speed up the review process and so they will be using outdated methods. Without proper training, paralegals and other staff of law firms may not understand the complexities of medical records and medical terminologies.
Outsourcing Record Review
|Expert resources||Not flexible|
|Time and cost savings||No access to the team|
|Stringent data security|
Here, the record review and analysis tasks can be outsourced to expert medical review service providers.
Expert resources: By outsourcing to professional service providers, you can benefit from the services of extensively qualified staff to summarize medical records for Personal Injury, Mass Tort or Medical Malpractice cases. Experienced reviewers will be familiar with even complex medical terminology and can easily work with highly complex medical records of all types, and even handwritten notes. They can also identify any missing information in the records, with their industry knowledge.
Save time and cost: By outsourcing to a highly skilled and experienced medical record review team, you can save time and speed up the process of organizing records. You can also save on infrastructure costs and the salaries, perks, and other benefits provided to an in-house medical record review team.
Work transparency: Experienced providers begin by indexing the medical records in the first place, which helps to provide the estimated time and budget needed for the completion of a project. There will be no hidden fees too.
Stringent data security: Along with staying compliant to HIPAA guidelines, professional litigation support service providers also ensure complete security and privacy of the data given to them. They follow multilevel QA process to reduce errors and maximize accuracy in the reports.
Advanced technology: Being specialists in record review, they use advanced electronic sorting and data extraction technology to make the process efficient and smooth, along with facilitating the incorporation of customized formatting for the documents of each client.
Not flexible: As such companies will be providing services for more than one client, they may not be able to provide you with customized solutions specific to your organization’s needs. However, this may not be the case with every firm. Professional outsourcing firms take effort to understand each client’s unique requirements and provide services within the required turnaround time.
No access to the team: Unlike in-house, you may not have physical access to the team and communication with this team will be limited too. But, if you are partnering with a reliable provider, they provide round-the-clock support to clients so that you can communicate you concerns with the project managers at any time.
Outsourcing has more advantages than in-house solutions. But, before outsourcing and handing over sensitive medical records to the medical record review company, make sure they have relevant experience in the industry. Make use of any free trial option provided. Also, check out the turnaround times they offer and the firm’s track record as well as customer testimonials to know whether their clients are happy with their services.