How Significant Are Medical Record Review & Summarization Services For Legal Teams?

by | Published on May 27, 2022 | Medical Record Review

Medical record review services are valuable for attorneys and their legal teams because they provide key medical data that legal professionals need to substantiate their argument and win their case. Following a detailed medical record analysis, a concise and accurate medical case summary is prepared that makes it easy for attorneys to review all relevant medical information. Whether to better manage medical claims, or argue a personal injury case in court, this information is vital. A thorough medical record review and summarization is required if attorneys are to litigate the cases they handle with clarity and proficiency.

Medical records contain important health information such as the patient’s diagnosis, medication, medical history, social history, lab tests, imaging tests and evaluations carried out by treating physicians. This medical data is vital for attorneys to develop their case. If these complex details are summarized and presented in an easy-to-understand form, it makes the attorney’s job much easier. A good summary helps lawyers to identify treatment inconsistencies as well as discrepancies in medical billing or coding.

Medical Record Review for Attorneys – Benefits

Attorneys typically handle multiple cases simultaneously, which makes it difficult for them to keep up to date with the diverse medical information of different clients. Each medical detail including prescriptions and coding need to be used as evidence substantiating their argument. This calls for highly organized medical records and medical record management.

  • Professional medical reviewers can easily distinguish relevant symptoms and treatments that are related to the case. They create accurate reports for all such identified items such as physical therapy report, radiology report, and so on.
  • They create charts and timelines to highlight treatment from applicable periods and index all the information chronologically.
  • The comprehensive medical record analysis helps identify missing records and flag them before the trial.
  • A well-prepared medical summary helps attorneys determine all key information related to the case.
  • Saves the time spent sorting the medical records and speeds up the case settlement process.

The Medical Record Review Process

  • The medical record review services provider receives all medical records through a secure portal. The medical records may also be accessed through EHR systems.
  • Medical record organization with Bates stamping, bookmarking, followed by analysis by the expert medical review team.
  • Preparation of medical record summaries that help easily understand the treatment time frame.
  • Creating an index of healthcare providers.
  • Hyperlinking the summary reports to the relevant medical record for easy navigation.
  • The final output is sent to the client in the desired format, in keeping with their specific requirements.

How Are Medical Summaries Useful?

Medical case summaries provide litigators with an overview of the case, so that they can determine the extent of injury and evaluate the claim. The information helps prepare and identify exhibits and prepare response to interrogatories. Besides, it helps understand any medical conditions the plaintiff may have which may merit consideration. A good summary also aids the attorney to prepare the plaintiff to testify at a deposition or hearing.

Based on individual attorney requirements, the summaries can be comprehensive (detailed), or simple. The former provides an in-depth view of the patient’s medical history. The details provided can be used in toxic tort, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases. It involves a very detailed review of the medical records. Simple summaries are apt for claims cases that have short deadlines. They contain an overview of the medical records with appropriate keywords to describe the care provided for each date of service.

The Significance of an Expert Medical Records Review Team

Given the importance of the end use of medical records in validating plaintiff and defendant claims, their review demands professional medical expertise. The review must be done by professionals with a good understanding of medical terminology. Besides, they must be documentation specialists as well who can prepare fact-based documentation in a manner that is easily comprehensible even to non-medical entities. Professionally drafted medical summaries and reports transform complex medical data into an organized, accurate, and structured format that the attorneys can use exactly as needed.

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