In medical litigation, once the medical records are all obtained, the next step is organizing them systematically. This will help anyone in your law office team quickly and easily access the required records. To save time, effort and money, you could consider utilizing medical record review services. A medical review company with a good reputation and considerable experience in the industry will take care of each aspect of the review process right from requesting the medical records through organizing, reviewing and summarizing them. Typically, the review team includes medical professionals such as physicians and registered nurses and this ensures a more professional and insightful review. Medical records can be organized in different ways, and each law firm may want it done in a specific way.
- Organizing the Medical Records Chronologically: In this method, the records are arranged chronologically regardless of the provider. This arrangement is ideal if you want to view a timeline of the injured worker’s overall course of treatment.
- Organizing the Records by Medical Provider: This is advantageous if you want the services provided by a particular provider to stay together. This also ensures that all medical records from that provider are in one place. You can have the records organized in chronological or reverse chronological order. In the former, the initial date of service appears first and the most recent one last. In the latter, the most recent date of service will be on the top and the initial date last. The medical records can be Bates stamped or numbered to use conveniently as deposition, pleading, hearing and/or brief exhibits, and can be referred to by page number. Chronological arrangement is always advisable because it becomes easy to cite them when preparing medical history because there is a clear time line. When the records are in reverse chronological order, or if there is no particular order at all, it can be really challenging when you need to draft court documents.
When medical records are indexed, they can be easily located by anyone in your team. The index usually includes the name of the provider, dates of service and page numbers if any.
Now we come to the verifying part.
Ensuring that You Have the Complete Set of Medical Records
A complete set of medical records is necessary for workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and personal injury cases.
It is important that an itemized billing statement is obtained from each medical provider. The dates on the medical records have to be compared to the dates of service on the bill to make sure that there are no missing records. Other documents that are relevant include rehabilitation reports, group health insurance benefit statements and so on. All dates of service referenced have to be closely scrutinized to make sure that all necessary medical records have been obtained.