4 Tips to Improve Medical Records Retrieval Rates

Medical records play a vital role in legal cases and insurance claims. Certain practice areas are dependent on the information they contain so it is vital to have a fast, secure, and reliable way of retrieving them. If the process is not handled correctly, it can result in regulatory non-compliance. There are ways to reduce the cost and better manage the time spent on the retrieval process.

  • Obtain the necessary authorization: Medical records contain highly sensitive information and require time to obtain them. Every custodian that handles medical records or other patient health information (PHI) must be HIPPA-compliant. Requesting a record may require a signed authorization from the plaintiff or a statement of assurance (SOA) from the attorney issuing the subpoena. Make sure you are aware of the processes each custodian or insurance company uses to obtain the proper documentation before you start the records retrieval process.
  • Understand the scope of the request: One of the biggest challenges in records retrieval is ensuring that each request is received by the correct party. Another is identifying the scope of the request. Since it can take several weeks to obtain each record, with each request being priced individually, it is imperative that you understand the information you are seeking before you make a request. If the scope is too broad, the request can be rejected, or you will receive unnecessary information. The same applies if you are too specific in your scope: it could be rejected, or you may not get enough information.
  • Provide the right information: A common challenge in records retrieval is the lack of consistent information. This will cause low retrieval rates. Once the correct custodian is identified you can determine the best point of contact. To locate records quickly, you should provide the correct data points. These include social security numbers, provider addresses, and dates of service.
  • Tracking Each Request: A typical request takes 30 days to complete. To prevent delays, you should have the ability to track and manage every request through a HIPPA-compliant online portal provided by your record retrieval company. Frequent updates and communication from your provider can help resolve issues that can slow down the request. It will also reduce the chances of missed deadlines and keeps your records organized for analysis and reference later.

By taking these steps up front before connecting with your records retrieval expert, you will reduce both time and money spent on retrieving medical records. When you choose a competent records retrieval expert, they will offer the technology to help you manage records retrieval requests and will keep you apprised of the status of your projects along the way. With more than 30 years helping law firms and legal departments in Texas retrieve records, Gulfstream Legal Group is uniquely positioned to help you efficiently and effectively obtain the requested records to support your case. Learn more.