There is a belief among some attorneys that assigning paralegals or administrative assistants to run the process of retrieving medical records is cost-effective. The alternatives are to use companies that essentially buy and sell medical records, such as CIOX, or to have plaintiffs do all the legwork involved in accessing their medical records: These are all costly, ineffective, and inefficient options that can negatively impact cases and hurt attorneys’ ability to be the best advocate for their plaintiffs.
In a study of over 500 practices, it was found that law firms managing chart requests in-house were spending an average of almost $76 on labor costs and around $68 per request on associated provider fees.
The costs start to really mount when multiplied by the number of requests carried out each month. We also found that it takes an average of 4 months to get access to all the records needed for a case, and this further delays cases as well as adding even more to the cost of the case. You can find out what your cost of operations for medical chart requests is, and see what you could save by using this calculator.
The biggest issue is that many of the case costs are essentially hidden, as Chris Carpenter, ChartSquad CEO, found upon reviewing the results of the study.
It was found that due to labor just being a component of staff’s time, firms that did in-house medical records retrieval were rarely aware of what this was costing their business. Carpenter said “The staff of these firms, unbeknownst to leadership, is spending ridiculous amounts of time” getting hold of medical charts.
Also, as mentioned by Carpenter, the study did not include any extra costs such as postage, or stationery. These additional elements stack up and significantly increase the overall cost of a case.
Law firm owners/managers are routinely staggered when made aware of the massive costs that are never recouped. It’s generally observed that fees for chart requests are a central challenge when managing a case. “As a leader in a firm, regardless of your size, your number-one pain point is costing you more money than you often recognize,” Carpenter said. “You’re looking at it from an attorney’s standpoint or management’s standpoint saying ‘Why can’t I close these cases? Why is all of this taking so long?”
“But from a cost standpoint, you’re eating a lot of money along the way.”
What was also shown by the study was not all firms suffered the same problems with fees and inefficiencies. Why? Those using ChartSquad had labor costs of only $1.19 and provider fees of under six dollars per request. The benefits also extend to an average turnaround of 15 days to get the records they needed to win their cases.
More effective and efficient staff, faster time to close cases, and improved realization of revenue were highlighted as core benefits in the considerable difference found between running things in-house or instead leveraging ChartSquad’s chart request management tools.
Law firms can use ChartSquad’s platform by offering it to their plaintiffs to help them gain access to their medical records and share those charts with whomever they need, such as their attorneys.
Simplicity and ease of use were the most important things considered when designing the platform. Plaintiffs/patients are presented with a burden-free method of accessing full records of their medical information.
Unique to the industry, ChartSquad is the only medical records service allowing people to access and share their medical records with their attorneys the way ChartSquad does.
In minutes the online portal provides ease of access, attorneys can sign up for free, direct their clients to the portal, and when a chart request is completed access is made available to the attorney.
Find out how ChartSquad can benefit you today: Pricing & Information Request