Medical Records Retrieval for Law Firms

Posted on August 29, 2017 By


The modern Medical Records Retrieval (MRR) service is a mixture of modern web-based technology and a rules-compliant outsource solution. Historically lawyers plus their staff would have to set aside some of their time, often a lot of time, in order to capture necessary information for situations that involved medical records. It’s not that the process is complicated. Quite the contrary, every lawyer, paralegal, and litigation-support person understands exactly what needs to be done.

It may seem simple, but it is a very manually rigorous process. Someone at the firm should acknowledge the need for the information. Necessary forms must be completed to make sure compliance with a myriad of laws (including HIPAA), which the firm and often the sufferer (who may or may not be the firm’s client) would need to initiate a request. Then, the firm must track the particular progress of the request, and eventually obtain, review, and organize the results, or even note that there were no medical information available related to the matter.

To assistance the business of running a law exercise, sophisticated and affordable software equipment include new client/business intake, work flow automation, and conflicts management. Vendors who provide early case evaluation tools and e-discovery-based technology-assisted evaluation have begun to offer solutions for small firm and solo professionals. In this article, we will show you ways to improve productivity, lower costs, plus better manage billing for MRR expenses.

How Medical Records Retrieval Services Work

Here’s how a typical MRR service works for a small firm/solo practice. One of the firm’s workers logs into a secure, encrypted site. He or she then submits an order outlining the person’s information, the records being asked for, and any other data necessary to full the request. What happens following is truly a game-changing activity. Instead of the firm’s billable resources chasing after record requests from hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers, they go returning to doing other, productive work, as the MRR process self-executes, and eventually offers you the requested information and files or informs you that there had been no responsive documents.

Questions Regarding MRR Services

The availability of MRR solutions presents all attorneys, but specifically solo and small firms, with all the following important questions:

• How do you start with an MRR services?

• How are the record demands processed?

• Is this process HIPAA-compliant?

• When and how am We alerted to the status of our requests?

• How do I disperse the costs/fees associated with outsourcing healthcare records retrieval?

Choosing Your MRR Provider

To reduce the risk of selecting the wrong MRR service, consider the subsequent best practices:

1) Ensure that the MRR service can prove secure access to the website (and your records) using a login and password.

2) Understand the MRR service’s processes to make sure protection of privacy.

3) Understand its service level agreements, which usually explain their process and expected turnaround time.

4) Verify that this MRR service has experience with expediting record requests by requesting a listing of reference clients.

5) Review the procedure by which you and/or your personnel are notified of updates, which includes record availability or notice associated with “no record found.”

6) Ask for the MRR service’s price schedule, preferably within a format that will permit you to do a good apples-to-apples comparison of the fees associated with other MRR services.

When achievable, a dedicated MRR service is a much better choice than a firm that offers a variety of legal practice services of which information retrieval is only a small subset of the overall business.

Getting Started with all the MRR Provider

Upon choosing your MRR provider, the steps to starting to work together with the provider are straightforward plus similar to those when signing up with any kind of on-line type of service:

• The firm identifies the approved staff who are authorized to access the protected system.

• A unique user IDENTIFICATION is created for the firm at the moment, with a strong password required for all future access.

• Often, this is also the time that invoicing information is provided, and thus economic account with the firm and MRR is created for future invoicing.

• Each authorized person completes a brand new user profile and sign-on request. The user must provide email plus phone contact information.

• It is the responsibility of the law firm in order to notify the MRR as soon as possible in case an existing authorized user should be taken out of the access control. The MRR should remedy and respond when the user access has been removed.

• While the use of the MRR web site should be quite easy for most customers with minimal training, additional web site support generally is available from the MRR’s services personnel via phone or even email request.

Safeguarding Privacy

No issue how beneficial the technology, the particular firm must ensure compliance of federal government and state HIPAA guidelines plus any ethical rules about keeping client confidences. Therefore, they must make sure that the MRR service collects, hosting companies, and provides access to client(s) records whilst maintaining compliance with privacy suggestions. Note: This should be part of your own due diligence when selecting a provider.

The MRR Service should comply with Federal and state privacy laws. MRR services should keep up to date along with changing rules of privacy like the HITECH Act.

MRR agreements need to expressly state that no personally identifiable information about health (PHI) can ever be used for non-business related activities such as advertising and/or sales lead generation.

Record Processing

Once you have chosen an MRR service and place up your account, obtaining medical information is relatively straight-forward:

• After a person enter a request into the program, the MRR service creates a good MRR record request connected to the special ID of the requester (the particular user at your firm), and verifies receipt of the request via a message.

• A reviewer is designated to assess the necessary actions to satisfy the request, and will notify the consumer of any questions regarding the report request. In some states, which includes California, an electronic request can be carried out from the MRR service to the doctor, eliminating the need for paper-based deal.

• The provider then songs the request, and conducts any kind of follow-up communication by any means available, which includes email, telephone or in-person appointments if necessary, to acquire clear copies associated with records requested.

• If the particular record is available and legible, it really is scanned into the secure web-based program for access by the user. Otherwise, a “no record found” is annotated towards the request, and communicated back to the consumer.

Communication Is Key

Nothing can be a lot more frustrating to case management than waiting around for needed information from a 3rd party. The MRR service must not just forward the record request towards the healthcare provider, but also must provide the company an ongoing and timely response concerning status. Each record must be monitored in real-time with detailed information from the MRR agents. The MRR service should send alerts when additional information is required, provide replies through email, and deliver the link in order to download and/or view completed demands as soon as the records become available. Again, throughout the selection process, you should ascertain the particular provider’s practices regarding communications, including them in the contract.

Speed Is Critical Too

Obtaining the medical information timely is critical, whether to respond in order to discovery, to make or oppose the motion for summary judgment, to obtain an expert up to speed, or to settle an instance. A reliable MRR service will offer a fast turnaround. They have the experience dealing with medical locations to obtain records quicker than a law firm’s in-house employees. After all, a law firm staff member might encounter (or, in truth, may feel as if they have gotten stuck with) the casual medical record search, but the MRR service is a specialist in the process associated with collecting information, including “no records found.” So, the MRR service’s very work is obtaining medical records, and for that reason will have the process down to a set of particular steps, and can support their customers via a web interface.

Relationships With Healthcare Providers

Sometimes hospitals, physicians’ workplaces, and other healthcare providers may deal with the occasional request by an attorney for medical records as an inconvenience, not really respond as quickly or perhaps as totally as the attorney or client want. A smart MRR service will develop long lasting relationships with healthcare providers plus their staff to get the data required promptly and efficiently. This will be better the quality of the document production, decrease its cost, and speed the procedure up.

Database Strength

Medical records frequently can be in a different location or even city than the healthcare provider. For illustration, billing records for hospitals are often in an offsite facility, sometimes within another state. With the creation of electronic records, more healthcare companies are centralizing their records offsite with the umbrella company of their healthcare group/hospital. Without the information on how plus where to request records, in-house employees can waste valuable time sending demands to the wrong locations or needing to spend the time to find out where to send out the requests. A strong database upon where and how to request records through healthcare providers therefore is key in order to save time, ensure complete result, plus save money. MRR services have the motivation and the resources to develop such a data source. Law firms, especially solos plus small firms, do not.

In add-on the importance on the database in asking for medical records, it is equally essential on the production side. Virtually almost all medical records are produced in electronic format. Records are typically available in PDF FILE or TIFF file format, making them searchable by many document management systems : including on premise, cloud-based, web-affiliated or hybrid systems. They are often made available for download and/or looking at from virtually anywhere on any kind of device that supports a safe micro-browser. The MRR service keeps the medical records for continuous access by the user and any kind of authorized personnel.

MRR Costs along with other Considerations

The MRR service will charge a person for their services. However, since the firm’s resources are freed as much as work on activities that generate income for the firm, the costs associated with using an MRR service will be counter at least in part, and perhaps in full. In addition, depending on your fee set up with your client, the invoices from your MRR service may be directly billable back to the client or at least accounted for as a recoverable cost. (Many MRR services charge no monthly costs for having an account, and thus the particular firm only incur fees on the usage basis, which can then become charged to the cases for that they are required. )


While many firms might continue the “do-it-yourself” approach, solos and small firms should consider utilizing an MRR service. In addition to the larger costs of installing and keeping one’s own record management program, the soft costs and reference consumption make this a less advantageous alternative. A qualified, experienced MRR services offers a cost effective, robust platform for processing, monitoring, and tracking healthcare records requests. Record management plus processing is HIPAA-compliant, always obtainable, and secure-which in-house processes might not be, with the attendant risks. Use of the MRR service does not require funds expense to leverage digitally submitted and maintained medical records. Firm resources can be repurposed from monitoring record requests to meaningful plus fee-generating activities. Client satisfaction might improve as matters are able to be prepared more efficiently, and firm business might increase. The results of using an MRR service are measureable and instant. It’s literally an one-click portion leap from manual, resource-heavy procedures to a modern, digital, secure internet based management for your practice.

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