4 Common Hurdles In Record Retrieval

Nov 6 2014 | posted by LORR Team

Nearly every type of legal case requires some type of record retrieval request, whether it’s a personal injury claim, a car accident case, a malpractice suit, or a birth injury claim. Records can prove to be invaluable by offering evidence, shedding light on new information, and helping lawyers win the case for their clients. The records request process is complicated, however, requiring a great deal of time and effort and presenting issues for even the most seasoned of lawyers. If your current case requires record retrieval, take a moment to learn about the potential challenges you may encounter, and learn how to avoid them during your next request.

1.  Lack of time – The record retrieval process is extremely time consuming, and if you or your staffer does not have sufficient free time, you may not be able to complete the request within your timeline. In order to see success with records retrieval, you have to be constantly alert to the specific requirements, including filing and faxing papers, calling records custodians, and following up during every part of the process. If you don’t have time for this, hire a professional who does.

2.  Slow-moving records custodians – The record you are requesting may be crucial to your case, but records custodians have to produce an enormous number of documents for their clients, and they typically handle requests in the order they receive them. Even if your request is urgent and there are 100 orders ahead of yours, your record will not take precedence over those already submitted. If you want to ensure that your request is getting the attention it needs, it helps to build relationships with the records custodians by checking in with them regularly, learning their names, and keeping your request at the top of their to-do list at all times. If you don’t have the time or energy to devote to such relationships, hire a professional record retrieval company. Most have existing relationships with record custodians, and this could benefit you and your case.

3.  HIPAA and other policies – HIPAA and other regulatory policies, as well as in-house and provider-specific policies, can all play a role in how records are managed and handled. You must have the right paperwork and documentation in order to abide by these policies, and if you don’t, your request is going to be denied as soon as it is received. Regardless of the type of record request you are making, do the research and make sure you know exactly what papers, files, and documents are needed in order to get your request granted. If you don’t have time or don’t want to deal with the process, hire a professional who is well versed in the different policies and regulations that dictate records requests.

4.  Budget restrictions – Handling records retrieval takes you and your employees away from other, more important tasks that are more beneficial to your clients, so your option is to hire someone else to handle records exclusively, or to cut checks to your existing employees to cover the time they have to spend on record retrieval orders. While it may sound counterintuitive, outsourcing your record retrieval needs to a professional company dedicated exclusively to this purpose is more cost-effective than trying to have an in house staffer perform the task.

These common issues often mean the difference between winning a case and losing it, and the best way to ensure a win for your client is to hire a professional records retrieval firm whose employees are experts in records requests and all that they entail. Don’t fall victim to these challenges on your next case; contact LORR today to start your records request now.

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