Record retrieval is an important and time sensitive process. It is critical that you have the utmost confidence that your record retrieval partner is functioning in a neutral environment with privacy and integrity as a priority. You want to ensure that the company performing data collection doesn’t have hidden agendas that could be prejudicial or detrimental to service, quality, your case or to the claimant. . When researching potential options for a records retrieval partner, here are four hidden agendas to be aware of:
1) Where is data is collected and processed?
Insurance carriers often use large data mining firms for collection and processing, and in many cases the work is outsourced offshore. In “processing” the medical records, these firms may collect and cull data on type of case to create exacting analytics for the insurance industry. If you are looking for neutral record retrieval, with the work being completed in the United States, you must ask direct questions about where the data is both collected and processed.
2) Will your record data be used by the record retrieval company?
This is an important consideration. If it is important to you that the data in your records stay private, you must ask some detailed questions. There are records companies that are known to use non-personal data within records provided along with settlement data and court data to create customized analytics for insurance carriers. Often this data details specific information on case type and attorneys. Items such as:
- Claim Worth
- Average Settlement Amount
- Attorney Profiles
- Firm Profiles
- Aggregate Claim Cost
- Average Settlement Time
- Win/Loss Ratio
- Settlement/Trial Ratio
- Case Type
When releasing your clients’ records to these companies, keep in mind that you are not only releasing their personal information to be processed offshore, but these companies may compile vast amounts of data to be used by the carrier in all future cases specific to you and your firm. Carriers have always used data to try and tilt the table in their favor. This approach does not just tip the table in general but tips your specific table by tracking and detailing each case where records were retrieved by a data mining company.
3) Who does the retrieval process serve?
Although it would seem obvious that the process would focus on serving the client, some companies, including many big data companies masquerading as retrieval companies, may have hidden services and prejudices designed to benefit insurance carriers over the patients. If you are looking for neutral records to be provided without prejudice or hidden services, it is imperative that you do your homework. Request details on the company’s retrieval practices and policies.
4) Is customer service and expertise a central focus?
Because record retrieval is only a means to an end for many of the large “retrieval” companies used by insurance carriers, the customer service and expertise required to gather those records is not the center of focus. If these companies collect only ten percent of the 100s of thousands of requests sent a month, they can still mine that data to provide carriers with the edge on your future cases. If the focus is on mining as much data as possible at the lowest price possible, customer service will not be at the forefront of their service.
There are a variety of ways to complete the records retrieval process, and certainly a multitude of provider options available. We encourage you to do your due diligence. Ask questions and be on the lookout for some of these hidden agendas to ensure the partner you select for has integrity and is focused on building a long-term partnership with you.
T-Scan’s mission is to retrieve records in a neutral environment as quickly and efficiently as possible, while providing outstanding customer service. In addition, we are dedicated to remaining at the forefront of technology, offering the latest in record retrieval methods, document production, and electronic discovery. Our goal is to define the standard for our industry and continue to grow with the expanding needs and aspirations of our clients.
Interested in learning more? Let’s discuss your business needs. Contact us for more information.