In a previous post, I wrote about a process to Streamline Medical Records Retrieval for Law Firms that we created for Bailey & Roberts*, a mid-size firm with 15 trial lawyers working on a large docket of personal injury cases. Here, I’ll discuss how the firm saved thousands of dollars every month in labor costs related to the docket.
As I mentioned before, dozens of firms are sending cases to Bailey & Roberts, all with slightly different medical history questionnaires and intake packets. That makes medical records retrieval more complex because the questions vary a little on each questionnaire.
Add Staff or Months to the Docket
When taking on such a project, it’s a big challenge for the firm to hire the additional staff required to process the large volume of cases and request the necessary medical records. They must find space and budget for them and train and manage the extra staff, not knowing how long they will be needed.
If the existing staff of paralegals get behind on processing incoming cases, those thousands of records requests might sit for a month or more before they send them to us. So, if they don’t hire additional staff, they’re adding months onto the docket.
Medical Records Retrieval Solution
After sitting down with Bailey & Roberts to identify the problem, we offered a customized solution to eliminate the bottleneck without them hiring staff. It starts by having them copy us on the personal injury cases as they come in from referring counsel.
Then, our medical records retrieval team extracts from the questionnaires the information needed to place records orders using a specific protocol defined by Bailey & Roberts. Before the data gets entered into the case management system at Bailey & Roberts, we’ve already processed the questionnaires, input the data into our system and initiated the medical records orders.
After ordering the records, we send Bailey & Roberts an Excel spreadsheet, listing the clients’ information and scope of the records ordered that they upload automatically into their case management system. So the data entry that was being done manually by the paralegals is now being done through automation.
$250,000 in Labor Saved and Faster ROI
Considering that Bailey & Roberts was receiving 2,000 to 3,000 cases a month, they figure that 6 to 8 people would have been required to process the paperwork.
“We estimate that for the entire docket, the Lexitas solution saved us $250,000. And, we get the records 3-4 weeks faster.”
Carter Bailey, Founding Partner, Bailey & Roberts
Getting the records 3-4 weeks earlier means that Bailey & Roberts can know that much sooner how many cases are going to qualify for settlement. When the law firm has millions of dollars invested, getting that money back out a month or two sooner is extremely valuable.
Working Together to Benefit the Firm
Paralegals are experts at the law and preparing cases for the next step in the legal process. A side benefit of the record retrieval solution that we devised for Bailey & Roberts is that it improves morale at the firm. Paralegals enjoy working more at their skill level and not on repetitive clerical tasks.
“If we pull our highly trained and effective paralegals away from the items that only they can do to review questionnaires and order records, that’s not the best use of their time. When you allow them to focus on the more important items of the case, that’s a benefit to the client, the firm and the lawyers,” said Bailey.
It all comes down to working together to find solutions to difficult problems that will benefit the firm. As we learned, when taking on a large docket, a sizable expense for personal injury trial lawyers is hiring additional staff to process the large volume of medical records. Automating a significant portion of the work will save them big dollars in labor costs and some major headaches.
*The names of the firm and partner have been changed for reasons of confidentiality.