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State and federal courts extended deadlines and postponed trials at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These unforeseen changes, new working models, and altered team dynamics may have changed case management plans, but what remains the same are expectations that deadlines will be met and budgets managed while still meeting client objectives. Proactive litigators will use this time to strategize ways to make sure their pending cases operate as efficiently as possible when the action resumes.

Here are three things you can do now to avoid missing deadlines and prevent overspending your budget:

1. Start the conversation with your medical record retrieval provider as early as possible

Waiting to determine your records discovery strategy until after authorizations have been sent to your records retrieval provider puts future deadlines at risk, especially now that key contacts for health care providers could be working remotely.

To have the best chance of receiving critical records on time, it is best to consult with your records retrieval provider during the claim review phase.

MRC’s record retrieval specialists lends consultative expertise to help determine which providers are critical to the case, to strategize on how to group claimants for priority and cost-efficiency, and to manage information in the plaintiff fact sheets for insights and analytics.

Even if requests for records will not be sent to Custodians for several months due to a pause in litigation, these early conversations will help establish a sound strategy and set expectations for record retrieval when the case restarts.

2. Request an Authorization for Release of Information document review to identify deficiencies

Improperly filled or incomplete authorizations are among the most common reasons for denied record requests, which can ultimately sink budgets and push deadlines. Request a review to ensure the following:
• All Authorizations for Release of Information documents are HIPPA compliant
• Patient information is correct
• Release forms are current
• Release forms are signed
• Any necessary additional documents are present

MRC has a database of hundreds of thousands of custodians, which includes their record request preferences and authorization form requirements. We identify authorization deficiencies before any record requests are sent, reducing costs and preventing delays in obtaining records.

3. Review case studies of similar cases

If your record retrieval vendor has a long track record, you may want to ask for case studies pertaining to similar cases as well as identify efficiencies and cost-saving strategies.

Case studies can reveal timeline scenarios, budget projections, technological customizations, and successful record review strategies that can be used to help inform your litigation strategy. Reviewing case studies can help you to identify opposing counsel tactics and blind spots that can negatively impact the outcome of your case.

MRC has been an industry leader in medical record retrieval and nurse analysis for over 38 years, and we have supported the largest mass torts in history. Because we are the best in our field, our case studies can deliver insights into the best practices regarding the management of personal injury litigation. For more information on how MRC can help your case become more efficient, please contact a national accounts representative today.