The Importance of Monitoring Medical Records
If your law office works in the field of healthcare liens or personal injury law then you probably spend a lot of your time staring down at client’s medical bills. These financial accounting records consist of itemized statements that are associated with either a hospital, clinic, practice, or physician and can relate to a wide range of medical services including: surgeries, physical therapy sessions, office checkups, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and even prescription medication. We have all seen a medical record before; however, a healthcare lien ledger, as many law office staff members refer to it, may be a different monster.
Medical Bills in the Legal Context
Keeping tabs on all of your client’s relevant medical documents can be taxing. To add to the confusion, when a healthcare company asserts their interest in recoveries from its patients by placing a lien, the healthcare company sends the law firm a healthcare lien ledger which is an itemized list detailing all the medical listings that relate to your client’s condition and the expected reimbursement. In most cases, at least a few of the listed medical records are not relevant to the case. This is usually because the healthcare company is unaware of the reason for the medical service that was performed. For example, if a client was involved in an accident on the way home from the chiropractor’s office, the healthcare company may not recognize that the trip to the chiropractor was unrelated to the medical bills stemming from the accident. More often than not, some of the ledger’s listed items do not pertain to the client’s case.
Paralegals Manage the Documents
Typically, a law firm will assign a paralegal to monitor and maintain their medical documents or the healthcare lien ledger. Because medical bills contain a lot of value for a legal argument, the paralegal is required to sort through the ledger’s itemization list and distinguish what bills are relevant to the case and what items are unrelated. Having the right set of eyes that can differentiate between the two is critical to a law firm’s case. These wrongfully listed medical records will be challenged by the law firm and eventually removed from the file. When it’s time to finalize your healthcare lien, you will be thankful that your diligent paralegal closely monitored the ledger to ensure the itemized list is accurate.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.