Insurance companies rely on medical record retrieval for claims, managing legal liabilities, and handling client coverage is all part of the process — but it requires accurate and swift medical record retrieval.

There are essentially two options when it comes to record retrieval for your insurance company:

  1. Outsource to a trusted and reliable medical record retrieval service.
  2. Hire and manage an in-house team.

While both choices have their pros and cons, investing in medical record retrieval is essential to a wide range of insurance corporation needs. Fortunately, if you work with a dedicated medical record retrieval service, they’ll have the tools, network, and knowledge to speed up your retrieval process and improve accuracy.

Whether you decide to outsource or manage the process in-house, it’s helpful to stay informed on the various types of medical records you may see for coverages, claims, or liabilities. When describing medical documentation, there are two terms you’ll hear most often: EMR and EHR.

We’re going to discuss the various differences and similarities between the two so that you have a better understanding of the types of medical records your insurance company handles.

A Quick Breakdown

In this article, you’ll learn a few key differences between electronic medical records and electronic health records. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’ll be exploring today.

  • EMRs contain basic healthcare and personal information
  • Electronic medical records typically stay in the doctor’s office or practice
  • EHRs are comprised of various records from multiple providers, hospitals, physicians, and more.

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) 101

For years, paper records were the primary method for recording, tracking, and sharing crucial health documents between providers. The digitization of healthcare transformed medical records, transitioning to a much more accessible and affordable way to keep track of essential medical records.

EMRs are currently the norm, as paper became unreliable, slow, and difficult to store. So, what do electronic medical records contain?

EMRs are old paper charts or records of care that a single practice recorded and maintained — then digitized. They may include information such as:

  • Patient’s medical history
  • History of healthcare visits
  • Diagnosis
  • Prescribed treatments

Electronic medical records usually only pertain to medical treatment provided by one practice or facility. These records track changes in a patient over time and can be a great asset for seeing how a patient progressed or digressed while in the care of a certain healthcare practice.

Digitalization made these records much easier to manage and helped keep track of when a patient may need check-ups or follow-ups down the road. EMRs remain in office and are not shared between multiple providers.

Understanding Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Electronic health records, or EHRs for short, are more comprehensive digitization of a patient’s chart that takes into account more than one provider. This could include sources such as:

  • Various physicians
  • Multiple hospitals
  • Medical care facilities
  • Specialized practices
  • And more

Now, this is not necessarily a complete and objective overview of a patient’s health, but rather a snapshot that enables multiple providers to assess overall health and status.

EHRs are regularly shared and updated between multiple healthcare providers electronically, giving medical professionals more information to provide better care. Patients can’t always remember or correctly relay pertinent healthcare information from one provider to the next, so EHRs are a way to see factors or details that could impact a patient’s wellbeing.

Medical Record Retrieval for Insurance Companies

Although many insurance companies choose to manage the process in-house, we recommend outsourcing your medical record retrieval. Here’s why.

  1. It’s more affordable, as you don’t have to hire, train, and maintain an entire in-house team. You’ll also free up staff time so that they’re better able to handle core competencies, making outsourcing a far more cost-effective solution.
  2. It’s faster for the professionals to handle. Dedicated medical record retrieval teams are entirely focused on the retrieval process. They have the tools, software, and expertise to get it done. However, the biggest game-changer is their vast provider network and established relationships with medical record custodians. This helps advance up the follow-up and retrieval process to lightning speeds.
  3. It’s more accurate when experts handle your medical record retrieval. This is a time-consuming and extremely detail-oriented process. Mistakes can be costly and slow the retrieval process down to a halt. Don’t let errors delay your day to day operations.
  4. Customized support is also part of the equation, which means you’ll have professional assistance standing by to help ensure a seamless medical record retrieval process.

These are just a few of the many ways insurance experts can take advantage of medical record retrieval services.

Find the Right Solution Today

Hopefully, this article helped you better understand the differences between electronic medical records and electronic health records for your insurance company. We get a lot of questions about medical record retrieval for insurance businesses. As we’re one of the most trusted names in the industry, we hope that we were able to clear up any misconceptions surrounding medical documentation.

Whether you’re handling the processes in-house or decide that outsourcing is the right direction, understanding along with relaying information about medical documentation is crucial.