Medical Records Requests Provide Incremental Income

Physicians are routinely fulfilling third-party medical record requests; but now there is an opportunity to generate incremental revenue for the fulfillment work they're already doing.

Physicians are routinely fulfilling third-party medical record requests; that’s nothing new. What is new is that there is now an opportunity for physicians to generate incremental revenue — between $500 and $1,500 per month per practice on average — for the fulfillment work they’re already doing.

Hello Health, a New York City-based subsidiary of Myca Health Incorporated that specializes in revenue-generating electronic medical record (EMR) and patient management technology, is partnering with 5 O’clock Records, a medical request platform, enabling physicians using its Hello Health platform to fill requests for medical records online.

“This is a way we can help physicians connect the dots,” says Stephen Armstrong, vice president of marketing for Hello Health. “If you’re [filling medical record requests] today and you’re finding it takes a bunch of phone calls per transaction, and you don’t know what to charge, or you may not charge at all, here’s a partner who is dedicated to this function.”

User-friendly and efficient

According to Armstrong, the 5 O’clock Records platform allows physicians to direct any requests for medical records to an online portal where requesters log in, input data, upload authorizations and pay market rates for copies — all electronically.

So, once a physician receives a request, he or she refers the requester to 5 O’clock Records to handle the payment online. Once the fee is agreed upon and paid, the physician digitally sends the patient’s medical record from the Hello Health platform to 5 O’clock Records, which uploads it to the website and shares it electronically with the requester.

The partnership provides a means of support to help ease the burdens that physicians face, simply by changing the way that medical requests are handled. With the click of a button, physicians can send medical information to third parties in a safe and secure manner, and generate incremental revenue at the same time.

“There’s less back and forth in terms of phone calls and clarification of information,” Armstrong explains. “And the physician is also getting paid up front because the request is accompanied by the market rate for that request. The physician doesn’t have to worry about what to charge.”

Armstrong also points out that physicians field an average of 10 calls per medical request order. That’s time consuming for any medical practice staff. Being able to facilitate these requests through the Hello Health portal changes all of that.

“It’s hard to quantify what the time savings would be, depending on the size of the practice and how many requests are received,” he says. “But that’s just another way to improve the financials for a practice.”

Respect for physicians’ time

Armstrong recalls a recent conversation with a busy family practitioner based in Connecticut. The physician explained that year after year more and more of her time is being chipped away; that there are more things fighting for her attention.

“It’s getting harder and harder to give the kind of care I want to give to my patients because I’m distracted with so many different things and interrupted so often,” she explained.

The physician now talks with patients about the Hello Health platform as her portal. She calls it a tool that helps her gain back a little better control over her day and time, and also a way for patients to join with her in becoming a partner in their health by starting a patient health record. The annual subscription fee starts as low as $36 for patients, and that revenue is shared by Hello Health with the physicians.

“It becomes an incremental revenue stream for them,” Armstrong says. “And then we started thinking about how EMR could be defined as electronic medical revenue, not just electronic medical records.”

Those thoughts gave birth to the partnership with 5 O’clock Records that also creates an incremental revenue stream for physicians while saving them and their staff time.

“The rate (for the medical record) is charged for the authorized requester of the medical information through 5 O’clock Records, and then shared with the doctor,” Armstrong says. “There are no receivables for the doctor to have to chase after. We can’t be doing this in a way that asks them to have a paper trail that’s going to be bureaucratic to manage, and require more work for their staff. Simplicity of money management is an important dimension to make doctors more money. And it’s part of our expanding vision to help monetize the work doctors are doing that they’re not currently getting paid for.”

Ed Rabinowitz recently wrote One More Dance, a book about one family's courageous battle against time and glioblastoma brain cancer. Read more about the book here.