There are many advantages for personal injury and clinical negligence practitioners to use an independent agency to collate and/or analyse medical records. This article looks specifically, however, at the associated costs advantages.
In the Court of Appeal case of Crane –v- Cannons Leisure Centre  2AER 931 the court decided, with the Senior Costs Judge in attendance, that the costs of an outside costs company were to be treated as costs of the firm that instructed them, enabling the latter to collect a useful success fee upon those costs. So long as the work was of a kind that the solicitors could properly have undertaken themselves it was legitimate to outsource it and still treat it as done internally.
This decision is directly applicable to collation and analysis work undertaken by independent agencies such as DMR Collation. The fees of work outsourced to a collation and analysis service are recoverable on an agency basis. This allows law firms to bill profit costs for work outsourced to companies such as DMR Collation. This ensures that, not only are records collated professionally, but that the instructing law firm can recover profit costs and a success fee on the work completed by that agency.
But what does this mean in practical terms? If, for example, a law firm outsourced their collation and analysis work to DMR Collation, they can recover DMR Collation’s billable time at a minimum Grade D rate plus success fee. DMR Collation’s fees are currently £40 per hour (plus VAT) so there is a potential return for that law firm of a minimum £70 per hour (plus VAT and success fee).
For collation work the Court will normally allow recovery of a Grade D fee earner. For analysis work the Court will normally allow the Grade of the normal fee earner, depending on the complexity of the claim.
The outsourcing of this work also concurs with cost budgeting reforms. Having the records collated and analysed by an experienced professional is significantly quicker than attempting to complete the work in-house, thereby reducing the time engaged on the task and making the time more likely to be recovered/agreed in a costs budget.
It should also be noted that many agencies, such as DMR Collation Ltd, produce electronic versions of the medical records as part of their collation service. These electronic versions eliminate the photocopying, admin and postage costs associated in producing paper copy medical records and assists in reducing administrative costs in the case.
DMR Collation offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on work completed and hold Professional Indemnity Insurance so there are only benefits in using this service.