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My Medical Chart Review Experience

I have been doing medical chart review as a side income gig for the past 3 months and wanted to share my experience with it. I can’t share the name of the company here because they didn’t give me permission to do so. There are many such companies, though this one might be among the workhorses and can offer higher volumes to consulting physicians.

Ironically, they offered me an affiliate link to advertise them on the website but didn’t give me permission to write a blog post about them. This is counterintuitive and prevents me from being truly unbiased.

 

Medical Chart Reviews

All sorts of entities require medical charts to be reviewed by independent companies for various reasons. Sometimes it’s a legal issue, other times it’s for reimbursement, or quality assurance.

This particular company performs medical chart reviews for utilization management. They are branching out, it seems, and trying to get credentialed for other sorts of medical chart reviews.

Physicians are hired as independent contractors to review these medical charts and they are paid per case – somewhere in the $50-100/case range.

Government Agencies

In previous posts I talked about the DMV and the medical boards hiring independent contracting physicians to perform such non-clinical work for side income.

The work generally isn’t complicated and you risk very little in terms of a lawsuit should you make an error.

 

My 3-month Experience

Credentialing took a while with this particular company and payments are often delayed up to 3 months.

I haven’t yet received any income from this particular company but I have done about 10 cases in this period of time. The number of cases are small because they ramp you up slowly at first and promise that you’ll have more cases than you can handle once you get rolling.

Case Notification

The workflow is as follows: I receive a text from my contact point and am told how much time I have to review the case(s).

I will then receive a secured email where I can review the patient’s chart and any relevant information.

Case Volume

One day I received 4 cases in a row. On other days they trickled in 1-2 at a time.

I am able to communicate with my contact person what volume I am comfortable with. For now, I think I could handle up to 5 cases per day fairly easily until I get bored with it or the complexity of the cases increases.

Turnaround Time

I often receive the text/emails during the morning and need to respond to the email before the end of the work-day.

From these 10 cases, the first one took me the longest – maybe 30 minutes because I had to review the process and what I was supposed to do.

All subsequent cases took me less than 60 seconds each.

 

Performing the Medical Chart Review

The actual process involves me replying to the email sent to me by my contact person. Usually it’s something like: “Do you agree with the following statement after reviewing this chart?”

On occasion I will also have to contact a particular physician who is requesting prior authorization for their patient in order to obtain further information. This hasn’t happened to me yet but I’ll post about that experience when it does.

Reimbursement

I get anywhere from $50-100 per case. The average should be $80, according to the recruiter.

As I mentioned, it can take up to 3 months for me to be reimbursed for a particular medical chart which I reviewed.

It’s possible that the case doesn’t go through and I won’t get paid. My recruiter mentioned that this would be the exception and not the norm.

Communication

My contact person has been very helpful. She texts me regularly and is very responsive without being intrusive.

The secured email is the most important point of contact. In the body of the email is the particular question which is asked of me to answer. Attached, are the pertinent patient information which I have to review in order to provide the answer.

 

The Income

As for the income and income potential – just like any side-gig, it’s something you have to build up. There are probably physicians who are killing it with this company and many who give up because they didn’t get enough cases.

I onboarded with them earlier in the year and didn’t get my first case until just a couple of months ago. Even then, the volumes are low and I’m sure I’ll have to demonstrate my competency in order to receive more cases.

At $80/case and probably 15 minutes of my time, the hourly rate is really good. I suspect that the first few months of doing this regularly, I’ll be wasting a lot of time optimizing my workflow.

Once I am more efficient and able to take more cases, the income will be a nice addition to all my other non-clinical side incomes.

The same way one physician will invest their time and energy in building a physical real estate portfolio, I am investing mine in accumulating these non-clinical side gigs.

 

Medical Chart Review Jobs

The best way to go about finding such jobs is to find the main companies which perform medical chart reviews and apply to them.

Even if they aren’t hiring, forward your CV to them or contact their HR.

Indeed lists some jobs for non-clinical medical chart review.

Linkedin also has such jobs available. Naturally, these aren’t ubiquitous so finding the right search term is key.

6 replies on “My Medical Chart Review Experience”

Count me as one of those who gave up because I wasn’t getting enough cases (and some other issues). 😉
I’m just guessing what company this is, of course. So I could be wrong.
I’ll be interested to see how this goes though. Hope it works out!

I’m sure you are guessing right. And I think it’s fine to give up at some point but one thing I’ve noticed with these “side gigs” is that the longer you stick it out the more income you generate from them. Whether it’s figuring out the angles or building seniority. That said, the longer you remain on a platform or the longer you work for a particular company the more vulnerable you become. It might be indirect and unintentional but it seems that employers or payers after a while will assume that you need them as much as they need you and they tend to take advantage of this.

So having multiple platforms on which you do similar work is a good idea. I will start looking for some other similar companies which will let me do chart reviews and I’ll report back. If you know of any good leads please email me.

Dr. Mo, I am a medical student who’d like to live overseas in another country while practicing telemedicine for US patients. Do you see a big benefit of doing IM-psych or FM-psych combined specialty compared to psych for telemed jobs (while practicing overseas)? Will there be enough patient volume and income potential for psychiatrists within telepsych?

It appears that psych is taking off quite fast in the telemedicine space but I don’t see the need to add on psychiatry to your specialty unless it’s something you are passionate about. The practice limitations are such that you’ll want to be an in-office psychiatrist and realistically you’ll only practice one of the other – FP or psych or IM or psych … it’s much tougher and complicated to practice all at the same time. The least problem of all will be justifying to a medical board that you have enough experience as a psychiatrist when shit hits the fan and the patents of a dead patient coming asking you why you missed the steven-johnson reaction in the patient on whom you started a psych med on. The more licenses you have, the more specialty boards you’re under the more targets you have painted on you – which I know is a very jaded view of medicine and I hope that someone else can correct me if I’m wrong.
As for doing telemedicine, it will be the norm in a few years and we won’t even refer to it as telemedicine, just medicine – just that we don’t need to go in person to the doctor to get a medical opinion … so yes, plenty of opportunities avaialble.

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