The Value of On Demand Medical Record Retrieval

The following is a guest blog post by Matt Peterson, Senior Vice President (SVP) of On Demand Services at Ciox.

Traditionally, health insurers (or payers, as we tend to call them) get their hands on the medical records of their patient populations by making huge, sweeping requests of providers on a seasonal or once-monthly basis. The process is called batch retrieval. Once the payer issues the request for a batch of records from a provider, and upon receipt of this aggregated request, the provider’s office gets to work collecting and delivering the medical records on behalf of the requestor. These batch retrieval exercises are done for Medicare risk adjustment, commercial risk adjustment and HEDIS, among other reasons.

There is a second method for retrieving medical records as well, known as on-demand retrieval. Rather than waiting to amass request data and submit it all at once, requests are submitted individually, or on-demand, prompting a quicker turnaround on the requested materials. This process is preferred by life sciences companies, law offices and other industries that don’t have the time to wait for days—or even weeks—for the results of a batch retrieval.

At the same time, on-demand record retrieval is beneficial to providers as it fosters adherence to privacy standards and saves staff time, allowing them to focus on important things like patient care. For example, a university hospital receives hundreds of requests from many different entities – from law firms, life insurance, health plans and many more. They want to see more payers use their on-demand records request portal, because it simplifies and streamlines the process for them and brings records requests into the organization from a single location.

An on-demand portal simplifies the process – payers input requests that are delivered via email with a unique code. The provider offices grab the record, upload the document to the portal and attach the code. This notifies the payer that the record request is complete, and they can visit their side of the portal to retrieve it. No cumbersome batch record requests, faxes, or end of month pandemonium. Just connectivity of records, shared effortlessly.

More and more, everyone wants their records as quickly as possible, and for many, including lawyers and clinical researchers, a 30-day waiting period cannot be the norm. Organizations today want quick, efficient retrieval to streamline their processes, as illustrated by the uptick in on-demand retrieval.

For payers and providers alike, utilizing a portal for the on-demand retrieval of records makes efficient sense. It brings 24-7 access to the progress of requests on both sides of the exchange, and gives a simple, intuitive interface to an otherwise complicated monthly project. It even improves turnaround times for providers, which gets them back to caring for patients. In fact, there is a trend toward utilizing on-demand retrieval for HEDIS and other use cases that historically practice batch retrieval – will we see this continue in the future?

About Ciox
Ciox, a health technology company and proud sponsor of Healthcare IT Today, is dedicated to significantly improving U.S. health outcomes by transforming clinical data into actionable insights. Combined with an unmatched network offering ubiquitous access to healthcare data, Ciox’s expertise, relationships, technology and scale allow for the extraction of insights from structured and unstructured clinical data to create value for healthcare stakeholders. Through its HealthSource technology platform, which includes solutions for data acquisition, release of information, clinical coding, data abstraction, and analytics, Ciox helps clients securely and consistently solve the last mile challenges in clinical interoperability. Ciox improves data management and sharing by modernizing workflows and increasing the accuracy and flow of information, while providing transparency across the healthcare ecosystem and helping clients manage disparate medical records. Learn more at

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1 Comment

  • This is an interesting step in the right direction – but far from the ideal (asychronous integration of medical records). However, I do see it as a good fit for the FFS ecosystem given the value-proposition of decreased time needed from office staff (e.g., lower costs). If we move into a value-based world, we would go beyond just lowering administrative costs – I would love to see the biz case that also indicates improvements in clinical costs due to decrease in repetitive testing, better interventions, etc.

    PS – CIOX is doing great things down in Atlanta. Looking forward to what you all do next.

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