By Susan Barfield /
September 23, 2021

Mass Tort Talks featuring Susan Barfield

Presented by The Mass Tort Institute

Hi, my name is Susan and I am the founder and CEO of Case Works. My goal today is to share with you who in the heck is Case Works and what do we do? Started Case Works back in 2015, when I was approached by a mass tort firm who needed help on their medical review for their growing caseload. So I ended up not only handling the medical review, but also improving the firm’s entire case management system. And so by streamlining the process and driving efficiency, the firm increased the speed, their accuracy, and quality of the case development resulting in more cases and larger recoveries for the plaintiffs. We have a process that we have developed over the years of helping nearly a hundred law firms. And I think, I haven’t looked at the recent numbers, but more than likely over a hundred thousand cases and a hundred thousand cases is a lot of plaintiffs that we worked with in a lot of cases.

And if you do anything a hundred thousand times, you get really good at it. We believe so much in our process that we trademarked it as Case Ready. And so our Case Ready system increases the efficiency, client experience, client retention, settlement values, and it decreases the duel rep issues, staff burnout, and client unresponsiveness. We love to get involved early on. So as soon as a plaintiff signs a retainer, then we want that lead acquisition group or that firm to send us those documents. We want to immediately get on the phone with that client. And what we’re trying to do with that initial welcome call is to establish rapport and set expectation. You know just as good as I do that, that client is probably not just going to sign up with you, but if you don’t get ahold of them right away, then they’re going to sign up with someone else.

And so then you have a dual rep issue down the road. And so we want to mitigate that and get them on the phone right away, just so they understand we’re welcoming them to the firm. And we do all of our process on behalf of the firm. So we don’t contact a client and say, we’re, Case Works, we’re calling on your behalf. And so we’re letting them know when I say set expectation, setting the right expectation upfront is just huge. And so we are letting them know, this is not going to be a quick process. This is not, there’s going to be hoops that you’ve got to jump through. And when we contact them, if they don’t respond promptly, then that just means that their case is going to sit stagnant and that’s not what we want. And so we just let them know exactly what to expect and understand the case development pipeline in ordering medical records and reviewing those records and should a facility reject a request or come back as no records found, we’re going to be reaching back out to them.

We also want to make sure that they have our phone number and that they have the email that we’re going to be contacting them. That just drives responsiveness. And we want to be able to handle all of those inbound calls for you. So when someone has a question, they want to know what’s happening on their case, they contact their case manager and they get answers right away. That just leads to keeping your clients well informed and engaged. And so from there, after the welcome call, we’re establishing the expectation, we’re gathering the facts of the case. We want to understand dates and facilities. And we also just want to make sure that there was not a, I would say, I guess, an unqualified lead that got through and that we start spending resources and time and money working up a case that really isn’t a good case anyway. So based upon your criteria, a QC is going to be done right away as the signed retainer, signed [inaudible 00:03:52] intake questionnaire sent our way.

And so from there, we’re going to order the medical records and we are going to work with a record retrieval vendor, either one that you have an established relationship with, or one that we think is best of the best in the industry. And so we are going to send that request and then we will work to cure any records efficiencies, any reason why the no record founds come back, we will cure that. We’ll reach out to the client, maybe get driver’s license, whatever the facilities requiring us to be able to move that case forward and obtain those medical records. Once the records come back in, we have a large team of healthcare professionals and nurses that are going to be reviewing those medical records to prove up that case.

And if for any reason, we get medical records back and need additional information, we’re going to contact the plaintiff and gather the additional information that’s required. And then from there, if there is a tort form required, let’s say plaintiff fact sheet or PPF or short form complaint that’s been released and required, we will be completing that. We have a team of paralegals that complete those forms, and we can actually file the case in the MDL if that’s what’s needed, or if you’re just getting your docket in settlement position, happy to do that as well. So we really handle, and we are a complete outsource solution from the point at which you have a signed retainer and getting it either filed in the MDL or in settlement position, that’s all mass tort. And we follow a very similar process on personal injury cases.

And so if you say, “Hey, Susan, I’ve already worked up a bunch of cases. I didn’t know about Case Works. We used someone else, but I would love for you to come in and audit cases.” So just this year alone, we’ve audited probably anywhere from 25 to 30,000, both roundup and tell cases. And simply going in very quickly to identify is that case and settlement position where the right records ordered and has, do you have both proof of use and injury associated with that case? One thing that I also encourage attorneys after doing this for so many years, we’ve collected a lot of best practices and language out of retainers and provide that to law firms. So, whether it’s the right language to putting your retainer so that all the work that Case Works does to work up these cases can be passed along as a client expense, or maybe you don’t have the right POA language that allows for your team or Case Works to sign on client’s behalf to be able to push those record requests.

So we can provide that information to you in best practices. And then if for any reason, you don’t necessarily need our services now, but you’ve got questions about, who do you think is the best lead acquisition firm in the industry? Or, who do you think is the best record retrieval vendor? Happy to talk through those types of questions, would love to connect with you and share any insights and best practices that I’ve seen over the years. And so we have that information, we’re very much a metric driven, we keep stats on every, I would say, vendor that we work with in the industry. Mainly because it’s a linchpin to our business, we want to see quality leads, and we want to see records that are coming back in a timely manner.

So lots of great people working in the industry, but it comes down to execution and delivery for us. And since it can hold up the case development process, we certainly would love to encourage some of the best of the best in the industry, but at the end of the day, that’s a little bit about Case Works and our background, who we are, what we do. And I would just encourage you to reach out. We can talk about technology. I mean, at the heart of who we are besides the amount of team members it takes to work up these cases, because as you know, not every case just goes right through to the finish line very quickly. It’s lots and lots of outbound call efforts and trying to get cases. We consider them stuck if we can’t move them forward, it’s getting them unstuck.

And that requires a great telephone platform that we use and a lot of technology. We are a protocol driven company. So everything that we do is by protocol and we do it within our own client management software system. And we have a software development team that has developed, I say, what we call a wrapper, but it allows for how our system to connect to your client management system. So we can push documents and push the data and case notes. So we’re talking to clients, we’re taking great notes, but let’s say they call your office. Traditionally, what we’ve seen is you just have no insights on what’s happening with that case, but not with Case Works. We have the software that’s going to push daily and it can push a couple of times a day case notes and what’s happening with the case. So you can answer those questions too.

Would love to connect with you. You can call me at any time, you can reach out to me, susan@yourcase.works, and you can learn a little bit more about Case Works at caseworksdev.wpengine.com. Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to listen to this video and happy to help in any way that we can. Thank you.