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HMO Litigation

The Challenge

A large health maintenance organization (HMO) that provides reimbursement services to hundreds of hospitals in multiple states for care given to veterans as part of a federal program was involved in ongoing litigation regarding reimbursement rates. As part of the litigation, a district court had earlier ruled that the group of hospitals involved in the dispute be certified as a class. The HMO was appealing that determination.

The case would become an extremely high-volume endeavor that ultimately required hundreds of lengthy depositions be taken in a relatively short time frame, across many states and in jurisdictions with various rules regarding transcripts. Many of the depositions would also take place in rural or remote areas, which meant that finding and staffing certified court reporters to cover them would be a challenge.

In addition, many of the depositions required expedited handling so that attorneys involved in the matter could review the relevant material as quickly as possible.

Further, attorneys on opposite sides of the litigation used different transcript review technology, which complicated the orderly filing and review of the depositions.

The Solution

The HMO engaged the services of Epiq and its worldwide court reporting network in order to manage and meet the requirements for the extensive number and far-flung geographic locations of the deponents involved in the case.

The HMO client chose Epiq because it needed a court reporting partner that had both the geographic reach and the talent-pool depth to efficiently cover all of the depositions throughout the multi-state locations. In addition, the client needed a court reporting provider who could deliver a combination of both customer service prowess and technology to make the labyrinthine process go smoothly. It also required a court reporting partner that was skilled in meeting various jurisdictional requirements for transcript production, making sure that all relevant, local rules were observed during the course of the case.

Further, the HMO needed an experienced court reporting partner who could provide other value-added services, such as convenient regional conference rooms; videoconferencing and videography services, and skilled reporters who could deliver streaming transcripts in realtime via the Internet, as well as produce both rough draft and expedited transcripts.

The Results

The Epiq team was able to handle both the enormous volume of the depositions required for this case, as well as provide exceptional service, even when that required finding up to 10 deposition locations a day, many in remote areas. More than 150 towns and cities would eventually be the sites for the various depositions and nearly 325 depositions would ultimately be taken.

The tremendous workload involved in the case meant that the HMO needed a court reporting partner with deep resources. Everyone on the Epiq team would eventually put in extensive overtime hours in order to meet and satisfy each of the client’s requests. The fully integrated work environment at Epiq allowed team members to collectively deliver hundreds of hours of service, when and where the client needed it.

To ensure everything involved in this highly complex case went smoothly, the client was able to schedule all deposition requests via email, and an Epiq scheduling manager was assigned to the client to traffic and coordinate all requests, and to confirm all locations and special requirements were met quickly and efficiently. 

The scheduling manager remained in daily contact with various client representatives to ensure that all needs were being met on time and appropriately, and in order to respond “on the fly” to unusual or especially complicated requests. That included finding reporters and locations for depositions that needed to happen within a day or less of the initial request.

The Epiq team created and monitored elaborate spreadsheets that allowed them to view all the locations involved in the depositions, and to closely track the extraordinarily high volume of depositions that would eventually be conducted. Epiq team members monitored the entire workflow of the depositions, making sure that roughs, finals and exhibits were all handled in a timely manner. 

Epiq also handled all extra client requirements associated with the case, such as meeting state-specific deposition production requirements that required special handling of transcripts to meet local regulations. 

Epiq also helped the client solve a potentially problematic technology issue by transitioning them to the proprietary Epiq LTR (Lextranet® Transcript Repository), once it became evident that their previous review platform was unable to handle the sheer volume of transcripts and meet the attorney’s review needs. This allowed attorneys to have every deposition in one easyto-use database with extensive search and review capability. Epiq was also able to simultaneously upload all files without delay to a different review system used by opposing counsel.

Epiq meets every court reporting challenge in a high-volume, complex, multi-state litigation case. For the client, we found up to 10 deposition locations per day, many in remote areas. More than150 towns and cities would eventually be the sites for the various depositions and nearly 325 depositions would ultimately be taken.

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