Skip to comments.New Ruling Means Patients Can Access Their Own Lab Results
Posted on 02/04/2014 7:20:32 PM PST by Innovative
A final ruling issued February 3 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will give patients direct access to their laboratory results instead of having to get them through a doctor's office.
"The right to access personal health information is a cornerstone of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release. "Information like lab results can empower patients to track their health progress, make decisions with their health care professionals, and adhere to important treatment plans."
Patients or someone a patient designates can still ask for the laboratory reports from their doctors, but this amendment to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 adds the option of getting the information directly from the laboratory while promising to protect patients' privacy. The ruling will supersede laws in 13 states that prohibit such access.
(Excerpt) Read more at medscape.com ...
Many doctors do give you your results, if you ask for it, but some want you to come in to discuss and then you leave and notice something you want to ask, AFTER, then you either won't know of will have to go back to the doctor again.
If you can get it from the lab, you can look at it and you still have the option to go and discuss it with the doctor, but now you can be more prepared about the questions.
My understand it that even before this, in a number of states you could get the results from the lab directly, or even look at it on the web, but in many states labs were prohibited from giving you your results directly.
Not really..... All we need is a bunch of folks getting a bunch of numbers that maya or may not have meaning to them. Then these brilliant self diagnoses will go to the web and find out ‘what they have’. Will they be right??? Not usually since they won’t know their baselines from before and they won’t really have any more useful information than they had when they went into the docs office and said I don’t feel good.
Good docs have ALWAYS shared results with their patients. .... AND explained what the results meant.
We go to a private lab...in depth analysis for the tests you have purchased. They mail you the kit, you easily provide the blood samples with the instruments provided, and you mail it back. Get the same results, or better, for less than ten cents on the dollar...from my experience.
I instruct my doctor to send me the results and put them in my file. I do know how to read.
“The rule would take effect 60 days after its official publication in the Federal Register, which is set for February 6. “
Here is the ruling in pdf:
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I’ve got my labs and every thing else for the last 30 years. I have them charted in Excel plus all the other vitals. I usually take it with me when I go to the doc.
Never had a minute’s trouble getting my medical information and don’t need any hippa or other government help for any of that.
Please read up on Theranos http://www.theranos.com/ whose aim is to put a on-drop blood testing service into each Walgreens drug stores nationally which will be directly accessible by the patient.
It will be transformational.
“Ive got my labs and every thing else for the last 30 years.”
Consider yourself very fortunate. Many, if not most don’t have the same experience.
Many times it’s hard to get results from the doctor’s office, and some office help acts as if you were asking them to run a marathon for daring to ask them to fax you a copy of your lab results.
Let’s see. My gliknoid complex beta is 45.3. I better google that.
“Please read up on Theranos http://www.theranos.com/ whose aim is to put a on-drop blood testing service into each Walgreens drug stores nationally which will be directly accessible by the patient.”
Impressive, indeed. Thanks for posting.
The way to cut healthcare costs is exactly to empower the patient.
“Lets see. My gliknoid complex beta is 45.3. I better google that.”
Nothing and nobody is preventing you from going to your doctor and having him explain your tests to you.
This is an OPTION.
Many people know what their tests mean, or if they are tracking some particular things, they just want to get their number to see if it’s higher or lower than the last time.
And after you get your test, you are actually more prepared to ask the right questions from your doctor, rather than having him give you a bum’s rush and AFTER you leave his office you find there are some things in the tests that you would have liked to ask him about.
Vets on myhealthevet have been able to view their entire record including labs for awhile now. Can be very useful, most of the time docs will notify you if their is a problem.
I’m very, very much in favor of patients having access to their labs. It’s their data, and they are paying for it.
The one concern I have as a doc is that sometimes the news is bad, or what seems like bad news really isn’t - but needs to be considered in context. This could lead to a lot of undue anxiety for patients. On the other hand, a lot of patients get very anxious when they have to wait for a result.
I guess the best way to handle this is to tell patients that yes, they will have immediate access to their results, but that the meaning of the results isn’t always straightforward, and misinterpretation can lead to a lot of undue anxiety. In short, if you access your results and are concerned about something - let’s talk about it ASAP.
The Russians & the democrat party members already have your medical history so you should to.
Yeah, I like MyChart (renamed K-Chart here).
My lab results are posted on a website called “Gateway” that we have here in MA. I have been using it for about 18 months.
I like it.
I have been accessing my lab results online for a few years now. As usual, the feds are a day late and a dollar short.
Me too, except my data begins in 1972. Put it on an Excel spread sheet in the mid-1990's. An individual test doesn't mean nearly as much as how consistent the numbers are with your long term "normal" and the direction of any trends. The plotted graphs should be viewed like an industrial process control chart. You don't want to be chasing your tail or over-reacting to any small change.
I have access now, and if I get an xray I get a copy of it through the Film Library (name varies by centre but anyone can get imagery from MRI or CAT scan.
I get all my lab results and I can take the time to plot trends which my MD does not have.
We need a new law? Better read the fine print.
Good ruling - I usually go back to the lab and ask for a copy of the report - they always comply - I let the doc do the analysis, but I like to check for any trends or issues which aren’t clear so I can ask about them if necessary.....
“This is the first good thing about HIPAA!”
First good thing? What’s wrong with HIPAA, exactly?
If you like your lab test report, you can keep your lab test report.
LOL I was going to post the very same thing.
Find another doctor. They are the medical advisor you hire and you are not their puppet.
Correct. You can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t extrapolate a point.
The PA said, no, we can't give you a copy of your EKG, because it would violate privacy rules.
What do you mean 'privacy rules'? It's my own damn EKG. Whose privacy am I violating?
She actually did sneak a copy into my paperwork, probably at great risk to her license.
I too have access to MyChart online to see my lab results, and I love it.
“I have been accessing my lab results online for a few years now. As usual, the feds are a day late and a dollar short.”
In some states it was allowed but in many other states you didn’t have the right to access your own results, unless your doctor provided it to you.
Now everyone can access their results.
“Whats wrong with HIPAA, exactly?”
A lot of bureaucracy and unnecessary paperwork.
For example, you used to be able to ask your doctor for your record and they made you a copy, since HIPAA, you have to fill out paperwork to get your own records, and there is also more paperwork the doctor has to keep, none of which helps anyone, just adds additional burden.