September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011
Proposed Change to Patients
Having Access to Test Reports

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you have had a safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear and I are still going through a rough week dealing with issues.

Speaking of issues did you hear about the proposed changes to patients having access to test reports? Probably not, since I was just notified myself. So I thought I would let everyone know in my blog today. Not only do I like to keep myself informed about changes but strive to help our friends and blog readers do the same.

This proposed rule would amend the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) regulations to specify that, upon a patient's request, the laboratory may provide access to completed test reports that, using the laboratory's authentication process, can be identified as belonging to that patient. Subject to conforming amendments, the proposed rule would retain the existing provisions that provide for release of test reports to authorized persons and, if applicable, the individuals (or their personal representative) responsible for using the test reports and, in the case of reference laboratories, the laboratory that initially requested the test.

In addition, this proposed rule would also amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to provide individuals the right to receive their test reports directly from laboratories by removing the exceptions for CLIA-certified laboratories and CLIA-exempt laboratories from the provision that provides individuals with the right of access to their protected health information.

*While individuals can obtain test results through the ordering provider, we believe that the advent of certain health reform concepts (for example, individualized medicine and an individual's active involvement in his or her own health care) would be best served by revisiting the CLIA limitations on the disclosure of laboratory test results.*

I for one believe we as patients should always have the right and access to all information concerning testing, medication and treatment options. So I will be checking more on this issue as I can and will let you know through updates.

Have a lot on my plate right now so I will close with wishing all of you a safe and great weekend!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab