How often do you dread going to the doctor simply because of the long wait to be seen? It’s even more torturous if the purpose is simply to hear results of lab tests. Well, now there is some relief to the process.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken action to secure a new rule that allows the patient or a person designated by the patient to have direct access to laboratory test results.
This new federal rule not only eliminates the gatekeeper between patient and data, but empowers “patients to track their health progress, make decisions with their health care professionals, and adhere to important treatment plans,” according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The new rule updates the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 and makes obtaining medical test results directly from the laboratory possible – without having to go through the doctor’s office.
Patients’ requests in writing must be fulfilled within 30 days, in most cases.
Clearly, it is still important to have a medical provider review and interpret the results of lab tests, but now with direct access, the wait for results may be shortened and it will help the patient going into an appointment be better prepared with questions to ask concerning their own health.