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HHS Proposed Regs Would Give Patients Direct Access to Lab Results

Posted in Medicare

One of the major trends in health care today is to allow greater patient access to health information.  In keeping with that, the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed amendments to the CLIA regulations which would require labs covered by the health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to provide test results directly to patients. According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the amendments are designed to cut down on the administrative delays currently experienced by many patients in getting their results from their doctors.  I wonder however whether patients will be able to effectively interpret their own lab results or, perhaps more importantly, whether they might be inclined skip a critical follow up visit because they think everything looks fine.  For more information, take a look at the following article from Reuters.