Coverage of Recent Department of Health and Human Services Decision on Access to Patient Test Results
February 12, 2014
The February 13, 2014, issue of Laboratory Industry Report covers a recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision to require laboratories to send test results directly to patients if requested. The report notes that, while the ruling should not have a significant impact on laboratory test volumes, it could affect of the business model of clinical laboratories.
Irving Nachamkin, DrPH, MPH, Director of the Division of Laboratory Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, is quoted in the article. Dr. Nachamkin notes that the 14 HUP labs perform about 6 million tests each year, and results are sent to patients within a couple of days after a physician has reviewed them. In fact, since 2010, test results from routine assays have been available directly to patients through the very popular myPennMedicine.org web portal, which also includes some interactive features, such as charts to monitor blood sugar levels over specific periods of time, for example. As Dr. Nachamkin notes, Penn Medicine, with its focus on easy patient access to electronic health records, is certainly "ahead of the curve on this.”