HHS & CMS Propose Rule Giving Patients the Right to Access Pathology Lab Results Online

On September 12th, 2011, the Department of Health & Human Services (HSS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the HSS Office for Civil Rights, released a draft rule mandating that patients are to be granted access to their laboratory test results electronically.  This new rule would override previously standing  CLIA and HIPPA regulations on the matter.

The goal of this proposed rule is to allow the patients to become more informed in their own healthcare, encouraging them to ask more questions and take a more active role.

Research has shown that up tp 80% of the information in a patient’s medical record consists of clinical laboratory results. Many health information exchange (HIE) initiatives point to the sharing of clinical lab test results is a priority, and this new proposed rule follows through on these initiative.

On September 14th, the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register.  From this date, there is a 60 day window available for public feedback on this rule.  Anyone with a vested interest in this industry, including pathologists and clinical laboratory managers, is encouraged to submit their feedback on this rule.

Is your laboratory prepared if such a rule came into effect?  How will you implement these electronic access requirements and still ensure patient confidentiality and information security?

If your organization, whether it be an in-office physician lab or a full service independent laboratory, is struggling with these challenges, contact Colaborate today.  Colaborate is a full service, laboratory and healthcare focused consulting company that can help overcome issues relating to the ever changing healthcare technology requirements.  Whether you need assistance with lab automation, outreach operations, compliance auditing, or a Chargemaster Review, we have the decades of industry expertise to navigate your daily business challenges.

By Kevin Hunter