Federal Rule Now Grants Patients Quicker Access to Lab Results. What Does This Mean For Your Health?

At Test Smartly Labs, our goal is to get you the answers you seek by providing quick, confidential walk-in testing for individuals and employers.We pride ourselves on our timely, reliable services.

A new federal rule that was recently announced has made it even easier for our nationwide locations to provide results. As the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Monday, February 3, 2014, patients are now allowed direct access to their lab results without a health care professional go-between.

What’s the reasoning behind this new lab report law, and how will it impact your health? We have the details below.

Better Access to Lab Results & Your Health

Previously, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) prevented patients from getting direct access to any lab report. Instead, patients had to wait and receive lab results from their physicians.

Why Grant Direct Lab Results Access to Patients?

There are several reasons why it makes sense to give patients access to lab results without requiring a health care provider’s intermediary services.

A Fuller View of Patient’s Health Information

Test Smartly Labs | Direct Access to Lab Results & Your Health

Some labs and health care providers expressed concerns about how patients would use information gleaned from their lab results without first consulting with their physician. Patients with seemingly abnormal results, including false positives or false negatives, might react to their lab reports without fully understanding them and how their specific medical conditions and predispositions could affect the outcome.

Yet according to the HHS, studies have shown that doctors failed to adequately inform their patients about abnormal lab results 7% of the time, meaning patients weren’t fully aware of their own medical conditions. By giving patients direct access to the lab results, the federal rule ensures that people get a fuller understanding of their health.

Quicker Response Time

The process of conducting lab tests was longer before the federal rule was announced. Health care providers had to order the tests, send the patient for testing (or draw blood on site to send to lab facilities), wait to hear back from the laboratory, analyze the lab results, and then contact the patient to share those results. Sometimes, physicians would share lab results through a mailed letter rather than over the phone, making wait time for patients even longer.

Now that you can access lab results straight from the facilities conducting the testing, you’ll get answers sooner, eliminating the stress that comes with waiting and allowing you and your doctor to move forward with a treatment plan more quickly.

More Productive Doctor-Patient Conversations

Though some physicians have expressed worry that the new regulation might hinder doctor-patient communications, in reality, more informed patients will have better conversations with their health care providers. When patients get direct access to their lab results, they can review them and see what questions they have for their doctors so that they’re prepared for the conversation with their physician. Furthermore, with quicker patient access to their lab results and a greater understanding of their medical conditions, patients should also see less medical errors, including duplicate tests.

Get Your Quick, Reliable Lab Results Today at Test Smartly Labs!

The wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs locations welcome the new HHS regulation and are excited to provide even quicker, streamlined service to our customers.

To learn more about our walk-in lab testing, locate your wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs location today!

Speak Your Mind