U.S. Plan Would Boost Access to Lab Results

PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST

The Obama administration proposed a new rule that would allow patients to have direct access to electronic medical records, including lab results without waiting to hear them from a doctor. At present, patients can only obtain lab results if their physicians provide authorization, or if they reside in a few states which allow such access.

The rules proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services are part of a broader effort to give patients greater access to medical data electronically so they can become more engaged in their care. They would replace a confusing patchwork of state laws and privacy statutes and affect more than 6 billion lab tests a year.

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