Is allowing patients direct access to lab results a good idea?

A ruling from the HHS took effect allowing patients direct access to medical laboratory results.
A ruling from the HHS took effect allowing patients direct access to medical laboratory results.

On April 7, a ruling from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took effect allowing patients direct access to medical laboratory results.

The rule amends the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act, which had prevented laboratories from providing test results directly to patients. Under the new rule, laboratories are required to provide patients copies of their test results within 30 days of a request.

In a news release, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “Information like lab results can empower patients to track their health progress, make decisions with their healthcare professionals, and adhere to important treatment plans.”

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