CHA News Article

HHS Publishes Final Rule on HIPAA Lab Test Results

On Feb. 6, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a final rule that gives patients the right to obtain their lab test results directly from any lab subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule (HIPAA), and to require the labs to send their test results to any designated person or organization. The rule, attached, also amends the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) regulations to permit (but not require) CLIA-certified labs that are not subject to HIPAA to provide test results directly to patients. While patients can continue to get their lab test reports from their doctors, these changes give patients a new option to obtain their test reports directly from the lab. The rule is intended to provide patients greater access to their health information, empowering them to take a more active role in managing their health and health care. The final rule is effective April 7, but HIPAA covered entities must comply with the applicable requirements by Oct. 6.