Must CLIA Labs Give Patients Test Results?

    … and Other FAQs on Privacy Rules 

    A woman walks into your clinical laboratory and requests a copy of her blood test results. Her physician, who ordered the tests, is not responding promptly to her phone calls, and she is getting impatient to find out if something is wrong with her.

    "Don't try to talk me out of it. I know my rights," she says, waving a copy of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations. "It says patients have the right to get copies of their medical records."

    Q. Must you give her a copy of her test results?

    A. No. Labs certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA) may disclose test results or reports only to authorized people. Texas adheres to the federal law's definition of authorized person, which is the person who orders the test - in this case, the physician. The HIPAA privacy standard excludes tests subject to CLIA from right of access rules.

    The U.S. Health and Human Services' guidance on the HIPAA Privacy Rule answers this and  many other questions on the HIPPA privacy regulations.

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