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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 21, 2021 11:56 AM
From: Representative Barry J. Jozwiak
To: All House members
Subject: Amending the Patient Test Result Information Act
The Patient Test Result Information Act (Act 112 of 2018) requires imaging entities to directly notify the patient if the test results indicate significant abnormalities. While there are obviously good intentions for the act, there have been conflicting interpretations of the law's applicability, so as a result, some clarifications are needed.
Because the imaging interpreter often does not know the patient, and because the criteria for “significant abnormality” are vague, some doctors have understandably chosen a safe route and have embraced a low threshold to initiate the “significant findings” process; this involves sending a fairly ominous letter to the patient. Letters have been sent indicating that the patient’s test results showed “significant abnormalities,” when that patient's test really did not indicate a clinical change for him/her. Of course, this leads to unintended consequences of undue patient anxiety and stress – and often further testing. This is what we are trying to address.
My bill will amend the law to:
  • Remove the definition of “significant abnormality” AND
  • Require diagnostic imaging entities to provide patients with written notice at the time of any imaging service. The notice shall state that the results of the test(s) will be sent to the ordering health care practitioner. If the ordering practitioner doesn’t reach out within 21 days or the electronic health records haven’t been updated, it is recommended that the patient follow-up with the practitioner to discuss the results.
 The goal is to prevent patients from undue anxiety and additional testing, and improve patients understanding of potential health issues after their doctor can appropriately interpret and explain the test results.

This bill has the support of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

Please join me in supporting Pennsylvania's patients.

Introduced as HB1280