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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: November 15, 2023 02:33 PM
From: Representative Bridget M. Kosierowski and Rep. Barry J. Jozwiak
To: All House members
Subject: Improving The Patient Test Results Act
The CURES Act at the federal level made enormous changes in patient access to their medical records and test information. As anyone who has received a medical test recently knows, we have immediate access to our test results as soon as the information is posted to our electronic health records – often at the same time our own physicians receive them.
This federal change makes our existing law -- the Patient Test Results Act – out of date.
Currently,  diagnostic imaging centers are directed to contact some patients telling them to call their doctors for results in certain situations. Our legislation changes Pennsylvania law to reflect the new federal law, requiring providers to inform patients that they will be receiving their test results in their electronic health record, or that they can ask the provider to mail the results to them.
However, the bill also addresses another concern we’ve heard from patients and providers: With immediate access to test results, patients may be getting worrisome information without important context on their own prognosis or treatment options. And Dr. Google simply may not be the best health care provider for a terrified parent receiving a cancer diagnosis for their child.
In the bill, pathology or radiology reports likely to show a finding of cancer, or tests that may reveal a serious genetic condition, can be delayed for 72 hours after they are finalized, unless the healthcare practitioner directs otherwise. This allows time for the patient’s doctor to verify potentially alarming and upsetting results and provide appropriate counsel.
This bill is modeled on legislation that passed in states as different as Kentucky and California; it aims to strike a balance between patient’s right to access their health information with the important role of providers to provide context helping patients understand the implications of their results. The goal is to reduce undue anxiety, while ensuring patients have control over their own health care information.
WE hope you will support patients and providers by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1956