New Rules Opening Access to Lab Test Results Will Empower Patients to Understand Their Health Better

Sep 13, 2011, 10:35 ET from Quest Diagnostics

MADISON, N.J., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- New rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand the rights of Americans to access their personal health information will empower patients to understand their health condition better, according to Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostics testing, information and services.

"Patient engagement in healthcare decision making is vital to promoting better health outcomes and reduced costs in our healthcare system," said Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer, Quest Diagnostics. "HHS's proposed rule will help to empower patients to understand their health condition and discuss their healthcare options more constructively with their physicians."

In many states, laboratory test results can only be provided to "authorized individuals," typically a physician or healthcare provider, rather than directly to a patient. Under the new rules, patients would be able to gain access to test results reports directly from labs. The new rules would also ensure that labs covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provide such information, upon request, directly to patients or their personal representatives.

The proposed rules were announced by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on September 12, 2011, during the first-ever HHS Consumer Health IT Summit, a meeting of consumers, providers, and the public and private sectors to discuss "how to empower consumers to be partners in their health and care through health IT."

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at QuestDiagnostics.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/QuestDiagnostics and Twitter.com/QuestDX.

Quest Diagnostics Contacts:

Wendy Bost (Media): 973-520-2800

Kathleen Valentine (Investors): 973-520-2900

SOURCE Quest Diagnostics



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