Health Information Management

Q&A: Requests for copies of lab reports

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 5, 2011

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Q: After meeting with physicians to review lab reports, patients often request a copy of their report. Is written consent or authorization required before the physician provides the patient with a copy?

A: Written consent or authorization is not required or appropriate in this situation. The physician may provide the patient with a copy of the report based on a verbal request. This is similar to a patient requesting a copy of his or her medical record; the physician may require that the request be in writing, but this is certainly not mandatory.
 
Editor’s note: Chris Apgar, CISSP, president of Apgar & Associates, LLC, in Portland, OR, answered this question in the July issue of Briefings on HIPAA.
 



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