On Oct. 6, 2014, a final rule
issued jointly by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will require all HIPAA-covered labs (i.e., labs that conduct certain electronic transactions, such as electronic submission of claims) to provide individuals with direct access to completed test reports and other protected health information (PHI) maintained about the individual. Labs not covered by HIPAA will be permitted, but not required, to provide individuals with direct access to completed test reports. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cited the lack of direct access to test reports as a barrier to the adoption and widespread use of health information technology.
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