Health Committee OKs Kosierowski medical test results measure

HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – The state House Health Committee recently approved a bill written by Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski that would balance a patient’s right to access their health information with the important role that medical professionals provide in helping patients understand their test results.

“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 legislation would require 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,” said Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna.

“The bill also addresses another concern 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, could be delayed after they are finalized, unless the health care practitioner directs otherwise. This would allow time for the patient’s doctor to verify potentially alarming and upsetting results and provide appropriate counsel.”

Kosierowski said she and Rep. Barry Jozwiak, R-Berks, modeled the legislation on bills that passed in states as different as Kentucky and California.

House Bill 1956 awaits action by the full state House of Representatives.