Another example of how state laws make healthcare even more complicated

business woman working on laptopAs I was writing about WellnessFX and their free blood test, I dug into LabCorp’s site. I wondered if there were laws about releasing lab results directly to patients.
Obviously I haven’t been doing this long enough.
Of course, there are laws, and of course, they vary from state to state (scroll down to see what the rule is in your state). I also found out that LabCorp also has its own direct-to-consumer blood test product: LabCorp Beacon.

Some states require physicians to direct the release of lab test results to patients. To find out if your state allows lab test results to be delivered to patients, click here to view a state-by-state list.

Fifteen states do not allow patients to receive lab results directly. It’s a strange mix that includes California, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Why do those 15 states require results be released a doctor? Do those states have really strong physician lobbying groups that are motivated to preserve the middle man? Is this like the patchwork of telemedicine laws where each legislature has its own reasons?

I know universal healthcare laws are unpopular, but direct access to lab results seems like a no-brainer. Waiting for test results is one of the top complaints about healthcare in America. Anyone working for smaller government should focus on rules like this that create a completely unnecessary middleman and make life harder for startups trying to launch at a national scale.

Here is a list of how states regulate the release of lab results. If your state is one of the 15 in the “NO” column, call your legislator.
Blood Test Laws

Veronica Combs

I was the editor in chief at MedCityNews.com. I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012. More posts by Author

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