National Partnership for Women & Families

Women’s Health Leader Commends HHS Rule Giving Patients and Families Access to Laboratory Results

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 3, 2014 —

“Patients and families need and want access to their own health information, including laboratory results. We commend the rule, announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today, which gives patients and designated family members unprecedented access to their lab results, regardless of where they live.

Patients want to be engaged in their health and this new policy will empower them and encourage them to be more active in managing their health and health care.  

Importantly, patients and families can request results directly from the laboratory, which will reduce incidents of unnecessary delay and ease the administrative burden on small primary care practices, potentially improving both the quality of care and patient safety. One oft-cited study found that patients were not informed of seven percent of abnormal test results. Another finds that eight to 20 percent of adults who were treated as outpatients did not receive their test results. That adds up to millions of patients without the information they need, when they need it most. This rule helps to address this huge gap in access for patients and families.

Patients want to partner with their providers to achieve better care and better outcomes. Today’s rule will help facilitate those partnerships. The new rule is an advance patients and families need.”  

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

The Consumer Partnership for e-Health (CPeH) is a non-partisan coalition that has been working since 2005 to ensure that efforts to drive health IT adoption meet the needs of patients and their families. Led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, CPeH includes members from nearly 50 consumer, patient, and labor organizations working at both the national and local levels. The combined membership of CPeH represents more than 127 million Americans. More at

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