Electronic Release of Clinical Laboratory Results

Health information exchange (HIE) – in particular the electronic sharing of laboratory results are a matter of concern.  In lieu of the same, The National Academy for State Health Policy, U.S., has launched State and national initiatives using HIE which are gaining momentum in the wake of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that provides over $40 billion to promote health information technology, including electronic health records (EHRs) and HIE.

The release of laboratory results is guided by regulations issued under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as well as numerous state-specific medical release and laboratory licensing laws. A paper was published with the intention to provide policymakers with useful background on:

  • Policy issues related to sharing lab results with providers and patients, and how those terms are defined;
  • The pertinent laws and how they are interpreted by various states;
  • How the HIPAA and CLIA laws relate to each other; and
  • Opportunities for reviewing, reinterpreting, and possibly updating laws to fit with new electronic infrastructure and capabilities.

The complete paper is available under Document Downloads below:

Electronic Release of Clinical Laboratory Results: A Review of State and Federal Policy