They refused to give me my blood test results

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posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 01:15 AM
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I went to a lab to have CBC (complete blood count) done. I went back to lab to pick up results. They refused to give me a copy. They said Hippa laws prevent me from having a copy of my blood test results and that I can only get them if physician writes it on script that they have permission to give me a copy of results.

In reading some of their papers concerning "your privacy" I have noticed that they mention sharing your records with pharmaceutical companies and research firms (I bet its "marketing research" firms) and that seems rather suspicious to me. But I thought that clearly a person has a right to their own medical records. Especially above "third parties" having access.

What do I have to do....file papers for the Freedom of Information?

Do I have any rights here? What should be my recourse?




posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by Alethea
 


You definitely have rights to access your own test reults.

I would start with your doctor.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by kawacat
 


I had already heard the results from dr. via phone that all bloodwork was fine/normal...so it's not like they are guarding some earth shattering secret.

What I object to is being put through hoops. I feel I am entitled to a hard copy from the lab where the tests were done. How do I get my way?

If I have to go through their antics it will take a week or more. When I have asked things to be faxed dr. to dr. they never get there. I want a hard copy; I want it NOW in my hot little hands. It should belong to me, right?





[edit on 6-3-2010 by Alethea]



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by Alethea
 


Yes, it should belong to you.

But, if I were you, I would just be very grateful that nothing is wrong and leave it at that.

If you want to pursue it, maybe approach your local most powerful politician.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 02:50 AM
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The person you asked probably misunderstood what you were asking for. Getting your medical record, including past and most recent bloodwork, DOES require you to fill out a form and typically, you have to schedule a short sit-down with the doctor or nurse practitioner. This is just for liability reasons, so that they can explain anything that jumps out at you immediately. It minimizes the risk that you'll misinterpret a test result and shoot off a lawsuit, which will cost the doctor in legal fees or high malpractice insurance even if the case is thrown out for being ridiculous.

As for your results being "shared" with firms or pharmaceutical companies, that clause in HIPAA only applies to patients who are currently enrolled in clinical trials. Signing up for one of these trials gives you access to a new, and potentially better, treatment before it is fully released, and in return, you agree to provice the researchers (be they university doctors or a pharma company) with biodata so they can study their treatment. You would know if you were in one of these studies or not, as there is usually a mountain of releases and other paperwork, along with meeting after meeting after meeting with the doctors involved.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 02:57 AM
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I suspect it is just the lab's policy and their interpertation of HIPPA/your state's medical privacy laws. They won't release anything to the public. Just get a script or note from your Dr. and get them or simply copy the results from your physician's office.

If you really want to make sure they are NEVER released for "research" etc., write them a letter and advise them that you are revoking whatever release they think they have from HIPPA to use your results EVER for ANYTHING, and tell them in your letter that you will sue them both as a lab and individually if they EVER release them.

Whatever you do, DO NOT simply "be thankful that your results are fine" and throw privacy to the wind. Get your results for yourself and safeguard your privacy. Medical records are one of the last refuges of privacy and these bstrds want to take that too. Infuriates me to no end.

Good luck!



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 03:32 AM
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Under Hippa you have a right to see anything that is in your medical chart, even the doctors personal notes on you:


Under the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), patients have the right to get a copy of their medical records. This has also become a law in several states.
Step 1
Ask to see your records if you are in good terms with your health care provider .
Step 2
If asking doesn't work, put your request in writing. Some hospitals provide forms to fill out. Make sure to inquire.
Step 3
Your health care provider has about 30 days to provide you a copy of your medical records. In some states, this process can be expedited. If there are any errors, the healthcare provider has about 60 days to correct them.
Step 4
If for example your record has any error and your health care provider did not correct these errors, you can write a letter outlining the problem and request your health care provider to include that letter in your medical record. In this case, your health care provider can write a rebuttal which will then be included in the medical record.
Step 5
You can file a complaint with the federal Department of Health and Human Services if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request. Please keep in mind that patients cannot sure to change their records under the federal privacy rule.

If you are asking the Lab, they cannot turn them over to you because they are not your attending physician and cannot legally diagnose you. For example, I cannot give someone lab results that I collect, the patient has to go to the front office to get them after the Doctor has read and interpreted the results. After the Doc has preformed his diagnosis, a patient is allowed to anything they want right down to a copy of the raw data we collected.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by defcon5


If you are asking the Lab, they cannot turn them over to you because they are not your attending physician and cannot legally diagnose you. For example, I cannot give someone lab results that I collect, the patient has to go to the front office to get them after the Doctor has read and interpreted the results. After the Doc has preformed his diagnosis, a patient is allowed to anything they want right down to a copy of the raw data we collected.


Thank you, Defcon for the concise outline.
Yes, I was asking the Lab. I did not expect or ask for a diagnosis of labwork. I wanted a copy of the report. This is what they refused to give me. I was not asking any questions concerning the bloodwork at all. Only asked for a copy of report--that's it.

I was told that I must have a "script from physician" giving them permission to give me a copy.

The lab was much closer than dr. office for picking up the hard copy. Also, I had already received diagnosis of lab work.

I can understand your point if a person is asking lab to make diagnosis or "read/interpret report". I did not ask for anyhing like that. Only a copy.

Why should this be denied to me? Why should it require a note of permission from doctor, especially since dr. has already given me results (via phone)?


And to the person who said I should just shut up and be grateful....that's really lame. I don't take being pushed around and made to jump through hoops. Especially when I know I am entitled to have access to my personal information.

And to the person who mentioned medical records...this was lab work for blood test only. I did not request any medical records. This was strictly a lab facility for drawing blood and gathering urine samples.

Thanks to all who took time to give me answers.

Would still like to know if I have any leverage to demand my lab copy?



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 07:07 AM
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I spend a lot of time with medical professionals, and I have several specialists who all want my blood and other body fluids for various tests. I have never been successful getting results from a lab directly unless it was in a hospital - no clue as to why. All my doctors know that I will pick up a hard copy of my lab results from their office, I call the nurse several hours or a day ahead and have a copy put in an envelope I can pick up at the desk (no way I'm paying for an office visit just to pick up results). The only time I had trouble was wanting immediate access from a hospital, but a call to the admin fixed it on the spot.

HIPAA appears to help the patient, but you have to demand your rights. Sad, but nobody "gives up" anything anymore unless you use a pry bar.


gj



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by Alethea
 


hmm I have received blood tests through the phone and the current state I am living in has sent me the results through the mail, with a typed up review and a copy of the test. Pap tests, for me, have been through the mail as mine have always been normal. They show the copy, and keep the hard copy in my medical records.

In order for me to see the original copy or bring some of my records to another doctor, I did this once, I had to sign a release form and show ID and I had to pick it up. To see the original results it took a week to get it out of my records and into a manilla envelope. Yes, i opened the envelope because they were my records, and I read what the doctors had to say. The specialist I saw showed me the originals and what they meant. So you can see the original as it is a patient right, but expect to wait a week to see it, and sign a release form, they do this to protect their own butts, as someone could pose as you and ask to see private information.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by mysticalzoe
So you can see the original as it is a patient right, but expect to wait a week to see it, and sign a release form, they do this to protect their own butts, as someone could pose as you and ask to see private information.




I think it would be easier for someone to "pose as me" over the phone than in person with photo ID and we have to give hand scans now, too.

The irony is that info will be freely given over phone (by dr. office), but not in person (at lab). Go figure!

I know that I could go to dr. and get a hard copy. But when you are in a situation where you need to have the blood results to take to another dr. because you have something of an urgent situation....isn't there some "clause" or rights that you can demand immediately to get the release of hard copy?



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 01:43 PM
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You guys are missing the clincher here:

It is NOT that you don't have the right to your medical records, but the lab DOES NOT have the right to give them to you directly.

Your doctor ordered the labs. The lab follows the doctor's script. The lab then sends the results to your doctor for analysis. It is then up to your doctor to tell you what the results mean.

This is very similar to not be able to get results from the X-ray tech at the time they do the X-rays. They are not permitted to give you, or analyze, your results. Only the doctor can. This applies to labs as well.

Edit to add: The reason for this is simple and makes sense. Let's say your potassium level is higher than normal. The lab would see this and say: Uh oh -- your potassium levels are too high! However, your doctor, who is supposed to be familiar with your medical history, may know that the recorded level is not too high FOR YOU. The lab would have no way of knowing this and does not have access to your FULL MEDICAL HISTORY.

[edit on 6-3-2010 by lpowell0627]



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by lpowell0627
You guys are missing the clincher here:

It is NOT that you don't have the right to your medical records, but the lab DOES NOT have the right to give them to you directly.

Your doctor ordered the labs. The lab follows the doctor's script. The lab then sends the results to your doctor for analysis. It is then up to your doctor to tell you what the results mean.

This is very similar to not be able to get results from the X-ray tech at the time they do the X-rays. They are not permitted to give you, or analyze, your results. Only the doctor can. This applies to labs as well.


This is absolutely correct. The labs I send tests to are legally bound to ONLY release those results to ME, and then I can release them to the patient/guardian/spouse. This varies somewhat by state, but generally, the lab can only release to the person (MD or NP) who ordered the test.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Alethea
I did not expect or ask for a diagnosis of labwork. I wanted a copy of the report. This is what they refused to give me. I was not asking any questions concerning the bloodwork at all. Only asked for a copy of report--that's it.

I was told that I must have a "script from physician" giving them permission to give me a copy.


You are not the one that ordered the tests. Your doctor did. The tests are not for you, they are about you. Two totally different things.

The only person -- in this case a doctor -- that can receive a copy is the actual person that ordered the tests to be done.



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by lpowell0627

This is very similar to not be able to get results from the X-ray tech at the time they do the X-rays. They are not permitted to give you, or analyze, your results. Only the doctor can. This applies to labs as well.

Let's say your potassium level is higher than normal. The lab would see this and say: Uh oh -- your potassium levels are too high!



I see your point. However, I went directly to radiology and picked up written results of x-ray without any problem. They even asked if I wanted films too. I by-passed the doctor totally because I picked up results as they had just been logged into computer and had not even been sent to dr. yet!!!

As for the blood lab, they have no business giving any explanations of bloodwork. I did not ask for nor expect an explanations. I only wanted a copy of report. I still do not understand why they do not have to co-operate with me as they have my personal info. And radiology had no problem giving info to me even before dr. got results!



posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Alethea
I see your point. However, I went directly to radiology and picked up written results of x-ray without any problem. They even asked if I wanted films too. I by-passed the doctor totally because I picked up results as they had just been logged into computer and had not even been sent to dr. yet!!!


The written report from radiology is prepared by the radiologist assigned to your case (an MD), who also has access to your entire medical history, as well as the information provided by the referring doctor. This is drastically different than a lab getting your blood samples and a request for a CBC, nothing else.


As for the blood lab, they have no business giving any explanations of bloodwork. I did not ask for nor expect an explanations. I only wanted a copy of report. I still do not understand why they do not have to co-operate with me as they have my personal info. And radiology had no problem giving info to me even before dr. got results!



As for the radiology, see my point above (you HAD been seen by a doctor, in the sense that a radiologist (doctor) had examined your films and written a report that goes into your medical record). The reason the lab won't give you the results is a legal and liability issue, more often than not. If you are given the results with no context (which the doctor or nurse practitioner provides when giving you your results in the clinic or over the phone), you are likely to misinterpret a high or low result (which may be normal or expected considering the rest of your medical history). As I stated in my post above, this could result in you firing off a baseless lawsuit which you would lose, but would still cost the clinic and lab in legal fees and higher malpractice premiums.



posted on Mar, 13 2010 @ 05:02 PM
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Heres how it was stated to me. Once it leaves your body it is no longer yours. Does not belong to you, it belongs to the doctor who wrote the oder. Frustrated me to no end. I have been seeking the correct guidelines since I am finding that more and more, every phacet of the medical profession is hiding behind the HIPAA Rule.



posted on Mar, 13 2010 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by frstr8dcitzn
Heres how it was stated to me. Once it leaves your body it is no longer yours. Does not belong to you, it belongs to the doctor who wrote the oder. Frustrated me to no end. I have been seeking the correct guidelines since I am finding that more and more, every phacet of the medical profession is hiding behind the HIPAA Rule.


We have to "hide behind HIPAA" because patients demand privacy. If you have a problem with HIPAA, take it up with your Congressmen, not with your doctor. I, personally, am pro-HIPAA because it makes it harder for insurance companies to deny claims based on pre-existing conditions. If you'd rather give the insurance companies unfettered access to your medical records because you can't be bothered to fill out an extra form to get your medical information, so be it. I think you'll be in the minority.



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


VneZonyDostupa, you seem to have been completely brainwashed by the insurance companies that want you to think premiums are high because of malpractice. It's insanely difficult to sue a hospital. Before you can proceed, you typically need a certificate of merit that can only be given out by a doctor that you have to pay, then you need hundreds of thousands of dollars for expert testimony. The hospital knows this and uses it to its advantage by picking people over 25 and single, poor, etc. to push procedures on to train students. Because no lawyer could afford to help these people when they have to foot that kind of bill, they only stick to the massive cases that are obviously going to win.

What the law does say is that your records can be refused to you for medical reasons. It's a loophole. For example, if your medical records were a risk to you, a risk to your health, or a risk to other peoples' health. That's just in theory.

The best example of this is psychiatrist. They can put in your chart that you're completely insane and refuse to disclose that to you because you're going to get angry.

I don't really buy that. I think you're more at risk of a wrong diagnosis or a failure to diagnose. It's far better for you to have your diagnosis, in hand, even if you don't understand it. You can't blame anyone but yourself if you decide to play doctor on yourself because of it.

Hospitals will often blacklist you too. Getting your records helps reveal this pattern of abuse as well.

I know people who have copies of their blood work sent to their house, from the lab. They sign a release too. Why do they have a release if they can't give it out?? There may be another exception however, for HIV or Drug status, but where I am, there are two check boxes explicitly stating that you want that data to be released too.

My bet is they're being ridiculous. Contact your state attorney general and make a complaint.



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 08:50 PM
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Generally the labs wont give you your test results. I know that happens here quite often. You do have the right to get them, but you must go through your GP or Physician to recieve them





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