The Patient Test Result Information Act was effective December 23, 2018.

The Act requires entities performing diagnostic imaging services, defined to include any medical imaging test intended to diagnose the presence or absence of a disease, to provide notice of the results to patients.  The operative language states:

“When, in the judgment of the entity performing a diagnostic imaging service, a significant abnormality may exist, the entity performing the diagnostic imaging service shall directly notify the patient or the patient’s designee by providing notice that the entity has completed a review of the test performed on the patient and has sent results to the healthcare practitioner who ordered the diagnostic imaging service”.

The notice to the patient shall include:

·         The name of the ordering healthcare practitioner

·         The date the test was performed

·         The date the results were sent to the ordering healthcare practitioner

The notice must also contain a statement to the patient that the patient is receiving the notice as a result of a determination by the diagnostic imaging services that further discussions of the test are warranted and would be beneficial.  In other words, you must make sure the patient knows that the test is significant and that their doctor has it.

The Act exempts reports regarding routine obstetric ultrasounds used to monitor the development of a fetus and imaging services performed on a patient being treated as an inpatient or in an emergency room.

The Act also exempts diagnostic radiographs, which are defined as the digital images, so the notice need not include the actual image.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has provided a one year grace period in order for diagnostic imaging entities to become accustomed to their obligations.  Click the links to read that letter dated December 14, 2018 and the Act.