Patient Test Results Information Act – Act 112 of 2018

Effective December 23, 2019, enforcement of the Patient Test Results Information Act (the “Act”) commenced. The Act requires facilities that perform diagnostic imaging services to provide written notice to the patient or the patient’s designee if the facility determines that a “significant abnormality” may exist. The notice, which must be sent no later than 20 days after the date the results were sent to the ordering health care practitioner, must include the following information:

  1. The name of the ordering health care practitioner
  2. The date the test was performed
  3. The date the results were sent to the ordering health care practitioner
  4. The following statement:
    “You are receiving this notice as a result of a determination by your diagnostic imaging service that further discussions of your test results are warranted and would be beneficial to you.
    The complete results of your test or tests have been or will be sent to the health care practitioner that ordered the test or tests. It is recommended that you contact your health care practitioner to discuss your results as soon as possible.”
  5. The contact information necessary for the patient to obtain a full report

In an effort to help clarify the Act and how it will be interpreted, on August 16, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (“DOH”) issued Clarifying Guidance and eleven Frequently Asked Questions. Despite this additional guidance, many questions remain as hospitals and other providers implement new workflows.

On December 2, 2019, Representative Barry Jozwiak introduced House Bill 2103, which would remove the “significant abnormality” language from the law and require the entity performing the diagnostic testing to provide written notice directly to the patient at the time of the service that the entity will complete a review of the test performed and will send the results to the ordering health care practitioner.

It remains to be seen how the DOH will enforce Act 112, especially in the early stages of its implementation.