Test Results Denied

Type1Lou
By Type1Lou Latest Reply 2012-02-11 11:37:36 -0600
Started 2012-02-02 10:31:28 -0600

Quest Diagnostics recently did a blood test for my B12 levels. When I asked them for a copy of my test results, they informed me that they were NOT PERMITTED to give me one unless my doctor noted "Copy to Patient" on the order. The previous lab I used had no problem giving me a copy of the bloodwork results. I switched to Quest because they are the "preferred" provider for my insurance. I did get a copy of the B12 test results from my doctor but it seems to me that I am entitled to receive a copy from Quest…why should I have to bother my doctor for this? I live in Florida. Has anyone else encountered this?


26 replies

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-11 11:37:36 -0600 Report

Here's an update on what I've discovered. Quest cites that Florida Administrative Code - Section 59A-7.028 prevents them from giving me a copy…they cite paragraph 7(b) that reads "No report of any test or transcript thereof shall be sent to the patient concerned except with the written consent of the authorized person who requested the test." This might be something to write our state senator/congressman about. HIPAA clearly gives us access to these reports but our rights appear contravened by Florida Code. I need to examine the Florida Administrative Code more closely. Thanks for all the encouragement and replies.

pixsidust
pixsidust 2012-02-03 15:18:17 -0600 Report

Remind them your doctor is not paying them, You are!
Those results belong to you. Ask them to show you where in their policy it states not to give the insured their own results! Make several calls on this, do not let it go! I get all my results every time I test!

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-03 20:39:15 -0600 Report

I was getting my results from the previous lab I used with no problem. That's why Quest's response really floored me. I do intend to fully pursue this. Once I get my teeth into something, I tend to be a pitbull…or maybe it's that other "b" word?

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-03 17:57:04 -0600 Report

That's what I told her below, they just usually don't have to deal with people who will tell them that. This is one of the reasons I don't use Quest if possible. They also have a habbit of billing wrong and not running all the test ordered, which is why I have to check everything. I use to do this many years ago and having worked in a drs office gives me a little advantage.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-03 20:49:05 -0600 Report

I went to Quest because my doctor wanted a retest for my B12 levels. My original lab had returned results that were unbelievably low (<40). Quest's test was done 2 days later and came back at 144…still low but believable. That is when I also discovered that Quest was my insurer's "preferred provider". I'm now getting B12 shots and taking a B12 supplement. Thank you for your insight.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2012-02-02 20:33:09 -0600 Report

I also live in Florida and I have never had that problem. I ask for my copy when I check out after my appointment. Now my lab report is there at the clinic, so I don't actually go to the lab to get my blood drawn. I don't know why except for HIPPA that might have some weird rule. But if they are discussing it with you and they know you are who you say you are, that just sounds like a run around.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-03 13:25:10 -0600 Report

I checked out the links Mays thankfully provided, as well as going to a Georgetown University link that had a breakdown of individual state laws/HIPAA. http://hpi.georgetown.edu/privacy/records.html
As best as I could determine, HIPAA /Florida states that a patient has a right to a copy of their medical records from their provider. Is a lab considered a medical provider? By the broadest definition, I would think so. Are the results of lab tests my medical record? Again, I would think so. The gal at the Quest lab explained that they do not have access to the individual test results at the lab site. This certainly may be due to HIPAA and Quest's efforts to keep results confidential…no problem there. But they should agree to send me a copy if I ask for one. I still need to check actual Florida statutes to see if Florida prevents them from divulging the test results to me without my doctor's permission, as Quest claims on their website. Since I am ultimately responsible to pay for these tests, I feel entitled to the results without having to go through all sorts of hoops other than proving who I am. I may be writing to Quest with my understanding of the HIPAA requirements and ask them to justify their position.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-02-04 21:55:37 -0600 Report

Lou as a patient, you have a right to your medical records. HIPPA ( Health Information Portability Accountability Act) is huge and explanations can be confusing. However, part of patient rights allow you to have access to your medical records.

In some cases, you have to sign a release to have someone else have access to your medical information. I got sick and was in the hospital for 34 days. Upon my return to work, I had to go to Employee Assistance and speak with a therapist. The only information the therapist could give my employer was that I was keeping my appointments. In order for her to speak with my therapist I had to sign a release. I began to notice a change in my boss at work. Everyday she would ask me if I liked her. After two weeks of this I told her I am here to do a job not to be her friend and no where does it state I have to like her. The psych drugs I was on at the time kept me pretty calm. Finally after a month of her daily taunts. I blew up. When I got finished with her she was in tears and I got fired. I went to the union and filed a grievance. At the hearing it turned out that my boss and the therapist were friends. The therapist never used the release to contact my therapist, she used it to tell my boss what when on in therapy. The therapist was told she could not speak. She gave a copy of my final report which was suppose to go to my therapist to everyone at the table, stood up and said to my boss, "she hates your guts" and walked out. I got my job back, quit and sued them and I won.

I think what Quest is doing is protecting themselves by not giving you the information. It may be easier to get it from your doctor. I don't go to an outside lab for testing. Certain blood test are sent out after the blood is drawn. My doctor provides me with a copy. If for some reason they give your test results to someone else by mistake, they can be sued. This could be why the will send them to your doctor instead of giving them to you.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-05 09:42:27 -0600 Report

But Quest maintains that they will only MAIL them to me if my doctor indicates "Copy to Patient". They do not hand them to anyone. Since my address is on their record as the responsible party for the payment, there shouldn't be a problem. I did get a copy from the ordering doctor but I guess I'm getting hung up on the "principle" of the matter…

Gabby
GabbyPA 2012-02-03 20:54:17 -0600 Report

Maybe it is the "provider" term that is the problem. I would say your provider is your doctor. That is why the do that. Not that it makes sense....but there you go with the leaglaeze.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-04 08:08:17 -0600 Report

Having frequently interacted with the legal profession in my former working life, courts will frequently apply the broadest definition to a term unless there is a specific exclusion/exemption…e.g."Providers" excludes labs that do blood tests."
Since the labs "provide" blood test results to the doctors who order them, I believe it would be hard to say they weren't "providers" but I understand what you are saying. While I don't intend to take Quest to court, it will be interesting to see how they respond to my inquiry. (I expect an initial Quest "non-answer"…but who knows, they may surprise me.

Traveling Gypsy
Traveling Gypsy 2012-02-11 11:14:00 -0600 Report

I live in central Florida and have had no problems in getting a copy of my labs/test. These are about you and your body. No Doctor should refuse you a copy of any and all of your medical records. Stand up for what is right for you!

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-11 11:28:48 -0600 Report

I too am in Central Florida and until Quest's denial, I had no problem getting a copy of the report from the lab. I can always get a copy of the report from the doctor but couldn't understand why the lab refused me a copy. Quest cites that Florida Administrative Code - Section 59A-7.028 prevents them from giving me a copy…they cite paragraph 7(b) that reads "No report of any test or transcript thereof shall be sent to the patient concerned except with the written consent of the authorized person who requested the test." This might be something to write our state senator/congressman about. HIPAA clearly gives us access to these reports but our rights appear contravened by Florida Code. I need to examine the Florida Administrative Code more closely.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-02-03 21:08:09 -0600 Report

Regardless of who orders and/or who pays, the bottom line issue is that under HIPAA you are the person who is in charge of approving who can/can not see information about your body.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-03 18:09:16 -0600 Report

Ask Quest for the number to their main office and deal with them directly. They can email or fax you their explaination. If they are insist in not giving lab results, then inform your dr what lab you want to use. My insurance uses several different labs and it just happened that this new dr uses Quest. I now remind him when ordering labs. He did say he didn't have forms for any other lab, and I told him to call them and order by phone or have them work it out through the computer and fax and have them send forms to his office for my use. I figure I'm the patient and I am the one who should be happy with services I pay for.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-03 20:36:38 -0600 Report

Thank you for your support and suggestion. I will be contacting Quest since they are my insurer's "preferred provider" and if I go through them, it will cost me less than the previous lab I used. Unfortunately, I live in a fairly rural area and there aren't a whole lot of other choices.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-02 19:35:28 -0600 Report

Make sure your dr knows that you want a copy before having tests done. Some labs automatically send you the results, while others think it isn't any of your business, only the drs. I had this happen with Quest and I explained to them I was the one paying for the test and not my dr and was entitled by law to have a copy even if I had to get it in person. But you can always have the drs office send/email you a copy and don't let them charge you as you paid for the visit and the labs already! It is always a good practice to get copies of all labs, procedures and yes, even the drs notes about your visits and the report from hospital if any surgeries were done. The drs notes you will probably have to pay for, I didn't, but then our dr and family were close due to my illness.

I try not to use Quest as I'm not thrilled with their personel and usually have to inform them of how to do the tests correctly!

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-02-02 14:56:24 -0600 Report

My doctor and I always clarify this before she gives me the form for tests, so she always writes "copy to patient." The time she forgot, I added it for her. Don't know FL law, but here it's my body and I own the results.

MAYS
MAYS 2012-02-02 11:21:44 -0600 Report

In some states you are not permitted to see your medical records, and or your test results without the consent of your doctor.
In some states your information can be reviewed by you with your doctor, although the Federal Government states that you have the right to have access to your personal health information.

It's all about how you go about trying to access this information, and the policies and procedures of the hospital, clinic (and) or lab that is involved in the testing.

The following links may interest you:

http://patients.about.com/od/yourmedicalrecor...

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understa...

https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs8-med.htm#C

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

~Mays~

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2012-02-02 17:02:06 -0600 Report

Thank you for your reply. I will be certain to check the links you provided. I also now know to ask my doctors to write "copy to patient" on the lab orders. I like to keep copies in a binder to see where I've been on different tests. It is also helpful when I consult with a new doctor if I can provide copies of the last tests that were done. Thanks again for the links.

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