Diagnostic Imaging Services Must Follow Patient Reporting Obligations Under New PA Law

December 11, 2018Alerts

The Pennsylvania Patient Test Result Information Act requires that providers of diagnostic imaging services identify any “significant abnormality” in their results and directly notify the patient, or the patent’s designee, of the completed test, its review and its delivery to the ordering health care practitioner.

The Act was signed into law on October 24, 2018 and is scheduled to take effect on December 23, 2018. The Act applies to any entity that performs a diagnostic imaging service in which a “significant abnormality” may exist, which is defined as the “finding by a diagnostic imaging service of an abnormality or anomaly which would cause a reasonably prudent person to seek additional or follow-up medical care within three months.” 

Under the Act, required notice must be given to the patient or designee no later than 20 days after the results are sent to the ordering health care practitioner (pursuant to methods prescribed in the Act) and must include the following details:

  • Name of the health care practitioner who ordered the test
  • Date the test was performed
  • Date the results were sent to the ordering health care practitioner
  • 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 tests or tests. It is recommended that you contact your health care practitioner to discuss the results as soon as possible.
  • Contact information necessary for the patient to obtain a full report

The following services are expressly excluded from the requirements of the Act:

  • Routine obstetrical ultrasounds used to monitor the development of a fetus
  • Diagnostic imaging services performed on a patient who is being treated on an inpatient basis or in an emergency room
  • Diagnostic radiographs

The full text of the Act has been made available. Representatives from the Department of Health have stated they are working on a plan to implement the Act and will release further guidance prior to December 23rd. In meantime, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the Act or whether it will apply to you.