MADISON, N.J., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, Americans nationwide can directly access their personal laboratory data through Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services. Quest Diagnostics provides diagnostic information services to about 30% of American adults each year.
Under a federal rule that goes into effect today, patients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia can now view test results from diagnostic information service providers without first being authorized by a physician. The rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services amends the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) regulations to give patients (or their representatives) direct access to the patient's laboratory test reports and eliminates an exception under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule that prohibits an individual from accessing protected health information held by a CLIA-certified or CLIA-exempt laboratory.
In combination, these changes require laboratories to provide patients access to their test reports. Patients can begin to view lab results today under the rule. Although laboratories may directly provide patients access to lab data beginning today under the rule, laboratory providers have until October 6, 2014 to comply with the rule's requirement to provide lab data upon request nationwide.
To help individuals receive access and track their lab and other health data, Quest Diagnostics has launched MyQuest® by Care360 at QuestDiagnostics.com/MyQuest, a secure patient portal that enables patients to view copies of their lab test reports from Quest Diagnostics. Quest Diagnostics is believed to be the first national commercial laboratory to facilitate direct patient access to lab information through a range of free channels which include a patient portal and mobile health app as well as traditional mail, fax and email. Quest has provided several channels for patients to request and receive their lab reports in select states where direct patient access had been allowed prior to the new federal rule.
"Empowered patients are better patients. Because most healthcare decisions are based on diagnostic insights, patients who access their lab results may be more likely to have a well-informed dialogue about medical options with their physician," said Jon R. Cohen, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Quest Diagnostics. "Our MyQuest by Care360 patient portal represents the next phase of consumer healthcare – where people are empowered with information to play a greater role in their healthcare choices."
In addition to lab results, the portal enables users to view other health information, such as provider contact lists and medication reminders, and facilitates online appointment scheduling at any of Quest's 2,200 patient service centers in the United States.
MyQuest by Care360 Patient Portal and Care360 EHR Enable Physicians to Qualify for Meaningful Use Incentives
The patient portal is also designed to help physicians that use the Quest Diagnostics Care360 Electronic Health Record (EHR) to qualify for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) EHR Incentive Program. Stage 2 of the MU program, which focuses on electronic engagement with patients, begins this year for providers that have participated in the program for at least two years. In order to meet the 2014 requirements of the CMS EHR Incentive Program, a physician must demonstrate that at least 50% of patients seen have online access to their health information (including lab results); 5% or more download, view or transmit their health information electronically; and 5% or more send the provider a secure electronic message.
Physicians that use the Quest Diagnostics Care360 EHR can securely provide information and clinical summaries to patients who are registered on the MyQuest by Care360 portal, fulfilling the program requirements.
"MyQuest by Care360 is about more than serving patients and providing them with a superior customer experience. We also designed the portal to help our thousands of Care360 EHR physician clients achieve Meaningful Use criteria for online patient engagement and other metrics of quality care," said Catherine T. Doherty, senior vice president, Clinical Franchise Solutions, which includes Care360 products and services. "The result is a highly secure, interoperable solution that will help physician practices be more efficient as well as engage, educate and retain their patients."
Quest Renames Mobile Health App
Additionally, Quest has renamed its mobile health app MyQuest by Care360. The app, which was launched in 2010, had been named Gazelle. Registered users of Gazelle will receive information about the transition via their app later this month.
Use of the MyQuest by Care360 patient portal and mobile app, including access to lab results, is free.
"Renaming our mobile health app MyQuest by Care360, the same name as the patient portal, underscores how both technologies are designed to work together to achieve the same goal: giving patients access to their Quest Diagnostics' lab data," said Dr. Cohen.
Users of the MyQuest by Care360 mobile health app may request their lab results and access many of the same technologies found on the patient portal. The app is available for download on Android and Apple devices through the app stores or QuestDiagnostics.com/MyQuest.
About Quest Diagnostics Healthcare IT Solutions
Through its Care360 brand and suite of web-based healthcare IT solutions, Quest Diagnostics is a provider of healthcare information technology solutions that facilitate secure, flexible data access and management to help improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. The company's solutions include the Care360 EHR and other Care360 connectivity solutions, which are used by more than 300,000 physician users in more than 90,000 locations, providing a network of affiliated physician users in local communities and across the country. Quest Diagnostics HIT solutions also include the MyQuest by Care360 patient portal and mobile health app for patients and physicians, and the award-winning ChartMaxx health document management solution. For more information, visit Care360.com or QuestDiagnostics.com/MyQuest.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic information services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at QuestDiagnostics.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/QuestDiagnostics and Twitter.com/QuestDX.
Quest, Quest Diagnostics, and all associated Quest Diagnostics registered or unregistered trademarks are the property of Quest Diagnostics. All third-party marks are the property of their respective owners.
Quest Diagnostics Contacts:
Wendy Bost (Media): 973-520-2800
Dan Haemmerle (Investors): 973-520-2900
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130717/NY48934LOGO
SOURCE Quest Diagnostics