Governor signs CMA-sponsored bill giving physicians time to interpret test results for patients

October 03, 2022

Senate Bill 1419 sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) to provide physicians the opportunity to respect patient privacy and wishes when releasing health Information has been signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

SB 1419 makes several important updates to California law to protect the physician-patient relationship, including:

  • Allowing physicians time to interpret potentially life-changing test results before releasing them to the patient electronically;
  • providing additional protections in law for very sensitive data, such as teen mental health and reproductive data; and
  • clarifying that clinical notes are considered part of the patient medical record.

By making these changes in law, physicians can work with their patients on how best to deliver sensitive news.

“Giving patients access to their own health information is very important because it allows them to be partners in their care. SB 1419 will give patients the support they need when learning of sensitive and potentially life-changing information about their health and well-being,” said CMA President Robert E. Wailes, M.D.

SB 1419 would ensure that patients can decide how they would like to receive information regarding their imaging scan results, rather than learning about it immediately online by default. The federal 21st-Century Cures Act Information Blocking Rule allows patients undisturbed access to their health care data to improve patient care. However, this has led to unintended consequences and unnecessary distress for patients who receive information on their results electronically with no physician intervention to interpret the results accurately.

SB 1419 will allow physicians to have a thorough and timely conversation with their patients about image scans and talk about a treatment plan, so the patient is not left to interpret the results on their own.   


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