New California law provides more time to interpret test results, greater privacy for teen records

A California bill signed into law Oct. 3 gives physicians more time to interpret test results, allows patients to pick how they would like to receive medical scans and adds protections for sensitive teen data.

Senate Bill 1419, sponsored by the California Medical Association, was signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The law aims to create better doctor-patient relationships and respect patient privacy and wishes when releasing health information.

The law makes four changes:

  • Physicians now have time to interpret potentially life-changing test results before releasing them to the patient electronically.

  • Patients can choose how they would like to receive information regarding their scan results instead of having immediate access online, often without physician interpretation or guidance.

  • It provides additional protections in law for sensitive data such as teens' mental health and reproductive data.

  • It clarifies that clinical notes are considered part of a patient's medical record.

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