Consent for Lab Reports

Q: After meeting with physicians to review lab reports, patients often request a copy of the report. Is written consent or authorization required before the physician provides the patient with a copy?

A: Written consent or authorization is not required or appropriate in this situation. The physician may provide the patient with a copy of the report based on a verbal request. This is similar to a patient requesting a copy of his or her medical record. The physician may require that the request is in writing, but this is certainly not mandatory.