A new change to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will allow patients to get lab results directly from the lab without having to go through the physician that ordered the tests. “Information like lab results can empower patients to track their health progress, make decisions with their health care professionals and adhere to important treatment plans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. Thanks to the adoption of electronic medical records, patients will be able to view results faster and easier through an email, a secure website, or a smartphone app. Test results and interpretation will still be delivered through a physician. “Studies show that patients who have access to their health records tend to be more engaged in decision making than those who don’t, and may even be more likely to follow treatment protocols and other behaviors that promote favorable outcomes,” said Jon Cohen, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Quest Diagnostics.