PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Under a federal proposal, patients in all states could get lab results directly, instead of waiting for a doctor to call.

Patients in New Jersey, Delaware and most other states already get lab results directly, but Pennsylvania is one of 13 states where you have to wait for the doctor’s explanation.

That could soon change and Dr. Robert Field, a professor in the School of Public Health at Drexel University, says change is good.

“It will empower a lot of patients who want to take the time to figure out what the lab tests mean and to follow up with a lot of questions. And the basic advice is if you don’t understand what you’re getting you should be asking your doctor about them, but it does raise the risk that people will misinterpret what people see and go off in the wrong direction.”

Results could be sent to you electronically or through the mail.

Reported By Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio

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