Legislative Research Committee Issues Final Recommendations on Patient Access to Pathological Materials

The Legislative Research Committee (LRC) has released its final recommendations on patient access to requested pathological materials. Following the introduction of House Bill 795 – Patient Access to Pathological Materials, in 2011, the LRC convened a study committee to investigate the issues surrounding patient access to requested pathological materials.  This study was requested in lieu of legislation at the end of the 2012 legislation session.

The LRC Committee held two meetings to discuss the issue and heard testimony from physicians, hospital representatives, and a personal injury attorney, the main proponent of the original legislation.  Following much discussion, the Committee’s final recommendations were released on Friday and include the following:

  • That the Division of Health Service Regulation, Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Medical Board enact rules governing the procedures regarding the request for and release of pathological materials made to clinical laboratories within the jurisdiction of each respective entity.
  • These rules must be consistent with the North Carolina Hospital Association Best Practices Principles and the College of American Pathologists 2003 Professional Relations Manual.
  • The rules must also be developed in consultation with one another to ensure consistency in procedures governing pathological materials.

Thank you to the following physicians for their written and oral input throughout this process: Stanley Robboy, MD, FCAP, FFPath RCPI (hon), President, College of American Pathologists (CAP); Kevin Smith, MD ,FCAP, President, North Carolina Society of Pathologists; Anand Lagoo, MD, PhD, FCAP, President-Elect, North Carolina Society of Pathologists; and Shannon McCall, MD, FCAP, Duke University Medical Center. These physicians ensured that the integrity of pathological materials, patient safety and patient interests were protected.

The full and final report of the Committee can be viewed on its website here.  It is important to note that these recommendations are not law, and that additional legislation regarding pathological materials must be introduced in the 2013 Session prior to the implementation of these recommendations and before any subsequent rulemaking occurs.


Share this Post