How to get blood test results without seeing Dr?
March 5, 2014 9:40 PM   Subscribe

I had what I thought was going to be a simple appointment with a doctor. She ended up being rude. I did get the blood tests that I wanted but I don't want to see her again. How do I get those results anyway?

After talking with a new doctor last year about period pain, I was prescribed the NuvaRing. I had it in for a month and stopped after it did not help/made other things worse. I thought to let my cycle figure itself out but it has gone from 30/31 days to 24/25 and my period lasting 1 day last month. Immediate changes after I stopped it. Because of new insurance I cannot go back to this previous doctor even as cash paying. I made an appointment and saw a new doctor and I do not think it will work out.
This doctor rolled her eyes at my use of a midwife for my son's birth, an acupuncturist for pain because the various birth control pills have not worked. She tells me I don't have Endometriosis because pregnancy and hormones would have cured me and she was physically rougher than I can tolerate during the exam. Among other things, she insisted that the NuvaRing did nothing to me and that I'm stressed or must be pregnant. Definitely not pregnant but she didn't seem to believe that nor is she counting the changes since last year. She is insisting on surgery down to wanting to start prep on Friday. I am not ready for that. I felt bullied and was in tears.

I did get my hormones tested which is all I wanted besides an opinion but I don't want to see her. The results will be ready in two days but she's expecting to do ultrasounds and a probe. I only want to know where my hormones stand. Is there a way to get these results without going to see her and be pushed into something? I'm assuming they won't give me the run down by phone.
posted by grablife365 to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Also, I asked and the lab sends the results straight to her. I won't get them sent to me.
posted by grablife365 at 9:43 PM on March 5, 2014

I'm really sorry you had this experience.

I'm sure that I am in a totally different location to you, but when I got a blood test a few weeks back the radiologists office I booked into asked me if I had recent bloodwork. When I said that I had she told me she could bring up the results electronically if needed. I'm assuming that meant that any other doctor could also bring up the results.

Can you call the clinic and ask them if you could see someone else and if that doc can view your results? The you could state that you just want the results and no exam.
posted by Youremyworld at 9:47 PM on March 5, 2014

Just call the office and tell the receptionist you had labs done and would like to pick up a printout of the results or have them sent to you by mail.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:48 PM on March 5, 2014 [23 favorites]

Ask her?

If she says no, tell her you need them as you are getting a second opinion.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:48 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Request them as part of your official records from your visit. You may have to pay an administrative fee, but they have to release a copy of your chart records to you. Just call and ask what their records request procedure is and follow it. It should be as easy as emailing or faxing a form with your signature.
posted by quince at 9:55 PM on March 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

I am so sorry about this. I have been there and I am furious on your behalf. Call the office and ask them to release your medical records to you, and let them know that you specifically want the bloodwork info so you can be seen by another doctor and get another opinion. If you're seeing another doctor within the same medical system as this doctor, you may be able to have that new doctor retrieve your new info for you. You could even tell the new doctor (or their secretary), "I had a terrible time with my last doctor and do not feel comfortable asking for my records. Could you do that for me?"

Your medical records are YOURS, so don't hesitate to ask. I am so, so sorry you had to deal with a bully.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:59 PM on March 5, 2014 [8 favorites]

Seconding quince, just call the office and request them, there should be a standard procedure. You don't need to say that you want them because you found the doctor rude, you can just want them for your records and/or for a second opinion.

The only other complication that might happen...this might not be relevant for your tests, but my gyn office requires that if the tests show anything "bad," (seriously bad, not just something to keep an eye my case, signs that my cervical cancer has perhaps returned) they require that a doc, nurse, or PA talk to me about the results before they'll send the lab reports to me.

I suspect that I would be within my rights to overrule this if I really needed to, but the fact is that it's usually the PA or nurse who does explanation duty anyway.
posted by desuetude at 10:14 PM on March 5, 2014

Her office should provide them or any of your medical records to you. Just say you need a copy of your blood work. That's all you need to say. I've done this a lot because I've moved frequently. Many times when I get a new doctor, the new doctor will call the old doctor and get the records, or I will call the old doctor and ask that they be sent to the new doctor, but you can just request copies for yourself.

I also started asking my doctors to CC my results to me for my own medical file so I could stay organized on health stuff -- then I get copies from the lab automatically sent directly to me.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:22 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Depending on the HIPPAA laws where you are, they may be required to give you a copy of your medical files if you ask, though you may have to pay for copying. I'm sorry this happened and that you'll have to deal with her office any further; if you can get a new doctor, your new doctor can request your files and then give you a copy.

At least that's how it works in California...they have to give you a copy regardless of what the test was for; for example, some eye docs will tell you they can't give you your prescription unless you're getting glasses from them, which is incorrect. This may vary by locality so check with your medical board.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:02 AM on March 6, 2014

Is there a way to get these results without going to see her and be pushed into something?

I think this physician sucks and you should try to get the results without seeing her. Trying to get the results from the physician's office is probably best. A new regulation (79 FR 7289) means that many laboratories will be required to give you access to your results directly, but maybe not until 6 October 2014. You could ask the lab though.

As a final option, if you are concerned about being bullied or pressured during a health visit, remeber that you can always bring a friend with you for support.
posted by grouse at 4:45 AM on March 6, 2014

Sorry about the awful doctor.

You have the right to request a copy of your medical records. Just call the front office and ask. You might have to remind them.
posted by bunderful at 4:56 AM on March 6, 2014

You can ask the office for your entire file, including the results of your bloodwork.

I do recommend that you make an appointment with another doctor, and bring your file with you, including the bloodwork.

There may be information there that needs medical interpretation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:43 AM on March 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

grouse is right, you are able to access your records anytime you want. They (the lab) should have told you that as well as how you can access or request access to the test results. Call the lab first and then you can take it to another doctor or a nurse of your choice to explain the results. If and when you find a new doctor, he or she will request your records from the previous doctor so that you don't have to speak to the rude doctor.
posted by Yellow at 6:18 AM on March 6, 2014

It is correct that under the new regulation pts can now request results directly from USA-based CLIA/CAP certified labs. However these labs were exempt from this prior to now and have been given approx 6 months to develop protocols to ensure this request can be processed in a timely and accurate manner-accurate meaning what steps are needed to avoid privacy violations by inadvertently sending your records to someone else/some else's records to you. Keep in mind this role has traditionally been fulfilled by the MD ("nope, you're not Susie and this isn't the testing I ordered for her anyway.") Keep in mind the lab has never seen/spoken with you before and may have limited second identifiers as to who you are.

Also seconding the point about there may be information that needs medical interpretation or a current MD's assistance to be acted on promptly.
posted by beaning at 6:33 AM on March 6, 2014

It's not at all unreasonable that she would want to do an ultrasound on you, given your presenting complaints, but her patient manner sounds like it could use an overhaul. Find another doc to go see and have this doc's office forward the results of any labs that were done to the new provider.
posted by killdevil at 8:06 AM on March 6, 2014

I'm so sorry you had such a terrible visit. I needed lab tests from my (new, terrible) OB and called the office and said, "Hi this is Mrs. Jungle, I need to pick up my lab results could I come by Wednesday at 3 to pick them up?". This worked better than "please mail me my results" (which I'd asked twice already) because it gave them a definite deadline. When I got there they were waiting in an envelope,super helpful!
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 8:30 AM on March 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

If you went to a big chain lab like Quest, you may be able to log in online to actually get your records. Otherwise you can call your doc's office and request a copy. I've definitely done this before. They may make it difficult for you - not because they don't want to give them to you, but because it's an extra task and sometimes doctor's office receptionists are...difficult. If you have access to a fax machine (or an e-fax number) that will probably be the fastest. Doctors offices love fax machines!
posted by radioamy at 9:38 AM on March 6, 2014

I did this a lot a few years ago in the US. Here's what worked every time:

- Call the office of the lab that did the work (not the doctor's office).
- Tell the receptionist, "I need to pick up the results of my [whatever] test that was done on [date]. What do I need to bring, and when is a good time for me to stop in?"

The answer I always got was, "We'll have it ready for you by X o'clock, and you need to bring a photo ID."

It's not clear to me why your new doctor would want ultrasounds and surgery if she says you don't have endo. If you're having unexplained pain and changes to your cycle, and these changes continue after stopping the NuvaRing, it frankly would make sense to me to have an ultrasound with some other doctor.
posted by ceiba at 9:39 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is there another doctor at the practice that you can switch to? I did that with a primary care doctor I did not think took me seriously and switched to someone else in the practice who was a much better fit for me. The receptionist asked me why I wanted the switch and I was blunt, but it didn't affect my care with the new doc.
posted by paradeofblimps at 6:12 PM on March 6, 2014

You should be able to get the results by calling the lab or getting a copy from the doctors office.

You have the right to refuse ANY procedure. IF you go in, it is your right to say I want to know the results and I am going somewhere else, you are just not a good fit for me. And to make it nicer to her, you can add, may I contact you so my new doctor can follow up on your recommendations for xyz procedures? Gyn's get this ALL the time. In fact I switched within the same practice, and while I didn't like my doctor before the one I have now is fantastic!

But I am concerned that you mentioned surgery. That means she thinks something is wrong. I'm wondering if you may have misunderstood something, and or don't understand what her motivations are. She isn't doing a procedure because she thinks nothing is wrong.

I have ovarian cysts/ endo (they never bothered to figure it out as birth control has been effective at curbing problems) and probe ultrasounds are invasive. It is important to set boundaries and let people know if you get extremely uncomfortable/scared/whatever.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:45 PM on March 6, 2014

Thanks for the answers.
I called to cancel my ultrasound appointment for today and they put her on the phone.
She read my results to me and said they would give me a copy of them and an explanation.
I do intend to get an ultrasound and eventually surgery. It's just to take a look and see if something else is at work in there because the test results didn't show anything abnormal or out of range. My previous doctor from several years ago that I loved looks like she takes my insurance now so I'll schedule a follow up with her.
posted by grablife365 at 9:05 AM on March 7, 2014

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