Effective September 15, new legislation requires physicians to notify a patient in writing when they have been tested for Lyme disease. Unlike notification requirements for other tests, the new law mandates that patients be informed when the test is ordered, rather than when the results of the test are returned.
According to the legislation:
"When a physician orders a test for the presence of Lyme disease in a patient, the physician or physician's delegate shall provide to the patient or patient's representative a written notice with the following information:
‘Your health care provider has ordered a test for the presence of Lyme disease. Current testing for Lyme disease can be problematic and may lead to false results. If you are tested for Lyme disease and the results are positive, this does not necessarily mean that you have contracted Lyme disease. In the alternative, if the results are negative, this does not necessarily mean that you have not contracted Lyme disease. If you continue to experience symptoms or have other health concerns, you should contact your health care provider and inquire about the appropriateness of additional testing or treatment.’
“The physician or physician's delegate shall obtain a signature from the patient or patient's representative indicating receipt of the notice.
“The document containing the signature shall be kept in the patient's record."
To help comply with the new law, the State Medical Board of Ohio has provided a sample notification letter for physicians and/or their delegates to use.