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Provide Patients with Critical Test Results -- Pass House Bill 1233

This petition had 97,494 supporters

My husband Craig MacGregor is the longtime bassist for the classic rock band Foghat, known for their hit song “Slow Ride.”  Unfortunately, he was forced to stop touring when diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer that has spread to his brain. Craig is fighting for his life because of a preventable medical error. We are not just battling his cancer, we are dedicated to ensuring that this never happens to another person.

In 2012, Craig had a bad fall and went to the emergency room. They did a CAT scan and found that he had fractured his jaw. They also found a small tumor in his lung. He was ultimately discharged from the ER with instructions to see an oral surgeon, but no mention of the tumor. Flash forward 3 ½ years, a doctor saw the 2012 ER report and asked Craig about his lung tumor treatment. "What lung tumor?" was Craig’s response. He had never been told about it. By then, it had grown 7 times in size and metastasized to his brain. He now has inoperable Stage 4 lung cancer.

There is currently a bill in our state of Pennsylvania, The Patient Test Results Information Act (HB 1233), that would require health care providers to notify patients directly when their test results reveal a significant abnormal finding, rather than solely relying on doctors to relay that vital information. This would be a major step toward fixing the deadly problem, and would save lives.

Neither the hospital nor Craig’s primary care physician of 20 years told him about that 2012 test result. If he had received it, he would have acted on the information, and successful treatment would have been the likely outcome. But sadly, that didn't occur, and his treatment options are now limited. If there had been a law like HB 1233 in 2012, he would have learned about the tumor and could have sought treatment.

According to a recent study, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. Thousands of lives a year are lost due to improper reporting of test results. The problem exists across the country, and hits people from all walks of life. While there are many laws to protect patient rights, mistakes still happen, communication breakdowns occur, patients fall through the cracks, and coordination of care, is, well, not always coordinated. In fact, failure to communicate abnormal or critical test results turns out to be one of the leading causes of medical misdiagnosis.

This bill will provide a much-needed safety net, helping to ensure that we learn about any critical findings while they are still relevant. No matter what state you’re in, medical misdiagnosis can affect you. Please support PA House Bill 1233 by signing and sharing this petition with others.

 "Foghat bassist learns medical error delayed cancer diagnosis for years" - Philadelphia Inquirer 

"Bill would require patients get test results" - The Morning Call

*The bill's primary sponsor is PA State Representative Marguerite Quinn.

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