June 27, 2014

"New Mexico court restricts high-interest loans" – Santa Fe New Mexican

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that “signature loans” that have interest rates ranging from 1,147.14 to 1,500 percent violate New Mexico law.  The case involved an appeal by Attorney General Gary King against two former payday lending companies, B&B Investment Group Inc. and American Cash Loans.  In its 19-page opinion, the court unanimously found that the companies took advantage of borrowers’ lack of knowledge and directed their employees to describe the loan cost in terms of a “misleading daily rate.” – 6/26/2014


"Ruling Grants Patients Direct Access to Lab Results" – Cure

According to a ruling passed in February by the US Department of Health and Human Services, patients no longer have to go through the doctor who ordered clinical tests to learn the results.  Instead they can get the results directly from the lab.  “Information like lab results can empower the patients to track their health progress, make decisions with their healthcare professionals an adhere to important treatment plans,” former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release.  The federal rule revises the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 to allow labs to provide complete test results to a patient or a patient’s designated representative upon request.  The rule also removes an exception under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that protected health information at CLIA certified or CLIA exempt laboratories.  Patients can continue to receive lab results from their physicians, but this new ruling provides patients another option for access.  The final rule is available for review at the Federal Register.