Privacy and confidentiality of your patients medical information

It’s important to protect the privacy and confidentiality of your patient when sharing information with other parties during the workers compensation process.

Confidentiality of information

Medical practitioners will need to provide information relevant to the worker’s injury or illness to other relevant stakeholders as part of the workers compensation process.

Workers provide consent on the NSW workers compensation certificate of capacity for you to communicate with stakeholders involved in the management of their injury and claim.

This generally includes the employer, other treating practitioners, the insurer and workplace rehabilitation provider. It can also include an injury management consultant, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority or the Workers Compensation Commission (or an approved medical specialist).

The Workers Injury Claim Form issued by SIRA contains an authority for the release of medical information relevant to the worker’s injury and claim. This authority and consent provides that any person who provides a medical or hospital service to the worker in connection with an injury/condition to which the claim relates is to provide upon request by SIRA or the insurer/claims agent, any information regarding the service relevant to the claim. If you receive a request for information and are concerned about the right of that party to obtain sensitive personal or health information about the worker, you should establish that the request has been made with the worker’s consent.

A copy of a signed and dated consent to disclose relevant personal and health information to the party concerned is considered sufficient for the release of information.

Medical records requested by the insurer

You may receive a request to provide medical records relating to your patient. The Workers Injury Claim Form issued by SIRA contains an authority for the release of medical information relevant to the worker’s injury and claim. This authority and consent provides that any person who provides a medical or hospital service to the worker in connection with an injury/condition to which the claim relates is to provide upon request by SIRA or the insurer/claims agent, any information regarding the service relevant to the claim.

If you receive a request for information and are concerned about the right of that party to obtain sensitive personal or health information about your patient, you should establish that the request has been made with the worker’s consent.

You may also, on occasion, be directed to provide medical records relating to a patient by the Workers Compensation Commission or Court.

Find out more about what you can claim for providing medical records 

Requests for information by the insurer

icare suggests insurers pose specific questions to the medical practitioner allowing provision of information that is succinct and relevant to the purpose of the request.

If you receive requests from the insurer for information you have already provided, remind the insurer when the information was provided and confirm that it can be located on file.

Similarly, if you receive a request for what you believe to be an excessive amount of information, contact the insurer to discuss the issue.

Find out how to contact the insurer