2.2.8 Medical authority

What is medical authority

Access to medical information is critical for an Agent to determine matters relevant to the ongoing management of a claim, including the payment of weekly payments, the payment of medical and like services, and return to work issues.

A claim for compensation must include a medical authority signed by the worker at question 6 of the Worker’s Injury Claim Form. The medical authority reads as follows:

I authorise and consent to any person who provides a medical service or hospital service to me in connection with an injury/condition to which this claim relates to provide upon request by the workers’ compensation authority, my employer or insurer/claims agent, any information regarding the service relevant to the claim. I understand that my authority has effect and cannot be revoked for the duration of this claim or any period where I am entitled to provisional payments.

 


A worker cannot revoke their medical authority

WorkSafe’s position is that worker medical authority is irrevocable for the life of the claim. The medical authority does cease, but only when the worker’s entitlement to compensation is exhausted.

If an Agent receives written advice from a worker or their legal representative at any stage during the life of the claim that the worker wishes to revoke their medical authority, the Agent should:

  • write to the worker using letter (MLA1) declining the revocation request
  • make a file note confirming the above.

Where a worker’s THP Treating Health Practitioner declines to provide relevant medical information to the Agent due to the worker informing them that they have revoked medical consent, the Agent should send the MLA4 letter to the THP. This letter explains that consent cannot be revoked, and the effects of an attempt at such revocation on claims management and worker entitlements.

Managing a claim where a worker has attempted to revoke consent

If a worker lodges a request for further entitlements to compensation and/or medical and like services and the worker’s THP declined to provide medical information to the Agent as the worker revoked their consent to the THP releasing medical information to the Agent, the Agent should:

  • consider what information is on file to make a decision with respect to the new request, and whether the information available is relevant, appropriate and sufficient to make a decision
  • if there is no information on file available to assist in decision making, the Agent should send the MLA3 rejection letter to the worker and follow the adverse decision making process.

Where a worker subsequently attempts to reinstate their medical authority, the Agent should send the MLA5 letter asking the worker to confirm this reinstatement in writing.

Where a worker alleges a breach of privacy as a result of the Agent declining to accept their purported consent revocation:

In this situation, the Agent should ask the worker to put the complaint in writing, and specify how the worker would like situation remedied.

If a privacy breach complaint is received in writing, the Agent should manage the claim in accordance with 1.2.12 Privacy complaints & incidents handling.

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