Statutory, court and litigation processes
Third parties accessing medical records
Torres and Cape HHS are required to disclose information about our patients, for example:
- If your records have been subpoenaed for a court case,
- Legal requirements to collect information about particular health conditions such as life-threatening diseases or diseases with high public health risks, or
- Under statutory claims processes under the
- Coroners Act 2003
- Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994
- Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002
- Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003
In some cases you will have given authority, e.g. in a claim application.
Key points for third parties
(Including insures, claims managers, WorkCover Queensland)
A cover letter (e.g. company letterhead, not a facsimile cover sheet) with:
- The source of authority to make the request
- Why the records are requested
- The full name of the claimant/ patient
- Date of birth of the claimant/ patient
- Claimant/ patient current address and daytime contact phone number
- The full name of the company case officer
- Be signed and dated by the company case officer.
The scope of the information requested in a cover letter must be the same as that indicated in the claimants/ patient’s authority. For example, if the patient’s authority indicates treatment records on or around a date, relevant to incident/ accident, then the cover letter should also state this or simply make reference to the attached authority.
A photocopy of the claim form signed by the patient is acceptable as evidence of the patient's consent if all of the following requirements are met:
- The patient's consent to the release of information or records is set out on the relevant prescribed claim form or notice with a consent to obtain records or information
- The form has been signed by the patient (or if the claimant is a child, by a parent when permitted by law)
- The copy of the signed form is received directly from the agency or party that the patient has authorised to have access to their information or records.
Actions that we may take:
- If there is any uncertainty about the validity, or scope, of a patient's written consent to release of their health information to a third party we may contact our patient to check that they are aware of who is making the request and what is being requested
- Refuse the application if we are not legally obligated to disclosure the information.
Fees and charges
We are entitled to invoice for costs based on the Queensland Health Fees and Charges Register. The cost is usually comprised of an application fee and charge for photocopying. This varies according to the type of application.
We usually release the documents and the invoice together in good faith trusting that the payment will be made promptly.
Fees and charges for health care services (Queensland Health directive), can be downloaded, refer to Part 9.