Can WorkCover access medical records?
Yes, WorkCover can access your medical records when you pursue a claim. When signing the WorkCover claim form, you’re giving permission to the WorkCover insurer to obtain your medical records from any medical service or hospital that in some way relates to your claimed injury or condition.
On the claim form, it says this:
“Consent to any person who provides a medical service or hospital service to me in connection with an injury or condition to which this claim relates to provide upon request by the workers compensation authority, my lawyer or insurer/claims agent, any information regarding the service relevant to the claim. I understand that my authority has affected and cannot be revoked for the duration of this claim.”
Here’s where it is listed on the claim form.
Why might WorkCover require my medical records?
WorkCover will sometimes want to analyse your medical history.
Sometimes they won’t bother requesting your medical records however.
If for example, you suffered an injury at work and the circumstances relating to that injury are not contested, and there is no suggestion from medical practitioners of a previous injury – then it’s quite possible the insurer will not request your records.
They’re more likely to request your records if you had a history of similar injuries or conditions before the claimed injury.
They want to understand your medical history to work out whether it might have some relevance to your claimed injury.
If your matter proceeds to court, whether that be the Magistrates’, County or Supreme Court, then it is quite possible that the lawyers that are representing WorkCover will subpoena your medical records.
They’ll likely wish to obtain your medical records not only from the doctors and medical practitioners that have treated your injury, but also any doctors, hospitals and medical practitioners you may have attended before or after your injury that they believe may have some relevance.
Keep in mind however – that WorkCover will not request your medical records just because you lodge a claim. In many cases, requesting your medical records will not be necessary.
Will I be notified if my records are sent to WorkCover?
Some medical and health practitioners will ask your permission before releasing your records.
However, many times you they will simply send the records off to WorkCover without you being notified.
You generally won’t receive confirmation from WorkCover when your records have been requested.
If you have a lawyer representing you, you can ask them to let you know what information has been provided to WorkCover.
Yes, WorkCover is able to request your medical records. You give them consent to do so when you sign and lodge the WorkCover claim form.