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Key developments

  • Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers
  • Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities
  • ‘Strengthening child sexual abuse laws in NSW’ Discussion Paper
  • Review of the Uniform Evidence Law
  • Strata building bond and inspection scheme
  • Reparations for Stolen Generations in NSW – letter to the Stolen Generations Advisory Committee
  • Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017
  • Home building eligibility guidelines
  • Electronic conveyancing

Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers

The Law Society made a submission to the Department of Human Services’ Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers. The Law Society noted that the Discussion Paper underlying the Review made no comment about the My Health Record system (formerly the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record). The Law Society queried whether the potential implications of interaction with the My Health Record system have been properly assessed, and whether the need for health professionals to confirm Medicare eligibility will remain as significant as it has to date, having regard to the proposed changes to the My Health Record system from 2018.

The Law Society suggested that the issues raised in this Review need to be considered alongside the privacy, information security, confidentiality and network access interoperability issues relating to the My Health Record system, particularly the registration of Healthcare Provider Organisations, and the auditing or logging of record access by individuals associated with them. The issues raised by health professionals accessing both systems appear to be linked, particularly when considering the effectiveness of controls over registration and authentication processes as well as the adequacy of compliance systems to identify any potential inappropriate access to Medicare numbers.

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