AU: Privacy of patients breached by Professional Services Review
Sean Parnell, FOI Editor, writes:
Patient privacy has been compromised in the federal government’s bid to control health spending, with a key agency found to have illegally merged data from Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
In a case likely to fuel privacy concerns over planned electronic health records, the embattled Professional Services Review has been ordered to add computer system and practice changes to a growing list of reforms.
The PSR investigates alleged doctor rorts, but a wave of legal challenges has this year forced 39 potential cases to be abandoned and left about 50 completed cases at risk of collapse. The government, which is preparing an appeal to the High Court, has ordered an independent review and a parliamentary committee is also examining the PSR.
Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim told The Australian that after a 14-month investigation the PSR was found to have breached the Privacy Act with regard to its handling of patient information.
Read more on The Australian.