VA’s Breach of Duty for Patient Medical Files
It has been a while since the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been involved in a situation where VA patients’ private information is at risk. This time the problem arose in Mississippi, at the Biloxi VA Medical Center, and could affect over 1,800 veterans with disabilities.
According to a report by WLOX ABC, the breach was made possible through an office door “inadvertently left” unlocked. Investigators found the office opened with patient records spread out on the floor, as if someone was looking for something specifically within the files, which prompted the investigation into a security breach.
The files in question contained not only patient names, but their date of births, their social security numbers, and their medical diagnoses as well. VA officials do believe the office had been “inappropriately accessed.”
The initial investigation found the VA’s protocols on “privacy and information” had not been followed, which lead to the breach. Those parties that have and may be affected were notified, but at the time, the VA did not believe any of the veterans’ “private information was used maliciously.” Nevertheless, as it does in these situations, the VA offered free credit monitoring and protection services for 12 months.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability representative from Disability Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-(800)-800-3332.