VA Caribbean Healthcare System to Provide Free Credit Monitoring to Veterans

This was posted on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web site and dated May 20, 2011:

San Juan, PR – The VA Caribbean Healthcare System is notifying and offering one year of free credit monitoring to 1,691 Veterans and staff whose personal information was left unsecured in an unrestricted area of the San Juan VA Medical Center.

“While this was an isolated incident with no evidence of a compromise, any time there is a possibility that personal information was compromised we take the matter very seriously,” said Medical Center Director Wanda Mims. “We are reaching out to each Veteran and staff member who may have been affected, and we’re taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future.”

An internal investigation revealed that personally identifiable information belonging to patients and staff, including patient care assignment documents which contained names and social security numbers, counseling letters and other information which was to be shredded, were left in an unrestricted area of the medical center. There is no indication that the information has been misused or stolen.

The medical center is sending letters to every Veteran and employee whose name and full social security number were on the documents to explain what occurred and offer free credit monitoring services. The next of kin of deceased Veterans and employees whose name and partial social security number were on the documents will also be notified.

Veterans who have questions or concerns are encouraged to call the VA Caribbean HealthCare System at a special toll free number at 855-735-8888.

Note that this incident was also reported to the US. Dept. of Health & Human Services. The report on their breach tool indicated that 6,006 patients were affected by the incident that happened on March 30.

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