Veterans Administration September report includes four breaches, each affecting multiple veterans

Okay, so maybe I jinxed things when I reported how well the Veterans Administration had done in August in reducing the number of breaches involving personal information. By September, it was back to same old, same old.

Here’s a brief rundown on  the breaches involving personal information of multiple individuals reported by the VA to Congress for the month of September:

Palo Alto:  A Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) Case Manager’s briefcase was stolen from a government vehicle. The briefcase was not lockable and contained a list of 50 Veterans’ names, last 4 digits of their Social Security Numbers, telephone numbers and home addresses.

Bay Pines (FL):  While conducting an internal inspection regarding unauthorized access, it was discovered that an unnamed employee may have inappropriately accessed the electronic medical records of approximately 65 other VA employees. The employee failed to return to work after being informed that would be an investigation of this access.  The employee had had two HIPAA violations in the past. Investigation revealed that 58 employees’ medical records were viewed inappropriately.

Seattle, WA:  An employee in the VA Puget Sound Health Care System Release of Information accidently released a compact disk containing the complete medical records for 63 Veterans to a single Veteran. The Veteran noticed the error after taking the CD home. The Veteran contacted the VAPSHCS and returned the compact disk.  59 Veterans were sent a letter offering credit protection services and a notification letter was sent to the Next of Kin for four Veterans.

Baltimore, MD:  A Medical Support Assistant (MSA) was given a list of patients by the Acting Chief of Optometry to reschedule appointments. Four days later, the MSA reported that the paperwork was missing. Several searches over succeeding days failed to locate the missing paperwork. The list contained the first name, last name and full SSN of 76 Veterans, who were sent letters offering credit protection services.

Edits: Headline corrected to reflect four breaches, not five

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.