Bag stolen from Memphis VA provider compromises veterans - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bag stolen from Memphis VA provider compromises veterans

(WMC-TV) - United States Veteran Levern Garner received a letter from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis two weeks before Christmas.

"The letter stated some information had come up missing off the VA property," said Garner.

The missing documents included Garner's personal information to be exact.

According to the letter written by VA Medical Center Director and CEO Diane Knight, a provider took a list of VA patient records to review at home.That provider's bag, which contained the list of VA patients, was stolen. No one knows who did it.

"They will take that and misuse it, and therefore it will hinder me from trying to go forward and do the proper thing," added Garner.

The letter also stated "your last name and last four digits of your Social Security Number were inappropriately exposed and compromised."

"They warned the provider, but I don't know if they terminated the provider. That's the question, there's no accountability," said Veterans Advocate, Randy Wade.

Wade says the hospital sent out mass mailings letting veterans know about the breach.

"It is a clear cut violation of HIPAA to expose a veteran. Not just one, I mean, we don't even know his many," added Wade.

A violation that, for Garner, hits closer to home.

"I've been hurt inside my personal information exposed and don't know where to go from here," said Garner.

The letter also says the provider admitted responsibility of the incident and that the VA has reviewed the VA privacy policies with her, which will prohibit providers from removing VA patient sensitive information outside the medical center.

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