Can the Veterans Affairs Share Health Information Without Consent?
Written by Adam Bird on 10/03/2019
Late September 2019 some veterans started (some are still waiting) receiving a notice in the mail from the Veterans Affairs that they would be automatically enrolled into the EHealth Exchange, an initiative of The Sequoia Project. What does this mean? It means that the veterans information, Medical History, Physical and Electronic Records etc. can be shared with third parties without written consent of the veteran.
Below is a Press release put out on 10/2/2019 from Francis White Law PLLC that gives more details, you will also find an updated article posted early 10/3/2019 on the Disabled Veterans.org site (link below). If you are a veteran you should pay close attention to this.
UPDATE – Francis White Law PLLC8362 Tamarack Village, Suite 119-220, Woodbury, MN 55125Phone: (651) 829-1503 Fax: (651) 714-7119
Today, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, several veterans, along with Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc., have filed a lawsuit and a request for a temporary restraining order against Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as a direct response to the automatic enrollment into the EHealth Exchange, an initiative of The Sequoia Project. To opt-out, veterans need to submit the VA Form 10-0484 in person or by mail to their local VA Release of Information Office by September 30, 2019. Veteran’s Protected Health Information, PHI, which includes their physical and electronic records such as health records, medical history and billing information, can now be shared with third parties without the written consent of the veteran. The consent in this case is implied unless the above form is filed.
As the lawsuit alleges, some veterans have received this notice on 9/25/2019 which gave them 3 days to submit this form. Many have not received this notice as of yet. Many veterans feel that this is yet another example of overreach on the part of the VA in an effort to undermine the Constitutional Rights of veterans as has previously done with veterans’ Second Amendment Rights that have now been turned into the proposed Red Flag Laws.Brian Lewis, a Navy submarine veteran and an associate attorney at Francis White Law, PLLC, is one of the attorneys representing the veterans suing the Secretary. He said “the Government has an obligation to ensure that veterans’ private health information remains exactly that: private. Veterans have given great efforts to defend their country. VA owes them the same amount of effort to ensure that their healing from the traumas of war can be done without unwanted, outside prying eyes.”
The case number is 19-CV-2956 and the case has been assigned to Senior Judge Royce C. Lamberth. A hearing is set on the motion for a temporary restraining order tomorrow, 10/03/19, at 1130 EDT in front of Judge Christopher R. Cooper.
Brian Lewis can be reached at 651-829-1503 or via email at [email protected]