Privacy Violations Rising At Veterans Affairs Medical Facilities

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Brandon Coleman, an addiction therapist for the Phoenix VA Health Care System, filed a privacy complaint after a social worker accessed his medical file in 2014.
Brandon Coleman, an addiction therapist for the Phoenix VA Health Care System, filed a privacy complaint after a social worker accessed his medical file in 2014.
Brandon Coleman, an addiction therapist for the Phoenix VA Health Care System, filed a privacy complaint after a social worker accessed his medical file in 2014.

When Anthony McCann opened a thick manila envelope from the Department of Veterans Affairs last year, he expected to find his own medical records inside.

Instead, he found over 250 pages of deeply revealing personal information on another veteran’s mental health.

“It had everything about him, and I could have done anything with it,” McCann said in an interview.

It wasn’t the first time McCann had received another veteran’s medical records. In the past, he informed the VA, then threw away the misdirected documents. This time, after failing to make contact with the other veteran on his own, McCann took the documents to a town hall meeting held by the director of the VA’s Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

When the floor opened for questions, McCann was the first to raise his hand.

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