To the Editor:
At an appointment two weeks ago I was advised that the VA was now releasing my medication list to a state agency to prevent "Doctor Shopping." As a former VA Administrator and having taught HIPAA I know release of patient information without consent is not authorized and begun my fight knowing this was a part of the White House Gun Control Agenda.
I was called today 4/22/2013 by a VA Privacy Officer to discuss the issue who clarified that under another obscure rule which she could not date they were authorized to release medication and mental health records to state agencies and were now doing it NATIONWIDE. I have asked for written documentation to support their breach of my privacy and acknowledged that I had already notified my Senator and Congressman's Offices.
As I explained to this individual, we go to the VA for issues expecting care and confidential treatment as Veterans for issues as I do such as PTSD, anxiety and other issues common among us. Many of us, like myself, will go down and have ourselves removed from any medications they (the current administration) feels necessary to their agenda to have reported... When asked why is this being done now, she asked why I asked that question.... I said you and I both know with the current administrations stance on gun control and it already using any "mental health issue" as a reason to take more weapons from citizens is there any doubt in your mind "why now?" She simply stated "we all have opinions on that, which I am not free to discuss..."
Either I will get the information and pass it on or they will have me in a rubber room for "further examination" because I questioned the administrations policy... Veterans ask your providers at the VA, re-post this information, it has already happened without us being notified...
Former Marine, Former VA Administrator