PRESS RELEASE – VA will not be allowed to share veterans’ health information without consent if a lawsuit filed by Attorney John Wells on behalf of Military-Veterans Advocacy and three veterans is successful.
The case number is 19-CV-2956, and it is assigned to Senior Judge Royce C. Lamberth. The hearing on the motion for a temporary restraining order is set for today at 11:30 AM EDT before Judge Christopher R. Cooper.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order against Robert Wilkie, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to stop implementation of the agency’s decision to share veterans’ health information without consent.
The agency previously followed industry norms requiring written consent from the veteran prior to sharing health information. The new policy automatically opts veterans into sharing their private health information with a Health Information Exchange managed by a third party called Healtheway, Inc, dba The Sequoia Project.
An estimated 2 million veterans received notices by US Mail, on or about September 26, 2019, of the agency’s sudden policy change, effective September 30, 2019, giving veterans only a couple of business days to respond, opt-out, or seek guidance from agency officials about privacy rights.
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.
Please direct all press inquiries to Benjamin Krause at (612) 888-9567. Brian Lewis can also be reached with questions about the litigation at (651) 829-1503.