We’ll just patch them up with red tape

Due to data-sharing regulations, Veteran’s Affairs trauma center doctors have had their access to
records necessary for treatment of soldiers wounded in Iraq and
Afghanistan blocked by the Pentagon since January 23.

The VA physicians handle troops with serious brain injuries and
other major health problems. They rely on digital medical records that
track the care given wounded troops from the moment of their arrival at
a field hospital through their evacuation to the United States.

About 30 VA doctors in four trauma centers around the country have
treated about 200 severely wounded soldiers and Marines. The docs had
been receiving the complete digital records from the Pentagon until the
end of January, using the Pentagon’s Joint Patient Tracking Application.


The access cutoff came after Morris, in a Jan. 23 e-mail, instructed
a colleague: “If the VA currently has access I need a list of persons
and I need their accounts shut off ASAP. It is illegal for them to have
access without data use agreements and access controls in place by
federal regulations and public law.”

There have been meetings
between VA and Pentagon officials. The Pentagon declined to comment
yesterday. VA officials apparently thought it might have been resolved
Monday. But an e-mail Monday from Morris to a co-worker said: “The
leadership has not authorized the VA accounts to be turned back on, in
case someone approaches you about this.”

2 thoughts on “We’ll just patch them up with red tape

  1. Welcome to the Real World of HIPAA and other stupid laws that accomplish nothing constructive.

  2. The standard procedure of Mr. Bush’s administration has to involve political hacks into the
    policy positions all across the spectrum of governmental agency. The complete lack of honest
    consideration in appointments at the highest levels of departmental governence is as important
    a problem as the starting of an unnecessary war. Mr. Bush is the poster child for torture and
    war profiteering. The reduction of money and direct benefits for Veterans needs and security
    and the actual conditions that many wounded Veterans are forced to endure are beneath the
    honor and debt owed these volunteers. The New York Times has an article relating to the awlful
    living conditions of wounded troops in our Capitol City. Any defense of Mr. Bush and his more than willing accomplices at this late date is evidence of ignorance or intention to defraud.

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