Published: Wed, August 8, 2018
Three state legislators have called for the firing of two Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs leaders, alleging they violated federal privacy laws — an allegation the agency's executive director called “unfathomable.”
A resident sits in the hallway in the special needs unit at the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs' Talihina Veterans Center in this photo from 2017. [Photo by Mike Simons, Tulsa World file]In a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin, Democratic Reps. Brian Renegar, Chuck Hoskin and David Perryman requested Fallin fire Veterans Affairs Executive Director Doug Elliott and clinical compliance director Tina Williams.
The lawmakers claim the crash of internet access and Veterans Affairs software on July 24 prompted Veterans Affairs leadership to order employees at the state's seven care centers to copy patient medical records onto the employees' personal cellphones.
“This is a direct violation of federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations,” the legislators told Fallin. They say the alleged HIPAA violation “could jeopardize the millions of federal funding dollars coming to our Oklahoma veterans.”
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