Stolen data includes no medical records
I know the Department of Veterans Affairs maintains health records electronically; was this information also compromised when all that data was stolen from a VA employee's home?
Answer: No electronic medical records were compromised. The data lost is limited to an individual's name, date of birth, Social Security number, in some cases their spouse's information, as well as some disability ratings. However, this information could still be of potential use to identity thieves, and the VA recommends that all veterans be vigilant in monitoring their financial statements.
The VA plans to mail letters to all veterans. The VA has also set up a call center where veterans can get information and learn more about consumer identity protections. That toll free number is 1-800-333-4636. The call center will operate from 2 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hawaii time, Monday through Saturday. Veterans can also go to www.firstgov.gov to get more information.
Q: Obesity and diabetes have become national concerns. What is the VA doing to help combat these two health problems?
A: The VA has launched a national registration campaign to let veterans and their families tailor their diets and exercise programs into a healthful lifestyle. Patients enrolled in the VA's health care program can complete an interactive online questionnaire about their health status, nutrition and exercise. Based on this information, veterans and family members receive a custom report with health information and instructions for follow-up with medical center staff. People not enrolled in the VA's health care program can log into www.move.va.gov/more23 and answer 23 questions. They will receive an individualized report giving them suggestions about making changes in their eating and physical activity and referring them to materials on the Web site.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.