St. Louis VA apologizes for mixup after it mails patient information to wrong addresses


Photo by Bill Milligan

Marc Garcia plays the trumpet at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery ceremony.

The Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System said Friday that letters containing sensitive information were mailed from the VA St. Louis Women’s Clinic to the wrong recipients.

An error occurred when the VA St. Louis system mailed letters Sept. 4 to notify patients of their new primary care providers and, if applicable, also notified patients about their next appointment time, location and provider name, according to a press release dated Oct. 18.

Due to an error in the mail merge, 595 letters were mailed to the wrong address and veterans received letters intended for other patients, inadvertently disclosing names, addresses and providers’ names.

The Women’s Clinic is one of 10 divisions of the St. Louis VA, and patients affected are from both the Jefferson Barracks and John Cochran VA clinic locations, officials told The Call in an email.

Patients affected were informed of steps they could take to prevent identity theft.

“We have notified the patients whose information was disclosed and provided steps they may choose to protect themselves against identity theft,” the VA said in the press release. “VA takes its obligation to honor and serve America’s Veterans very seriously. The facility has implemented a quality assurance process to verify Veteran information prior to mailing letters. Staff works diligently to protect the privacy of Veterans.”

Those with questions can contact the VA St. Louis Health Care System Privacy Officer, Jennifer Roberts, at 314-894-6109 or toll free 1-800-228-5459 ext. 66109.