BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Mental health medical records of Barksdale Air Force Base assigned personnel and their family members were destroyed while waiting to be shipped to the National Personnel Records Center, according to a statement released by base officials Thursday.

The statement says inactive mental health records dated between 2006-2016 were transferred from the 2d Medical Group to the 2d Communication Squadron’s Base Records Staging Facility in accordance with published guidance. Those records were inadvertently destroyed while awaiting shipment to the National Personnel Records Center.

The NPRC was shut down for an extended time, which caused longer than normal wait times for shipment. During that time, the records were improperly selected for destruction and erroneously shredded.

“A thorough investigation was conducted and corrective actions have been implemented to ensure the appropriate disposition of future records,” Col. Randy Whitecotton, commander of the 2d Mission Support Group said. “Rest assured, there has been no unauthorized disclosure of patient information, and records at all times were appropriately secured.”

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Base officials say the names of the patients affected are not allowed to be released publicly in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPAA). The destruction of records is unrelated to the recent electronic health record upgrade.

Affected beneficiaries will be notified of the error by 2d Medical Group directly. Anyone who was stationed at Barksdale AFB and has questions regarding the disposition of your mental health records please contact the installation at USAF_barksdalerecordsquestions@mail.mil.