Army will contact all who had PTSD status changed at Madigan
The Army plans to contact every former soldier whose post-traumatic stress diagnosis was changed by a Madigan Army Medical Center psychiatry team over the past four years and likely will reevaluate many of those cases.
The Army Western Region Medical Command disclosed that new line of inquiry Wednesday as it summarized its first review of a Madigan team responsible for checking the mental health diagnoses of soldiers seeking medical retirements.
Of 14 soldiers who challenged the psychiatry team’s adjustments, the Army reinstated the original PTSD diagnoses for six. The reinstatement entitles them to a disability pension of at least 50 percent of their Army salaries – more than what they would have received under the team’s changes.
In six other cases, clinicians at Walter Reed Army Medical Center concluded the Madigan team was correct in changing PTSD to other conditions, such as anxiety disorder. Those diagnoses do not come with immediate disability pensions.
The remaining two soldiers were never diagnosed with PTSD, and the Walter Reed reviewers determined those decisions were correct.
“These results clearly show that the PTSD evaluation process by this unit at Madigan has been deeply flawed,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Wednesday. “How many other service members have been wrongly diagnosed, how much cost played a role in these decisions, and how widespread this problem is, are still big, unanswered questions.”
Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe, commander of the Western Region Medical Command based south of Tacoma, said the results show that further investigation is warranted.
“We have a responsibility to identify the cause of variance, eliminate diagnostic variance, and standardize our processes across all of Army medicine,” Volpe said in written remarks.
- PTSD diagnosed in 6 of 14 soldiers examined at Walter Reed (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Wash. Army commander removed over PTSD probe (sfgate.com)
- Army reinstates PTSD diagnoses in six cases from Madigan (seattletimes.nwsource.com)