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Ptsd Diagnoses Reversed By Psychiatry Team -Reinstated


Wings

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Army says 285 patients at Wash. medical center had PTSD diagnoses reversed by psychiatry team http://www.washingto...y0xR_story.html

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The Army has identified 285 more patients at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state who had their diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder reversed by a forensic psychiatry team in the past five years. The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that the patients will be given the option of having their cases reviewed once again to determine if they suffer from PTSD. ... The Army is investigating whether Madigan doctors who reviewed PTSD diagnoses were influenced by concerns about the cost of providing such benefits. Madigan staff involved in the screening have denied there was command pressure to limit disability awards, the newspaper reported. ... Madigan’s screeners for PTSD were removed from that duty last month while the Army Medical Command investigates why diagnoses were changed. Also last month, the Army removed Madigan’s commander while the investigation proceeds. ... The investigation was started in January, following complaints from soldiers whose PTSD diagnoses had been reversed. Seventeen soldiers contested their cases, and six had their diagnoses reinstated by doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.... The forensic team at Madigan was charged with making a final diagnostic review of soldiers under consideration for retirement.Madigan is located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, about 30 miles south of Seattle, which has sent tens of thousands of soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Madigan team reversed 285 PTSD diagnoses, Sen. Murray says http://seattletimes...._madigan08.html

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The Army Medical Command has identified some 285 Madigan Army Medical Center patients whose diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder were reversed as they went through a screening process for possible medical retirements, according to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. Last month, Madigan's screeners for PTSD were removed from that duty while the Army Medical Command investigates why diagnoses were changed. ... The soldiers were screened by Madigan's forensic psychiatry team over a five-year period dating back to 2007, and will be invited to undergo new reviews at Madigan or other military facilities, according to a release Wednesday by the Western Regional Medical Command, which has oversight over Madigan. Soldiers eligible for review were identified from a review of 1,500 soldiers screened by the forensic team for all types of mental-health conditions, the command said. ... The investigation at Madigan was triggered, in part, by complaints from soldiers who had previously been diagnosed with PTSD but were later accused by the screening team of exaggerating symptoms and sometimes malingering. ... Earlier this year, 14 soldiers underwent new mental-health reviews at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Six had their PTSD diagnoses reinstated. The investigation also was spurred by concerns that Madigan doctors involved in the screening were unduly influenced by worries about the escalating costs of paying benefits to those who qualify for medical retirements. ... Madigan staff involved in the screening deny there was command pressure to limit disability awards. The Madigan investigation has attracted national attention, triggering a broader Pentagon review of how the military medical staff diagnoses PTSD. ... At the Western Washington medical center, some staff are embittered by the February decision to remove Col. Dallas Homas, Madigan's commander, during the investigation. "We really believe that he has been scapegoated," said one senior Madigan employee who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Many of these diagnoses were made long before Col. Homas came on board." Homas, who became commander less than a year ago, earned a reputation among some for trying to improve patient care. "He said we need to treat patients like they are family members," said a Madigan staffer. "Like they are your son, your father, your mother." ... The Army has been waging a campaign to help reduce the stigma that some soldiers feel if they seek mental-health treatment. But some medical professionals have alleged that PTSD is being over-diagnosed. Patient medical records reviewed by The Seattle Times indicate considerable disputes both within the Army, and between the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs, over how to diagnose PTSD.

Madigan psychiatrist: PTSD diagnoses were fixed at Walter Reed

http://blog.thenewst...at-walter-reed/

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In her resignation letter, Madigan Army Medical Center forensic psychiatrist Juliana Ellis-Billingsley wrote that the Army’s top behavioral health officer misled Madigan leaders about the results of an investigation into post-traumatic stress diagnoses at the hospital south of Tacoma. Ellis-Billingsley wrote that Col. Rebecca Porter in early February told Madigan leaders that forensic psychiatrists at Walter Reed Military Medical Center had upheld the first 12 Madigan diagnoses they reviewed among a group of 14 soldiers who contested the behavioral health diagnoses they received from Madigan. Three weeks later, Porter visited Madigan to deliver the results of the Walter Reed reviews to the soldiers themselves. They learned that Walter Reed overturned six Madigan diagnoses, deciding that those soldiers suffered from PTSD. In eight other cases, Walter Reed agreed with Madigan in diagnosing soldiers with conditions other than PTSD.

Panetta orders another PTSD review for Madigan Army Medical Center

http://www.bellingha...y#storylink=cpy

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Tuesday announced a new layer in the Army's investigations into a Madigan Army Medical Center behavioral health program that changed post traumatic stress disorder diagnoses for certain soldiers who were seeking medical retirements at the Army base south of Tacoma. Panetta told a Senate committee that he asked a Defense Department undersecretary to look at whether the military is diagnosing post traumatic stress consistently. ... Panetta’s remarks came at a defense budget hearing at which Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., pressed him about his knowledge of the forensic psychiatry team at Madigan, on the grounds of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That unit, created in 2008, reviewed PTSD diagnoses and sometimes adjusted them to other diagnoses. ... The decisions were costly to some service members who were no longer entitled to the level of disability benefits the government provides to soldiers who suffer from PTSD. One psychiatrist in the forensic unit this fall encouraged other behavioral health specialists not to be a “rubber stamp,” and said a PTSD diagnosis could cost taxpayers $1.5 million in benefits over the lifetime of a retired soldier. “I never want to hear anyone in any service say we’re not going to give you a PTSD diagnosis because we have a budget problem,” Murray said at Tuesday’s hearing.

Edited by Wings

USAF 1980-1986, 70% SC PTSD, 100% TDIU (P&T)

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