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Nearly 300 soldiers getting PTSD case reviews at Madigan

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on March 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
March 7, 2012 3:35 pm

The Army announced today that is inviting 285 soldiers to have their behavioral health diagnoses reviewed as it digs deeper into its investigation of Madigan Army Medical Center’s forensic psychiatry unit.

A team of behavioral health professionals selected those cases among a group 1,500 soldiers who received diagnoses at Madigan since 2007. The Army did not say why it chose those soldiers.

“It is important that we make contact with each soldier who we have identified as possibly requiring a second look,” said Col. Becky Porter, the Army’s chief behavioral health officer.

More soldiers could have their cases reviewed. Soldiers who passed through Madigan and have complaints about their behavioral health diagnoses are invited to call a “Warrior and Family Hotline” at (800) 984-8523.

In January, the Army opened up an investigation into the Madigan team following complaints that it adjusted behavioral health diagnoses in such a way that soldiers did not receive full disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. Seventeen soldiers who contested their cases were offered third opinions at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, and six had PTSD diagnoses reinstated by doctors at that the Maryland hospital.

The Army is conducting at least three separate investigations into Madigan’s PTSD diagnoses. In the meantime, Madigan commander Col. Dallas Homas is on leave, forensic psychiatry unit leader Dr. William Keppler is barred from working with patients and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Juliana Ellis-Billingsley has resigned.

Madigan in the past two years diagnosed 1,699 soldiers with PTSD.


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