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PTSD Diagnosis Reinstated for 6 of 14 Soldiers

MedPageToday, 2012

in the wake of suggestions that the cost of disability-related retirement payments was a consideration in their evaluations at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash.
Walter Reed psychiatrists determined that the other eight soldiers have non-PTSD behavioral disorders.
Patricia Horoho has suspended forensic evaluations of PTSD cases until the service develops formal guidelines, the Seattle Times reported.
Philip Volpe, commander of the army's Western Regional Medical Command, told the Times that consistency seemed to be lacking in the evaluations.
"The results of these 14 cases suggest that some degree of variance was introduced into the diagnostic process by the use of forensically trained clinicians," Volpe said.
"We have a responsibility to identify the cause of variance, eliminate diagnostic variance, and standardize our processes across all of Army Medicine."
The army began probing forensic PTSD evaluations at Madigan after an Army Medical Command official heard a psychiatrist there tell colleagues that a soldier allowed to retire because of PTSD-related disability could receive $1.5 million in pension and health benefits.
According to the official's memo to superiors, the psychiatrist had urged his colleagues to be "good stewards" of taxpayer dollars in making PTSD evaluations.
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