The U.S. Army is investigating suggestions that diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder in 14 soldiers were changed to limit their eligibility for disability benefits.
According to the army's Western Regional Medical Command (WRMC), the soldiers -- whose PTSD diagnoses were reversed by a forensic psychiatric team at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash. -- have been flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for reevaluation.
And Madigan's commander, Col. Dallas Homas, has been "administratively removed from his position" while the investigation proceeds, the WRMC said in a statement. It added that such actions are "a common practice during ongoing investigations and nothing more."
The Seattle Times has reported that the investigation began in response to a memo from an unidentified ombudsman for the Army Medical Command, who heard a Madigan psychiatrist tell colleagues during a lecture that a PTSD diagnosis could incur a lifetime cost to taxpayers of more than $1.5 million.