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Wash. Senator Patty Murray Wants Timeline For DoD Mental Health Diagnosis Reviews

Patty Murray

Washington Senator Patty Murray has asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to provide a timeline for a review of how the military diagnoses PTSD and other behavioral health issues.

Murray, who chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, sent a letter to the defense secretary.  Murray expressed concern that the promised review had been stalled in the letter. "The Department must act with a sense of urgency in order to complete this review and to act on its findings in coordinating with other ongoing efforts to improve the disability evaluation system," Murray wrote to Panetta. "Each of these efforts is vital in ensuring servicemembers truly have a transparent, consistent, and expeditious disability evaluation process."

The military-wide review was announced by the DoD in June. It followed the discovery that a screening team at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma reversed PTSD diagnoses in some 300 soldiers under consideration for medical retirement. The adjustments prevented the soldiers from receiving disability benefits for behavioral health issues stemming from their combat experiences.
After soldiers complained the diagnoses were reviewed and in some cases reversed.