Is Army PTSD Misdiagnosis Scandal Also Fraud?
Recent comments uncovered by Army investigation reveal possible high-level medical fraud being committed against active duty military personnel. To prevent fair disability ratings for servicemembers with PTSD, Army psychologists have been “cooking the books.” During a PTSD conference at Madigan, an unnamed psychiatrist warned participants the Medical Review Board must be on the lookout for taxpayers when diagnosing PTSD. He expressed concern that military members suffering from PTSD and receiving disability would bankrupt the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs. For that reason, the psychiatrist said he would not follow standard operating procedure, which he equated to “rubber stamping,” in assigning PTSD ratings. Dr. William Keppler and another Army doctor have been suspended from clinical duties while the Army investigation unfolds. Madigan falls under the Western Regional Medical Commend (WRMC). The WRMC issued the following statement regarding its investigation into the matter:
The U.S. Army Medical Command and the Western Regional Medical Command are taking this issue very seriously, and have initiated investigations to look into the concerns outlined in the Memorandum For Record. We are very sensitive to the issues that have been raised and are working hard to address them. Soldiers expect and deserve the best possible care with compassion, and our priority is to make sure that all Soldiers are getting a fair clinical assessment and diagnosis in the Disability Evaluation System (DES) process. However, while the investigation is being conducted, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the details of any inquiry until it is completed.
When taken at face value, the psychiatrist’s statements mean many veterans who were diagnosed at Madigan were likely not awarded their diagnosis properly. This misdiagnosis is the result of a failure for the medical professional to follow the law and their ethics codes. This failure is the result of the professional believing they had a duty to the taxpayer rather than a duty to their patient. Any civilian medical professional guilty of misdiagnosing a client on purpose could be guilty of medical malpractice. Further, by submitting knowingly false statements to the government in the form of a disability compensation evaluation is fraud. Here is the minimal requirement for fraud:
Black’s law dictionary defines constructive fraud as “all acts, omissions, and concealments involving breach of equitable or legal duty, trust or confidence, and resulting in damage to another, 38 Cal Rptr. 148, 157; i.e. no scienter (knowledge) is required. Thus the party who makes the misrepresentation need not know that it is false.’ (USLegal.com).
Here, we know within a reasonable amount of inference that at least the doctors in question knew they were misdiagnosing servicemembers. The veterans who were misdiagnosed have damaged in the form of lower disability ratings and the doctors in question must be prosecuted. The Army has a duty to notify all former and current servicemembers possibly affected that their exams were possibly tainted. My question is, where did this idea come from, that a psychiatrist has a higher duty to whoever pays the bill rather than the patient. I doubt highly that it came from the American Medical Association or the American Psychological Association. Sounds to me like it came from someone within the DOD or the executive. At this point, the Army is tight lipped on the matter. However, Senator Patty Murry, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, is closely following the matter. We will report back as the investigation unfolds. Update: According to the Seattle Times, “the Army Medical Command has a hotline available for soldiers and veterans who have been screened by forensic psychiatric teams since 2007 as part of the evaluation process for medical retirement. Soldiers and veterans with concerns about their diagnosis may call 800-984-8523.”
In addition to this article – What is what these “personality disorders”? How come the military didn’t screen these individuals before joining? Why is it never brought up? Why go through the trouble recruiting citizens just to label them and dump them off to save money? How does one go in perfectly fit, and then told they have a personality disorder “years later” after serving, especially serving with HONOR. How does it happen? It is an abomination and a cruel thing to do to a person. God have mercy on us…
I am active duty SFC in the Army my MOS is 19D4P Cav Scout. I was diagnosed in 2010 with PTSD and have been getting worse over the past few years and was sent by my command for a “Fit For Duty Physical” which again confirmed the diagnosis along with my current doctors being from the VA (funny how that works) due to me being stationed at a remote assignment have also diagnosed me with PTSD. It seems every place I go they want to re-evaluate me because they think they are smarter then the prior doctor or something anyway moving on, I have been on a permanent profile from the physical prior to starting my MEB. Around 3 weeks ago I had to go down to Fort Knox for the MEB process and they changed my permanent profile which now says Bipolar disorder instead of the PTSD that I have been seeing doctors for the past 5yrs on. I called my PEBLO and she stated that is my new diagnosis and she read it of my NARSUM that I have yet to receive and stated that I could appeal it when I receive the signed one or I can just basically suck it up and take the hit. Well I am not going to sit back and take the hit, the army decided to send me for a fit for duty physical which labeled me as no longer able to perform my duties and responsibilities any longer and being thrown to the wolves of civilian society a lot sooner then I anticipated. I have 22yrs in right now and I am Active Duty not a reservist or National Guard (No Offense). I have been in contact with my Doctors that have diagnosed me and they are writing letters to support the PTSD diagnosis but was told that it most likely wont make a difference. What can I do? don’t say JAG because they pretty much told me that is how it is, Just need some ideas my wife has stepped in now and is pushing the issue I don’t have the energy for this any longer. Thank you.
Seabee billets are construction and combat troops (“We Build, We Fight!”) Since I got out (a long, long time ago) I haven’t met one damn doctor who understands this. Doesn’t the medical profession have to to know the differences between branches and MOSs? Some are more hazardous than others.
Please tell me about any docs than understand what Seabees are and do. My last private doc I was seeing for years still thinks I was in the Army and the rest think I was a swabbie: They don’t understand how you could possibly have been injured or shot at on Island X, even when your medical records clearly show it.
Ben and Eric, as well as everyone else regarding this post. Because I’ve lived with my “closed closet” but not completely, I lived with my PTSD from an assault, and the idiot social worker who cannot deal with “facts,” then 2 MST events, one shortly after the first event where I had to leave as he wished to kill me, I worried more about my roommate. An E-2 who had dreams, a Physician Assistant, but, life changes courses and we have no guarantees. Interestingly I injured my back on active duty, so noted on my discharge papers, I had such an overwhelming marriage of abuse, I took my care of my children first. The pain remained but I am one tough woman, however I joined the Reserves and I was glad to have that to support my children, nope, never ran to get disability, just exercised. I so wish I could send you this “crap” that is funny but then again not. Obviously I have the one worried over a C&P exam, let her worry, she has no clue how foolish her changing answers, asking me to “dumb it down for her” stated words that I guess would make one appear stuck at 13? I have other concerns with my back, it involves the fact I AM SMART TO PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS, and just proves the VA cannot. There is no doubt this is the cause of my decline to do the simply pleasures, my Cello sits and waits, my sewing machine to make Halloween costumes for my grandchild. Magic word-SIT. But trust me, this war isn’t over, they meaning the regional offices and the VA’s all have bloody hands. It is no longer about me, it’s about all the others. I remember one word when seeing the imbecile I saw, “SHROOMS?” Oh maybe mushrooms? Yes please, love them, but if you mean the sacred use by Native Americans, please say exactly what they are. Just like my ability to not concentrate on one book, I surf the net-just FYI for others, I determined that must be “VEG?” Sorry, I must disappoint her, obviously my IQ most definitely a threat. Keep up the fight, never give up-trust me, I shall-so, don’t be surprised if I contact you, and you can see the “games the VA plays.” Oh, just a note, I was told someone could come to my home? WRONG, they stated they don’t have the man power to do it. New call to be made. Go Figure!
Oh, I forgot to add, my back which I suffer chronic back pain, is an MST event? Strange, how so? Also, I’ve seen the best in the area who many travel to see, a rheumatologist in this area which thank you, i do have my paperwork dear idiots of this system, you can’t even compare! 🙂
United and corrupt we stand in the military. The Feres Doctrine prevails. The US Army a psychiatrist who has a practice in DC Captain Jacob J Katzow falsified my medical records in 1966 The army and the Veterans Admin would not allow me to see those records for years only in 2010 were they released to me. I know what spoliation inferences are all about I know about corruption and deceit. Look around veterans have been fighting for their disability and other benefits for years. This agency is corrupt it is suppose to be non-adversarial, it is anything but. You give them medical evidence they combat it like it was a plague that was going to wipe out the earth. They say they are defending and implementing the laws. There is more corruption in this department by itself than in most of the others combined. The IG and congress will have your claim put on ice for years if you complain look at Cushman.
We need to take action. Verbage and talk have gotten us nowhere for how many years now? These people in office are as criminal as the ones that are behind bars. Your life and your problems are my problems and that of all of real Americans. Our government is one that is by the people and for the people. When they want you to serve and fight they stand right behind you then when something happens to you or I or a friend they turn their backs on you and tell us there is nothing they can do. They made the friggin laws and they can unmake them to cause most of them are unconstitutional anyway. Thomas Jefferson was 100 percent correct and if we take our blinders off we will do something about corruption in Americas the peoples government.
My brother, Henry H. Gray, is a Viet Nam vet. He served 2 tours in the US Army during the Viet Nam War. He was drafted in ’64 and discharged in 1966 with an honorable discharge. A few weeks after his first discharge, he couldn’t find work so he voluntarily re-upped — and the US Army found him fit to serve. The first tour was served totally state -side. The second was served in Viet Nam. To make a very long story short, he was given a discharged characterized as “under conditions less than honorable.” He was court martialed for fighting, disrespect to an officer, and accused of being AWOL. All of this happened in a 2-3 week period after he was told that the US Army was going back on the exit date that he’d been given when he went over. Everyone that served or was a love ones waiting for their vets return during the VNW knows that the return date is literally what kept the soldiers alive and motivated. When he was told his time in-country was going to be extended…I think he might have gone a little crazy. As a matter of fact, he went a lot crazy. He was incarcerated and mail treated as part of his court martial. He took the CM because he just wanted to go home..by any means necessary. Whatever happened to him in VN especially LBJ [Lon Bin (?) Jail] left him mentally disabled for the rest of his life. He returned home in ’68 unrecognizable by his now-married kid sister (me). He spent most of the 70s in and out (mostly in) mental hospitals. Today, 40+ years later, (he turned 70 in January), he continues to be denied ANY DISABILITY PAYMENTS AND MOST OF THE SERVICE BENEFITS…THAT MANY FOLKS WHO NEVER SET FOOT IN A WAR ZONE ARE HAPPILY COLLECTING. Our mother started begging various elected officials to intercede and help her get benefits for Henry as soon as he returned. She applied for discharge review and upgrade for him but was denied. She died of Alzhiemer’s knowing only that she had turned his fight over to me. More than a year ago, I filed claims for him for benefits for a long list of medical conditions that Henry now suffers from DUE TO HIS TIME IN VIET NAM….INCLUDING AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE (he based near Saigon for more than a year!). …YET EVERY CLAIM WAS DENIED DUE TO HIS LAST DISCHARGE WHICH CONTROLS ALL BENEFITS. I’m planning to file again for Discharge Review but I’m searching for someone knowledgeable of that process to help me put together the best case. Henry’s spent the last 90 days in and out of the medical hospital for treatment for CLL Leukemia, heart conditions, circulation issues that ended up with amputations of toes. He’s also been treated for prostate cancer…for which he received no benefits…because we had been told for so long that he was not eligible for ANY BENEFITS that we did not look into it…and by the time I got involved he’d been treated…and I was told the opportunity for him to draw a cash benefit had gone by. If there is anyone out there who can help me, please post a message to Carolyn Gray. I have sent letters to President Obama and Shinseki, my state Senator….my mother sent letters to Herman Talmadge … and he helped her get Henry a social security disability started and a non service related ‘pension.’ I understand my mother at one time sent a letter to all 50 of the Senators. Yet this man, who served his country but due to his youth, the terror of war, the abuse he withstood in jail, he returned home a shadow of the person who left and for all these years, the burden of caring for his needs has fallen upon his family. Today, Henry lives on less that $1000 a month. The VA hospital in Atlanta is way too far away and takes too long to get anything done. So I take him to local doctors and Medicare pays what they pay…the rest of the bills just don’t get paid. His outstanding medical debt in into the upper 5-figures. He presently receives home care and I visit everyday to give him his meds, make meals, and check on his general well being. He really should be in a veterans nursing home, but that option is not available. At age 65, I’m no spring chicken and have a few health problems myself. If something should happen to me…I’d hate to see where Henry would end up. PAY UP USA….THIS MAN GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU…YOU OWE HIM A DECENT FINAL ACT.
I find it odd that my nephew, with 16 years in the army, and 3 tours in the middle east is being discharged for “personality disorder” and when requested, was told that he would be given a copy of his Personnel, Medical and Dental records EXCEPT his “mental health record”. He was told that the Army “doesn’t release that information” by an Army lawyer. I wonder if these people have ever heard of the “Freedom of Information Act”?
Vietnam vet, cannt anyone help with the headacks, flashbacks, anger, sleeping problems etc, etc. The VA said I HAVE A PERSONNELTY PROBLEM, maybe its because of someone in 1967, 1968, & 1969 shot at me watch as my brothers being blowned up. Then again its just a bad dream that never ends.
Yea,thats a ashame that us veterans get treated like crap,so bad that they feel that we be fakeing our,issue well im not at all im dinosege with sleep disorer,left shoulder condition and PTSD left hip pain lower back condition and herina condition and anxiety,and they say that im all right.I just came back from iraq,so i went to VA yesterday with all im tpying down here the woman told me make apointment ASAP,Because they say that i need to be working on getting what i desever.
Are anyone else’s records being “audited” , thereafter you find that you are MISSING paperwork??? You better COPY that STUFF, EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT before giving THEIR PROPERTY back to them.
How DARE the military STILL be cooking the books!
This isn’t NEW, this is a continuation of the garbage that has been going on EVER SINCE TRICARE WAS IMPLEMENTED MILITARY WIDE!!!
WAKE UP DOD! YOU are FULL of INFILTRATORS, you BLIND BOYS AND GIRLS.
I drove 60 in a freezing rainstorm and was a total wreck. My psychiatric evaluation then took less than 15 minutes. The shrink said because i was not a filthy dirty homeless wreck that could actually count to ten forward and backward that I did not deserve a rating more than 30%. Wouldn’t my personal psychologist know more about me? He gave me a GAF score of 31 which from what I can determine would be rated much higher than 30%. I feel that some of the people making the ratings are there only because they can not get employment elsewhere.
it’s very sad when veterans that were injured while in the military are treated so bad, when the veterans that don’ have anything at all wrong with them, gets away with everything..i’m a disable vet, and i injured my right knee while i was in bootcamp during a drill ceremony back in the seventies; i didn’t know that i could have applied for help once i got out of the military because no one told me i could…but anyway once i got all the information that i needed, i applied for disable vet compensation…i got turned down twice, which i had a representative, but the third time i decided to appeal for myself…well to make a long story short, i have been receiving ten percent for several years, and now that the pain has gotten worrier across my hip to my left knee and leg….the doctor has given me a walking cane, two knee bracelets for both knees, pain pills that i have to constantly take for my pain, i had to quit my job of four years due to the eight hours of standing forty hours a week, and then to have them deny me of more percentage for my knee…plus my doctor stated that the pain has gone from one knee to the other knee…they are thinking about surgery, but the doctor stating that he don’t want to do it right now, so i have decided to go to another doctor to see just what is going on with both my knees….like i told my doctor, you are not in my body and you don’t know how painful my knees really get, sometimes it hurt just to walk from one room to the other…i have to drive because my husband is very ill and unable at times to drive by his self…so what do i do, continue suffering because i can’t get the help that i really do need…what type of government does we have?….oh! i forgot, some of us don’t have family members working in the government that can award us 50 to 100 percentage for our disability, and some of us don’t have doctors that can help the vets that really need to be help…keep praying vets, because “GOD” is going to open that door of blessing for us one day soon, so we can get the percentages that we really desire because of our injuries…don’t give up…”BE BLESS EVERYONE, BETTER DAYS AHEAD FOR ALL OF US VETERANS”
Considering the fact that I was misdiagnosed, well not even misdiagnosed, I was completly ignored. I ended up putting a gun up under my chin, the rond never went off !! even after 3 tries, even when I went to my vanuted medical hospital in the Air Force I did not recieve any help. I was given a different diagnosis. and still kept in, I was treated as if I had a cold or something. It was not until I went home that I got the propper help that I needed…from a private psychologist. I took my complaint all the way to a 3 Star General while I was still in the Air Force! I had better luck talking to a wall. The fraud is widespread folks, if you really think that whatr happened at Madigan is a fluke then you are fooling yourselves. it is an epidemic…..and it may get worse before it get’s better. And yes, for those whom question what I wrote here, I got the proof, An dI do not care who knows!!
Well again, this issue has to do with Army doctors changing VA PTSD diagnoses to a non compensable mental condition (adjustment disorder/personality disorder). These are active duty troops, not post service veterans. So, those who are actually faking it can be dealt with under UCMJ but we can’t screw the masses to avoid a few cheaters.
Please understand that both the VA and DoD assess an individual who is undergoing disability evaluation under the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). The IDES was supposed to stop the variance between DoD and VA diagnoses and ratings. Unfortunately, no one is making DoD follow the rules.
This issue happens with non mental condition cases as well and across all the Services. The VA will service connect and rate a condition while DoD states it Existed Prior (EPTS) to Services (EPTS) and is not compensable. Both the DoD and the VA are required to back up EPTS determinations with clear and unmistakable evidence but again, no one is holding DoD feet to the fire on this requirement. Until somebody does, wounded warriors will get cheated out of DoD disability benefits.
Have you tried getting statements from freinds/relatives who know about your trauma?
I apologize Benjamin and Eric if my post was misunderstood. I wrote that because of my frustration with my own dealings with the VA. There are vets I know nothing happen to and are getting paid benefits. I did not experience my trauma until after the war and because I dont have medical records from that time, my claim gets disapproved. Trust I am appealing this decision. It just frustrates me that the system is not working for me and working for those that I know are lying.
Terry brought up an excellent point in his post. It is something that has infuriated me since I volunteered for service in the Army in 1993. Our government has found more ways to employ our military services in combat operations without calling it war than I could ever imagine. Military service in itself is a very unique occupation within our society. Merely having served a two or three year enlistment seems to institutionalize young people almost like a young person having spent time in prison. The average person doesn’t understand this. Unless you have “been there and done that,” a person cannot begin to comprehend. My best example is the common sense approach applied by civilian law enforcement. Most departments will immediately relieve an officer of his/her duties for an undetermined amount of time after having been involved in or witness to a catastrophic event. This will be followed by medical and emotional evaluations. The officer may be reassigned to administrative duties for some time or they may return the officer to normal duty if that is what he/she wants to do. In military service there is no timeout. There is no break. The service member may experience several catastrophic events in a twenty four hour period and they are expected to do it again on the next patrol. I definitely agree with Benjamin on his observations. I refuse to sit nice and quiet while I draw my benefits and allow my brethren to suffer. If a few people get a couple thousand dollars they did not deserve then shame on them. I believe in the honesty and integrity of those I served with. The VA simply states that they should err on the side of the veteran and they need to maintain that attitude in rating.
I somewhat agree with the Docs that felt it their duty to save a few tax payer dollars. Reason being, there are deecent percentage of claims applicants whose symptoms and diagnosis are pretty dodgey at best. Now dont get me wrong there were probably some cases that needed a higher rating but did not get it because of these fakers.
This is in response to Laura’s comment: In my time writing about veteran disability, one thing has always caught my attention. Many people seem very quick to point the finger at one guy getting a few hundred dollars more than they think he should, and they call that fraud. Lots of attention on that one guy. So, a ton of vets get screwed by the system trying to prevent that one instance of “fraud.” And again, it’s “that guy’s” fault for screwing it up for others. We spend $2 to try to prevent $1.95 in small time fraud and in the same stroke prevent millions of veterans from getting their benefits.
Meanwhile, we have corporate handouts (socialism for Wall Street); corporations and others commit fraud in the billions of dollars on a regular basis. Those guys buy yachts or a 6th vacation home. But, that’s business as usual. Let’s screw the little guy because we can, because he has a face?!
I no longer buy that argument that requires us to eat our own. It’s time for us, as Americans, as veterans, to pull our heads out of our asses and focus our attention on the players who have set our country on an economic crash course with 1929. Too big to fail? Republican or Democrat. It’s time to wake up.
Ahhh… The gratitude of a grateful nation.
I will admit that not every claimant is suffering from PTSD, but to purposely misdiagnose a combat veteran because someone is concerned about the monetary costs of that veteran’s benefits to the federal budget is beyond calling it a disgrace. Perhaps the policy makers and DOD personnel should have considered this BEFORE they repeatedly commit American forces to such hell holes. They call them heroes and defenders of our way of life in public but treat them like unclaimed step children to be put out with the garbage when they return as “damaged” goods.
And then they wonder why I have no trust or faith in bureaucrats.
Viet Nam Vet 70-72
A diagnosis is part objective fact and the rest? subjective opinion. Unlikefor example, Lukemia, PTSD has a strong behavioral component that most physicans can not understand, particularly since it is episodic, and most often occurs outside of the exam room.
Until there is a quatifiable test that can be administered by any health care professional, PTSD will remain an issue of questioning.
I have worked in the health care field for 30 plus years,and in my opinion what the VA needs is a peer review board, men, no more then 24 months off the battle field. These people would know instantly the signs of PTSD, unlike a physican in a quiet office in one of our MEDCENS.
This month in March i am waiting over 2 years for my PTSD appeal. My first eval. was in July 2009 from my Psychologist which lasted 120min. All information was sent in to the VA.
The second eval was from the VA in Jan. 2010 and lasted about 10 min. I had better job interviews then this joke of a eval. I received a letter from the VA giving me a 10% rating. I appealed the rating and had another eval from my Psychologist Feb. 2010. Information again was sent to the VA.
Another letter was sent by the VA 09/13/2011, for another psych eval testing and psych gedo clinic at Viera clinic. However on 09/15/2011 another letter was sent to me stating to cancell both appointments and will not be rescheduled. As you can see i have no idea what the hell is going on or is this just a game that we all lose. The ebenifits on line does not help or the 800 number is a big wast. Turning 63 how much longer does the vietnam vets have left. I would like some answers.
I see this disgrace continues. Was discharged in 1990 with Personality disorder/adj. disorder after notifying command of sexual assaults. Actually was suffering from PTSD but of course ignored to avoid paying retirement/benefits. Was diagnosed after only 2 -10 minute sessions with Dr. My service was excellent prior with high evals. Took 15 years of continuous appeals to get 50%. and was forced to get Attorney to grant me that. If I would have known the motives of Government then I would have raised hell before leaving. The money isn’t the issue but the negative mark that can never be erased from my record for simply coming forward. I have also been refused Federal employment because of this diagnosis and discharge characterization. Shame on the Government and Drs. that facilitate this fabricated discharge.
I can guarantee that when doctors begin to look at the paychecks instead of the patients, a gross injustice is about to be made. Not only do they have no business misdiagnosing for monies sake but they do not have the right to do this! It is in fact, a direct violation of their Hippocratic oath! “Lest you do no harm!” Harm in the form of deliberately misdiagnosed patients is still harm and those who have done it are committing a federal fraud. They better damn well be held responsible for this too!
In this case, it is not the VA. It is DoD. The VA is calling it PTSD but DoD is changing it to adjustment disorder or something else. Not that the VA didn’t try something similar in the past. Remember the Texas VA PTSD email that blew up a few years ago?
This is about ratings under the Defense Disability Evaluation System, not the VA.
Each time a veteran is treated by a VA psychiatrist at a VA Hospital or VA Community Clinic to keep their prescribed medications current, the doctor must write up the patient visit in the VA system, but before posting the visist notes to the patient’s database, the doctor has to separately determine and enter a GAF score figure into a “Confidential GAF Summary” database on the patient. This is the key indicator from the VA doctor that (unknown to the disabled veteran, or even his attorney), tells VBA disability compensation claim adjusters how to rate the claim. When it comes to PTSD disability claims, the VBA will screw with veterans for years until they receive several VA C&P exams from psychologists detailing the veteran’s inability to work or function socially due to combat PTSD, PLUS a trend of low GAF scores of “49” and less from the vet’s treating psychiatrist on his/her “confidential GAF summary” report. A rolling five years of GAF scores are secretively held in this database, and, unless you ask specifically for this report, medical history clerks at VA hospitals will not provide it to you or your attorney or service rep. Sometimes you have educate the VA personnel of the report’s existance. If you are in a PTSD Disability Claim and Appeal process, obtain all medical records from all doctors, and anyone else who provides medical patient notes. Knowing how your doctors have rated you on the CONFIDENTIAL GAF SUMMARY will give you direct knowledge of how and if, or when, the VBA may decide in your favor. Otherwise you’ll be flying blind for years or decades bouncing about in their secretive adjudication process. GOD BLESS AMERICAN VETERANS
I am not surprised at all. I had a then unknown multiple (six types of germ cell cancers) forms of cancer. The medical review board found that I had no disability. I have struggled with nerve damage, and two heart attacks from the massive amounts of chemo that they gave me at Walter Reed. I have had two heart attacks (one at 39 and the other at 44) all linked to the chemo. The bottom line is they can do anything they want and there is not a dam thing we can do about it. We are the disposable portion of society. It is amazing a congressman can serve less than one term and still get full pay with increases for the rest of their lives. A soldier can give 20 plus years and get half of their pay for retirement, and give parts of their body and mind and the government will look for any stick it to them.
I had heard that there is a big difference between the “medical” side of the VA and the “comp & pen” side, with most of this type of thing being allowed to go on over on the “comp & pen” side where the rating decisions are made. This is scary that these things are happening on the “medical” side too… I am going through that right now… I just filed a NOD for notes that my rating exam doctor made about the condition of both of my knees that was “left out, omitted” on my rating decision explanation. I was rated 10% for each knee, but if this information had been included, according to the CFR and the VA’s own policies on rating knees, I would have gotten the higher rating… This isn’t where our government should be trying to “save taxpayer money”, by committing fraud against veterans… Unbelievable!
A changed diagnosis from PTSD (or other menetal conditon) to personality disorder or adjustment disorder does not lower the DoD disability rating, it eliminates it.
Enclosure 5 of DoDI 1332.38 states personality disorder and adjustment disorder are non compensable conditions. With such a diagnosis the individual doesn’t even get a MEB and a PEB, rather they get a nonmedical administrative discharge. Such a discharge can affect other benefits such as GI Bill eligibility.
This is the root of the evil. The reason they are calling them personality disorders and adjustment disorders is because DoD made up a rule that these conditons would not be compensated.
If these same DoD/DA civilian doctors were themselves found to be unfit for continued service due to personality disorder or adjustment disorder, they would receive a full disability retirement under the Federal Employees Retirement System. It is only the military members with such diagnoses that are thrown overboard like yesterday’s garbage.
To fix the problem, you got to fix DoDI 1332.38.
Last time a law suit came out about PTSD being misdiagnosed it didnt apply to those that were not discharged with PTSD as their chief complaint. Does anyone know if the decissions made by this inquiry will effect those that have PTSD as a secondary complaint?
And I would bet that every one of the doctors are republican?
Any person that has been through a Medical Evaluation Board and/or a Physical Evaluation Board has most likely been subjected to something that is at least similar to this situation. While most of the physicians I had interactions with did not overtly display this attitude, but, there were a couple that were extremely concerned about the financial effects of their opinions. I know that not everyone has the same experiences with the same doctors at the same facilities but, I have encountered veterans at many different locales that have expressed concerns about their experience. I think you really highlighted the most significant issue here, which is the patient and doctor relationship. We (veterans of military service) are all led to believe that we can trust the doctors that are treating us and the bureaucrats will make financial decisions. This trust is violated simply by the design of the military healthcare system. The military services hold their physicians accountable for financial issues that aren’t related to their practice. The physician’s should only be held accountable for the quality and timeliness of care provided to their patients. Now, we have veterans who aren’t receiving the appropriate level of care and we have physician’s who don’t want to stay in military service because of this. All the while, it was never the intent of our elected officials or the public in general to create this environment. I can’t think of anyone who would try to skimp on caring for veterans because of money except some manager or officer trying to improve their own position. It is very sad but, interestingly enough, veterans are their own worst enemy. There is a small portion of our population that is so concerned that someone else is going to get something that they can’t have, that they will go to amazing lengths to prevent it from happening. Congress has expressed at every opportunity that their intent is to take excellent care of veterans now and in the future. However, there are those that oppose this, and they are among us.
This is a clear rush to judgement and it can only happen if you are not keeping up with the REST of military veterans news. The Army just recently halted the use of an anti-malaria vaccine it had used on deployed troops for entire DECADES specifically because it was giving out false readings and exact symptoms of PTSD. They really couldn’t tell one from the other. The news of “changed diagnosis” cases may very well be a result of the Halt Order on the anti-malaria vaccine. We should be giving the practitioners the benefit of the doubt until a complete internal investigation is done to explore their motives. This is classic of how PTSD-Whiners all rush to judgement in a situation when they themselves don’t even keep up with the news. — Sue Frasier, Army 1970, national veterans activist.
When I was active duty I was given the test for PTSD 3 times. Each time the test results said I had PTSD but I was told that I did not have PTSD and sent to anger manegment classes. Finaly it got so bad that one moring I just froze in bed and my wife could not get me to responed. I was taken to a hospital off base and dignosed with GAD. I froze up a month later and when my NCO picked me up from the VA hospital he told me I wa being discharged in three days for hardship. I have not been able to hold a fulltime job since and was fired from my last job for my inability to handle conflict
As a Navy Seabee serving in Vietnam 1967 – 1968 I dealt with constant sniper fire along the roads while driving Heavy Equipment to construction sites and running convoys.
The PTSD I suffered from cost me 2 marriages and 30 some jobs in 40 years. I submitted a claim in March 2003 and was told by the VA, “Seabees are noncombat, support troops for the Marines and could not possibly have seen combat.” In 2005 I suffered a breakdown from stress and anxiety, and the many fears that haunted me since 1968.
The VA insisted my PTSD was NonService Connected and refused to help me. My VSO suggested a Private Psychological Group. I paid $500 for a 5 hour intense interview, and was proven to suffer from PTSD due to combat situation in Vietnam.
In September 2007, 39 years after the fact, the VA grudgingly approved my claim and awarded me 70% Service Connected PTSD.
Execute a half dozen of these shitbags and I believe that other medical “professionals” at the VA will get the hint. It’s bad enough that the bottom 1% of US medical college graduates and 99% of foreign medical college graduates staff the VA anyway.
I’d like to see Sen. Murray show her stones and transfer all of the MDs that treat congresspersons to the VA and transfer the bottom VA MDs to treat them.
Funny that nobody considered the burden of the taxpayers when sending us going nen go war.
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