On February 12, 2012, the Pentagon released a message on behalf of the Surgeon General to suspend the use of Forensic Evaluations during the Medical Evaluation Boards until further notice.
The notice stated, “Forensic Evaluations are frequently used in the Civil and Criminal Legal proceedings, as well as for certain fitness for duty determinations and confidence remains with this practice. Forensic evaluations introduce variance into the MEB process.”
All service members who received a Behavioral Health Evaluation in a Forensic Department or by a Forensic Certified Provider, specific to the MEB process between January 01, 2007 and February 12, 2012 and who’s diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was downgraded are requested to contact the Warrior and Family Hotline at 1-800-984-8523, overseas: DSN (312) 421-3700; Stateside: DSN: 421-3700, or e-mail, WSFSUPPORT@CONUS.ARMY.MIL. The hotline is available twenty four/seven.
Those personnel who fall within the guideline stated above are strongly encouraged to contact the Warrior and Family Hotline as USAMEDCOM will provide reevaluation for any soldier with concerns about potential Forensic Behavioral Health evaluation during their MEB process. Reevaluation will be conducted in accordance with Standard Clinical Practice Guidelines utilized by DOD.
The communication from the Army is a direct result of 71 of 181 service members diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder whose diagnosis was downgraded to Mood Disorder and or Anxiety Disorder at Madigan Army Medical Center. 14 of the 71 downgraded PTSD claims were sent to Walter Reed National Medical Center for reevaluation. A Madigan Army Medical Center psychiatrist has been removed from clinical duties pending this investigation and who allegedly stated the purpose for downgrading the condition of PTSD was directly related to cost of compensation and care.