Military Mental Health
5:29 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Army Investigation Clears Madigan Commander

An investigation into improper leadership involvement in diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder at Madigan Army Medical Center has cleared Hospital Commander Col. Dallas Homas of any wrongdoing.

The release of the 100-page investigation was the result of Freedom of Information Act requests by KUOW and other news organizations, which were initially denied.

Homas had been temporarily removed from command and returned to duty in August.

In a statement, Homas said he was pleased at the public release of the investigation.

"Madigan Army Medical Center is a wonderful health care system manned by superb professionals, delivering safe, quality care to America's finest,” Homas said. “I believe that delivering care to our military family is a true honor and a privilege."

The investigation was prompted by patient complaints about Madigan’s use of a forensic psychiatry team that, in some cases, reversed the diagnoses of soldiers who had been previously diagnosed with PTSD.

The team was acting as a second layer of scrutiny in cases brought before them.

Army investigators determined that two patient advocates who took their concerns about the forensic psychiatry team to command were not credible. The report concluded that the advocates lacked an understanding of the forensic review process.

But during the investigation, 431 cases were re-examined. Eventually, 147 diagnoses were reinstated.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., put congressional pressure on Madigan leaders about the complaints last year and remained critical in her view of the hospital's dealings with soldiers. She said the diagnosis reinstatements and the policy changes that followed are “clear evidence that problems existed on base in properly identifying the invisible wounds of war.”

The investigation also cleared the actions of the forensic psychiatry team. However, forensic psychiatry is no longer being used in this capacity at the hospital.

The Army recently conducted its own review of its behavioral health system after the Madigan complaints surfaced and released the findings. They included more than two dozen recommendations for improving patient care.

Report: Army Investigation Into Col. Dallas Homas