Fayetteville VA arrests former pathologist accused of being impaired on the job


A press conference at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, August 20 to discuss the arrest of Levy.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) –– A former Fayetteville Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks doctor accused of missing diagnosis while impaired at work was arrested on Saturday.

Dr. Robert Morris Levy, 53 of Fayetteville, was booked into the Washington County Jail just after 9:00 a.m. Saturday. According to his booking record on the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website, he is being held for courtesy/contact hold for federal court.

United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees for the Western District of Arkansas announced in a media release Saturday he will be holding a press conference at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, August 20 to discuss the arrest of Levy.

Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks worked closely with the VA Office of Inspector general and local authorities on this investigation, and we refer you to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for further information.
Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks apologizes to Veterans and family members negatively impacted by this now-fired former employee and has reviewed every case this individual handled while he was at VA. 
In instances where his conduct did not meet the high standards Veterans and taxpayers expect from us, we have let Veterans and families know their options moving forward.

-Wanda Shull, public affairs officer with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Levy was suspended from the Fayetteville VA in March 2016 for being impaired on the job but returned to work that October after being reviewed.

In 2017 he was suspended a second time for working while impaired but was not permanently dismissed until April 2018.  

A year-long review into Levy shows close to 34,000 cases indicates 30 missed diagnoses were reported, according to results from the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.

The review discovered more than 3,000 errors by Doctor Levy at the VA between 2005 and 2017.  Of those 30 cases, 15 patients are dead.

There were 96 more cases than the original 33,806 because the pathologist worked under contract before being hired in October 2005.

The review found that there were 3,029 cases, or 8.8%, that had errors in them. According to Kelvin Parks, Director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, a pathologist should not have an error percentage higher than 0.7%.

There were 22 institutional disclosures, which were errors that were not disclosed to the facility leadership. A total of 76 cases remain to be reviewed. 

Parks says that a total of 33,902 cases have been reviewed in which the impaired pathologist took part.

It was found that 27,307, or 80.5%, were found to be correct and there were no changes.

Stay with KNWA as we gather more information.

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