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As Many as 12 Deaths Now Linked to Impaired VA Pathologist

A pathologist allegedly working while “impaired” in the Arkansas Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville may now have caused the deaths of as many as 12 veterans, local media said January 28.

The pathologist, Robert Morris Levy, MD, was fired by the Veterans Administration (VA) in April 2018, after VA administrators discovered he was working “impaired.” A preliminary review found that he gave incorrect diagnoses to three veterans who later died.

Dr Robert Morris Levy

According to Arkansas KFSM 5 News‘ January 28 report, investigators have now reviewed a total of 33,902 cases Levy worked on. Of these, 3007 (8.8%) showed an error or misdiagnosis.

Kelvin Parks, director of the health system, said this error rate is more than 12 times that of a standard in pathology practice; the normal error rate for pathology results nationwide is 0.7%, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports.

The review is ongoing and now includes 96 additional cases Levy worked on as a private consultant before working at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, the newspaper said.

VA officials now think as many as 12 veterans’ deaths might be the result of error in diagnosis by Levy.

The latest findings in the investigation were released January 28 at a town hall meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, attended by about 100 veterans.

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