Twelve veterans reportedly died and possibly thousands more were victims of error or misdiagnosis by one physician working at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center.

Formerly called the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, the Fayetteville VA Hospital reported one of its doctors was linked to the deaths resulting from misdiagnosis or error. Overall, the Arkansas-based health system reviewed 33,902 cases showing 3,007 instances of error or misdiagnosis.

Dr. Robert Morris Levy, a former VA pathologist, we removed from clinical care after being found impaired in 2016. He was later charged with a DUI in a separate incident, but the charges were dismissed.

VA has yet to disclose whether federal prosecutors will bring charges against Levy.

The health care of an estimated 20,000 veteran was investigated to evaluate the extent of Levy’s malpractice. Given the government’s reluctance to hold bad federal employees accountable, I double Levy will see prosecution.

Out of all the errors now confirmed, VA previously provided only 21 institutional disclosures – – over 3,000 medical errors including 12 deaths, and VA only notified 21 victims?

How is that for accountability?

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29 Comments

  1. Trouble with misdiagnosis is they are too hard to get corrected. Especially if they are related to malingering. Took me 52 years to get temporal lobe seizures correctly diagnosed and treated. 25 years to the first correct diagnosis but a mistreatment resulted in another misdiagnosis resulting in the additional 27 years of mistreatment. Very lucky to have found a Doctor, who didn’t have my past hard copy record and so wasn’t prejudiced by the misdiagnosis.

  2. This Levy sounds just like the Opthalmologist (Lake Nona, VHA, Orlando FL) who was involved in an accident! He was charged with driving under the influence (drugs) in 2018 and somehow nothing more has been said!
    The car he hit had two children in it.!

    How does VA & VHA employees get away with ALL the bullshit! That’s a $64,000 question no one wants to answer!

  3. OMG – I’m speechless – I wish I could be of help, but I am at a loss for ideas on how to remedy any of these problems with the VA. My only comfort is to believe that people speaking their truth will be what initiates change for the better.

    Peace out

  4. I’ve got a herniated disc in my C-5 & 6 bulging discs in my lower back. I’ve been begging to see a neurosurgeon, but they just ignore me. I also suffer from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, diverticulitis, carpal tunnel, etc. I’ve gotten absolutely no help & when I requested to see a Rheumatologist, I was told they only see people with rheumatoid arthritis! I requested one on the outside & was told they couldn’t find anyone that would accept va payments! That was back in June, what can I do? I’ve contacted the white house hotline, Inspector General, senators Graham & Scott; all ur o no avail. In need of advice

    • I’ve got almost the same as you except probably worse in the neck. I’ve seen a Neuro-surgeon 3 times and opted for no surgery. The private sector surgeon tried to talk me into surgery. The two VA neuro-surgeons didn’t. The results I saw in the LA VAM&RC neurobehavioral ward (suicide watch for pain) and DC VAMC pain clinic of patients who had surgery (mostly in the private sector) confirmed what I was originally told and by the VAM&RC spinal surgeon in 1990. Surgery only helps less than 50% of spine patients. For the rest it makes the condition worse especially pain wise. If a patient doesn’t have paralysis that can be corrected or a blood vessel blockage it isn’t wise to do surgery in the hopes of getting rid of pain that will resolve itself under a pain remedy option. I now have only a +3 pain level in my left shoulder. My sciatic pain was cured by an over application of capsaicin. Set me on fire a couple of times and then the chronic sciatic pain went away. The pain specialist explained that there really hadn’t been a current sciatic pain reason but that the brain having experienced it for so long got lazy and kept reporting even after the disc segment had dissolved out of the sciatic nerve canal. I have some minor stenosis in the neck. My lower back is not so far off from normal for a 77 year old. I get around better with less pain than most 77 year olds today. Certainly better than any I know who had spinal surgery. I rarely take a pain pill. I have a 10 supply of an opioid strength pain reliever (replaced my Tylenol #3) that has lasted me more than a year and a half. The last Tylenol #3 prescription, I only use 1/8 of before it became outdated.

      So my suggestion is don’t be too quick for surgery. The surgeon has a vested interest in doing it in the private sector. My sister had surgery–more than $100,000.00 worth. And then follow-up care for more than twice that over the rest of her life. A private sector surgeon. Just sayin’.

      • VA surgeons don’t get any more money if they do the surgery or not. The UCLA spine surgeon at West LA who treated me and would have done surgery if the paralysis of my left leg hadn’t self corrected was on a flat retainer for the VA. He wouldn’t have received a dime more if he had done the surgery. No self interest in doing unnecessary surgery.

      • Lem….. what do you think the Contingency bonuses are for these scandalous surgeons who more then likely are the Malpractice culprits( Nuero Surgery , Ortho, Cardiology) usually the top 3?

        . I once heard in an Elevator standing next to 2 VA ortho docs about bonus pool as if they were discussing fantasy football for the year , Makes sense based on the massive amounts of money pump and dumped into the VA. Just one of the numbers was a bonus of 350K and that’s one doctor , INSANE , Plenty of bonus money …. I swore the VA was different . and they are anything but in fact they veterans still believe that VA can’t be sud for Med Malpractice , This is based on Military brainwashing tactics , only to find ou later tits not true … Lawsuits apparently in 1 hospital is 3000 … I have Ben K on speed dial if I ever gp through with Sinal Surgery and wake up with a leg missing and have a sudden craving for cat food..

      • Contingency bonuses are not for doing more surgery!. More surgery runs up OR costs including the spinal implants. You are right in a way. The bonus program is misapplied. It should be based on outcome not saving money. Saving money base means surgery that is needed isn’t done while in private practice the economic incentive is to do surgery that shouldn’t be done.
        When I face the decision the bonus incentive wasn’t there for VA physicians. Teaching colleges used the vets for classes. You had the best overseeing and taking over if there was a mistake. The VA doesn’t have those relationships to the extent they did until Reagan undid the VA scholarship program so the Banks could get their hands more deeply into the pocket of graduate medical service workers including physicians.

  5. Where is this Robert Morris Levy MD Pathology now? I looked him up. He has a CA State Medical License 1994 – 2019 & a FL State Medical License 2005 – 2019. And in the past had a LA State Medical License 2005 – 2016 & a MS State Medical License 1997 – 2018. Where is he working now? Was he transferred to another VA in California or Florida. This is the first time I’ve found a VA Dr. with multiple licenses’ in multiple states. Very unsettling to wonder if he’s at another VA in another state.

  6. I am so sick of the arrogance they have knowing can do as please and nothing happens, a joke. I’m so tired of incompetence and ignorance that’s so bad you can see walking through a hospital. Was just in and guess having HVAC issues and put a huge fan in the waiting area that had several people with the flu coughing and hacking. Sure more sick today

  7. Make EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS use VA Healthcare System exclusively. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    If that doesn’t work, find a legal maneuver (fanciful and impossible) forcing all investment bankers do same.

  8. 02/06/2019

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Hundreds of Veterans have died at this Hospital, and like all the other 155 VA Hospitals.

    Management wants the reader to believe it is like the Phoenix 40; a number that has referred to all the time by weekend Journalist in the Gannett Corporation.

    The toll of Death from Doctors [Don’t single just one out] are enormous.

    Phoenix is heading pass the 2,000 dead veterans marker since May of 2014 [paperwork errors, medicine cares, medical errors. malpractice, neglect, bad info/bad test, waitlist, no care, poor care, etc…].

    And this bad management is now showing up in other parts of the community: Turf Paradise [50 Race Horse dead in Phoenix]; Four out of Eight Dolphins are dead; Wild Horses are being shot to death; Hacienda Health Care facility refuses the Governor’s demands; and the list goes on.

    The OIG has better numbers —–and they have to show us all the numbers.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  9. What do you call a Doctor that graduated at the bottom of his class??…….Thats right DOCTOR….. Yep that’s correct , No patient PRE OP or Post Op is allowed to see the MD with a terrible record after you have awakened and had the wrong leg amputated, et… the only way these states allow you to view how amazing your VA doctor is or may e is . A lawsuit that is more then likely merited …

    Based on headlines Ive read . One would allowed to see just how Scandalous, sketchy or bottom of the barrel based on Communist mergers , FASICISM and RICO ACT protection from accountability laws that allow the “PRACTICING” Doctors protection under what would be considered a RICO ACT if we pulled the same goddamn tactics … Too bad the stats of each rookie intern college student or a doctor who crosses over to the dark side just to be shielded through GOVERNMENT VETERANS AFfAIRS Protection . 300 cases holy shit , that’s just 1 hospital .. How were the first 300 hidden ? much less 3000… That sounds like every surgeon is hie with a case a week….. Almost a comedy routine until you realized he or she make have killed or maimed a fellow solider .. I guess (soldier) or SOLD -TO _DIE, It really does mean what it always has meant .. that’s correct screwed by VA …

  10. The VHSO in Fayetteville has gotten progressively worse! I just recently found out why I haven’t been receiving treatment for my TBI, one of my initial intake doctors stated I refused to participate! Also, I have 5 kids, a beautiful wife, yet I just found out I’m only receiving va compensation for only my youngest daughter! Also I’m rated combined total 80% but paid the full 100% because I’m I/U… well my compensation payments haven’t reflected the 109% award since April 2017, I just married my wife in October 2016, but my son was born in March 2011 and I’ve never received a change in my award for dependents for him. I’ve submitted my claim appeal l, just waiting forever for it to go thru. I’ve always been on top of paperwork for my family and everyone is registered in DEERS. Just frustrating!!! So I will be having all this addressed

    • Did you submit a dependency claim when you got married with a copy of your wife’s ID and marriage license. I believe her birth certificate and SS# are also required. You can’t claim your step children if she receives child support. Most child support is paid through the family court so there is a record if the support is not being paid and you can claim for periods support isn’t paid.

      Look up the 38 CFR regulations on TDIU. 100% TDIU is not “just paid as 100%” as stated by the benefits section clerks. You are entitled to CHAMP VA for your dependents for their medical care for example. Also, for Dental care for yourself. A lot of things the Benefits section states you are not qualified for. But submit the application for those listed benefits and appeal any denials. Cheyenne VAMC would not put a denial of a dental appointment in writing in a response to a written request for a dental appointment. I had the initial appointment within a week and 2 weeks later my dental work was completed except for a follow up appointment for additional cleaning and polishing.

  11. Lem, yes, I had filed everything literally the second day after getting married, as for my I/U I had been receiving the max amount for my rank SGT/E-5 at around $3,300 , my pay had dropped to like $2,694 with no true understanding as to why?! My yearly statement with my compensation award amount still shows the amount I had been receiving, my I/U is still being awarded, yet my compensation check is still currently being shorted out of nearly $700 since April 2017!!! Of course I’ve inquired to the VHSO Comp and pension board, I’ve inquired with the finance office, and yes, before you ask I’ve already reached out to my VSO here in Carroll County, I’ve tried to establish contact with my DAV chapter in Harrison, but I have no clue where they are chartered since they are no longer at the old vfw bar. I have a lifetime membership thru their organization. I’m no stranger to paperwork or the BS that tend to go with it, I was a SGT for 5 of my 8 years active. And yes, I would receive a stipend for all 3 of my stepchildren as well as my to biological children, because my wife doesn’t receive child support from her ex husband, just as I don’t receive child support from my ex wife

    • Check with the VA Disability Compensation vs Military Retirement. I believe you can receive the greater of the two. My VA disability compensation at TDIU with just a spouse is $3,227.58. Someone may be dipping into your check. Call the VA IG hotline and report your circumstance if you don’t have a valid overpayment being deducted. If that is the case you should have been notified and given the opportunity to appeal.

      I experience an invalid deduction because my spouse award was denied. Social Security had transposed her day of birth from 12 to 21 on her SS record. It didn’t match the documents filed with the VA. The VA missed the obvious transposition and just kept asking for verification which was already in the record. Took some time to get her Japanese family record, have the Embassy translate it, and get Social Security to correct their record. If they had told me what the problem was–the different birth dates I could have corrected it right away instead of the more than 2 years it took. We eventually got the back pay but it was a significant pain because we were already living in poverty until I received my TDIU.

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