Health Law Highlights

Navigating the National Practitioner Data Bank: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals

Summary of article from Ward and Smith, P.A., by Amy G. Fitzhugh, James A. Wilson:

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) is a repository of reports on actions taken against healthcare practitioners, providers, and suppliers, aiming to prevent practitioners from moving locations without disclosing adverse events. Entities such as hospitals, health plans, and state licensing boards submit reports to the NPDB, which include Adverse Action Reports, Medical Malpractice Payment Reports, and Judgment or Conviction Reports. The NPDB, analogous to credit reports, contains information that could negatively impact a healthcare professional’s credentialing decision, and like a credit report, it is not publicly accessible but available to authorized users. To manage their NPDB profile, healthcare professionals should occasionally self-query their records, add their own side of the story if something is reported, and dispute inaccuracies with the reporting entity. If the reporting entity denies a correction, the NPDB has a process to dispute a report and, if in agreement, can request the reporting entity to correct or void the report.