Thursday, May 11, 2006

Proposed Rule Revising National Practitioner Data Bank Requirements

I just learned yesterday that proposed changes are being made to the requirements for reporting adverse events to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). The proposed rule titled, National Practitioner Data Bank for Adverse Information on Physicians and Other Health Care Practitioners: Reporting on Adverse and Negative Actions, was published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2006 (71 FR 14135, March 21, 2006) and comments are due on the proposed rule on or before May 22, 2006.

The NPDB contains reports of adverse licensure actions against physicians and dentists (including revocations, suspensions, reprimands,censures, probations, and surrenders for
quality of care purposes only); adverse clinical privilege actions against physicians and dentists; adverse professional society membership actions against physicians and dentists; and
medical malpractice payments made for the benefit of any health carepractitioner. Groups that have access to this data system include hospitals, other health care entities that conduct peer
review and provide health care services, State Medical or Dental Boards and other health care practitioner State boards. Individual practitioners can selfquery. The reporting of information
under the NPDB is limited to medical malpractice payers, State Medical and Dental Boards, professional societies with formal peer review, and hospitals and other health care entities (such as health maintenance organizations).

The NPDB website contains the following notice about the proposed changes:
Section 1921 Federal Register Notice Published!

The Federal Register notice relative to the proposed rule that would revise existing regulations governing the National Practitioner Data Bank, to incorporate statutory requirements under Section 1921 of the Social Security Act was published on March 21, 2006.

Section 1921 will add adverse action reports, which are not restricted to issues related to professional competence and conduct, on all licensed practitioners. Also it would add adverse action reports relative to certain negative actions or findings, mainly those taken by private accrediting organizations (e.g., the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, National Committee for Quality Assurance, URAC, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). This regulation allows hospitals access to adverse action reports on all licensed health care practitioners.

For more information on Section 1921, see the Fact Sheet on Section 1921, National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and Section 1921 at a Glance, NPDB-HIPDB and Section 1921 Comparison Chart and NPDB with Section 1921 and HIPDB Comparison Chart.

Comments on this proposed rule are invited. To be considered, comments must be received on or before May 22, 2006.

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