Is The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Accessible To The Public?
When you need medical care, and especially the care of a specialist, you do everything you can to find the physician who is going to provide you with the best possible care. You may check on the various websites on which previous patients are able to post about their experiences, but when you do so you are always mindful of the fact that individual preferences and biases can come into play. Beyond reading as many of these reviews as possible and trying to come to some kind of middle-ground of testimonials, there is also a federally mandated registry of reports on individual practitioners. It is called the National Practitioner Data Bank, and it is specifically designed to allow hospitals and other interested parties to know about medical malpractice payments and other negative information related to specific practitioners.
The primary goal of the National Practitioner Data Bank is to allow healthcare facilities in the process of hiring medical practitioners the ability to thoroughly check their backgrounds for a history of medical malpractice payments and similar actions, including licensure and certification actions, adverse clinical privileges actions, and adverse professional society membership actions. The information in the National Practitioner Data Bank is specifically meant to be used for hiring purposes and is not available to the public. Still, the information in the registry effectively prevents doctors and others from moving from one state to another to escape a negative reputation.
Despite the rigor of the process involved in filing a report with the National Practitioner Data Bank, there are also instances of National Practitioner Data Bank errors. When these occur, they can unfairly prevent a physician or healthcare practitioner from being able to continue in their practice or make a living. Fortunately, every time a report is added to the records, the practitioner is notified and provided with the ability to review it. They also have the opportunity to add what is known as a Subject Statement that gives their side of the story. A well-prepared statement can go a long way towards balancing the impression given in the report. Practitioners also have the opportunity to dispute some or all of the information in the report, and if unsuccessful with that procedure may be able to take legal action.
If you are a practitioner whose livelihood or professional reputation has been wrongly impacted by the contents of a National Practitioner Data Bank report, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the process and our experience with helping healthcare professionals overcome this significant challenge.