What is the National Practitioner Data Bank?
The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPD) is where information is stored regarding settlements, jury verdicts, and any information related to a physician’s or dentist’s licensure. For instance, if there is a malpractice action that is settled by the professional liability carrier on behalf of the doctor, it will get reported to the NPD and becomes part of the settling doctor’s permanent record.
Currently, the NPD isn’t available to the general public, but there are a number of different types of organizations and institutions which have access to the Data Bank. The information stored in the NPD could impede a doctor or dentist from getting licenses or employment in other states.
Who’s Required to Report?
- Hospitals must report any types of disciplinary actions against a doctor or dentist that involves their licensure or staff privileges.
- Professional liability insurance carriers must report any payments made on behalf of a doctor/dentist.
- Certain professional societies, if they participate in peer-review or certification/re-certification of licenses, are required to report.
- State boards must report to the NPD.
- Any negligence or fraud related to Medicaid/Medicare must also be reported.
It is important to note that should a physician or dentist pay any type of settlement or claim out-of-pocket, it will not be reported to the NPD as a third-party has not paid on the physician’s or dentist’s behalf.
Once Information is Reported, Who Has Access to it?
Any and all licensing authorities, hospitals, state credentialing agencies, professional liability carriers, HMOs and certain professional organizations have access, if they are involved in peer-review and/or certification.
When a physician or dentist is applying for a new hospital employment opportunity, considering becoming licensed in a different state or attempting to obtain malpractice coverage, they should be aware of what information these organizations have access to and whether it will impede on them from moving forward in their career.
It is critical for physicians, resident physicians and dentists to ensure that whatever information is listed in the NPD, that they are (1) aware of said information and (2) most importantly, that the information is accurate. To each of them I say: Run a query to see what is actually listed in the NPD about you, if anything, and run it annually.
What did you find about yourself? If you need help reviewing or correcting your record, please contact me today.
Stephanie J. Rodin, Esq.
Rodin Legal, P.C.
Tel: (917) 345-8972
Fax: (917) 591-4428