Skip to comments.Obama HHS: Doctor malpractice, disciplinary data no longer public
Posted on 09/14/2011 12:41:00 PM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit?
While the healthcare industry promotes enhanced transparency, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is taking a step in the other direction, shutting down the once-public National Practitioner Data Bank, reports The Kansas City Star. As a result, the public can no longer access information on malpractice and disciplinary actions against thousands of doctors.
"We have a responsibility to make sure under federal law that it remains confidential," said Martin Kramer, spokesman for the HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the Data Bank.
The HHS defends the shutdown, noting that the names of doctors were getting leaked thanks to reporters using the public data to discover the names of physicians and publishing them in news stories, notes The Star--which has recently used the anonymous data to reveal the identity of a Johnson County neurosurgeon.
Yet, patient advocacy groups aren't convinced. "Whatever they do will probably make it more difficult to use the files in meaningful ways," Alan Levine, a healthcare researcher with Public Citizen's Health Research Group, told the newspaper.
Earlier this year, Public Citizen called on HHS to investigate state medical boards for failing to punish doctors (http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/state-boards-not-punishing-dangerous-docs/2011-03-16) who had their clinical privileges revoked or restricted by the hospitals where they worked.
Yesterday, the consumer advocacy group wrote a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administration saying, "The continued availability of this data is crucial to patient safety and research aimed at informed public policy decisions concerning malpractice, tort reform, peer review, and medical licensing."
The Data Bank is not authorized to make public files immediately accessible on its website, although it must to respond to information requests, notes The Star. For more: - read the article http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/09/14/124067/doctor-malpractice-data-is-removed.html
Related Articles: Study: Doctor's offices no safer than hospitals http://www.fiercepracticemanagement.com/story/study-doctors-offices-no-safer-hospitals/2011-06-15
I don’t believe it’s open to the general public for viewing anyway. “The Data Bank is prohibited by law from disclosing information on a specific practitioner, provider, or supplier to a member of the general public. However, persons or organizations can request information in a form that does not identify any particular organization or practitioner.” The list of those who are allowed to query is here: http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov/topNavigation/aboutUs.jsp
You’re correct - it was originally available only to insurance companies and credentialing entities. This action really surprises me, not the least because the Obama administration is so cozy with the plaintiffs’ bar.
Blind hogs and acorns, mebbe?
Under Obamacare the list serves as a mandatory political donation database. “No payee, no playee”
The list, ping
Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list
Now that the socialist government is in charge, it’s time to get all secret about the actions of the government workers.
Given all the high handed threats from Doctors to quit over having their Medicare payments reduced, this looks like a move to cover the B list QUACKS &
Incompetents out there just so we’ll have Anything left resembling Doctors.