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National Practitioner Data Bank expanded

A new federal rule has expanded the scope of the National Practitioner Data Bank to include disciplinary information not just on physicians but on all licensed health care professionals. In an effort to promote patient safety, the confidential reporting system was established under the federal Health Care Quality and Improvement Act of 1986 to give hospitals a snapshot of any issues with a doctor's competence or conduct before credentialing. A final rule published Jan. 28 by the Dept. of Health and Human Services expanded the data reported to the Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the data bank, to include adverse actions taken against licensed health care professionals. That includes nurses, chiropractors, podiatrists and physician assistants. The rule, published in the Federal Register, is available online (edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-1514.pdf). Before the new rule, the data bank collected negative findings only against physicians and dentists by state licensing agencies, such as medical boards, or credentialing bodies, such as hospitals. Similar information on other health professionals previously was gathered in a separate reporting database. The regulation, set to take effect March 1, also requires additional entities, such as peer review and private accreditation organizations, to report adverse actions against health professionals. The National Practitioner Data Bank already had similar reporting requirements regarding doctors. The recent changes were mandated to incorporate statutory requirements in the Medicare and Medicaid Patient and Program Protection Act of 1987 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. The full and original article can be found here: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/03/01/prsf0304.htm
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