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National Data Bank Public Use File Reopened

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  • Peter Psarouthakis
    How Complaints From a Single Doctor Caused the Gov t to Take Down a Public Database An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2011
      How Complaints From a Single Doctor Caused the Gov't to Take Down a Public
      Database

      An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that
      maintains a discipline and medical-malpractice database reopened it for
      public access last week, two months after the agency had first taken the
      database offline.
      The National Practitioner Data Bank contains information used by hospitals,
      insurers, and licensing boards to track doctors' records, check prospective
      hires, and make other decisions. A publicly available version of the
      database -- which removed confidential identifiers such as doctors' names
      and addresses -- had long been used by reporters and others interested in
      patient safety. In the years it was online, journalists could reference the
      database and, with additional reporting, could at times identify doctors
      with uniquely long histories of being sued or disciplined for medical
      malpractice. Then, two months ago, in a decision sharply criticized by
      journalism and consumer groups, the government cut off public access. A link
      to the ProPublica November 10 article by Marion Wang is available at:


      <http://www.propublica.org/article/how-complaints-from-a-doctor-caused-the-g
      ovt-to-take-down-a-public-database>
      http://www.propublica.org/article/how-complaints-from-a-doctor-caused-the-go
      vt-to-take-down-a-public-database

      On October 7, 2011 Senator Charles E. Grassley [R-IA], ranking member of the
      Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
      Services regarding the National Data Bank's (NPDB's) Public Use File (PUF)
      which compares disciplinary actions reported to the database with corrective
      measures taken by state medical boards.

      <http://www.grassley.senate.gov/about/upload/CEG-to-HRSA.pdf>
      http://www.grassley.senate.gov/about/upload/CEG-to-HRSA.pdf

      Bruce Hulme
      ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
      <http://www.ispla.org/> www.ISPLA.org
      Resource to Investigative and Security Professionals, the Media and to
      Government
      Your Voice from State Capitols to the Nation's Capitol


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