Physicians

Database of Bad Doctors Blocks Public From Seeing Names

Picture 26In the mid-1980s, incompetent and negligent doctors were moving freely between states, with state licensing boards and hospitals largely oblivious to lawsuits or disciplinary actions in other locations that might have flagged bad providers.

In response, Congress passed the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986, which created the National Practitioner Data Bank, a repository of information that includes malpractice payments, license revocations and loss of clinical privileges for physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other professionals . “The NPDB is primarily an alert or flagging system intended to facilitate a comprehensive review of health care practitioners’ professional credentials,” says the Department of Health and Human Services, which maintains it.Members of the public can access statistical portions of the NPDB. Thanks to lobbying by the American Medical Association, however, the law blocks public users from pulling up histories of individual doctors or other health care professionals. Only authorized users such as hospital administrators can do that. A physician can see only his or her own record.

Sidney Wolfe, director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group, said “Congress rolled over” when it agreed to restrict public access to the HHS database. “One of the most important benefits of the databank has gone wasted,” Wolfe said. “Unfortunately, there’s been no effort that’s come close to succeeding in opening this up.”

An AMA spokeswoman said the organization opposes making providers’ names public because the database “is riddled with duplicate entries [and] inaccurate data.” Information about physicians’ credentials and disciplinary histories is available through “state-based systems already in place,” AMA spokeswoman Katherine Hatwell wrote in an e-mail. “These state-based systems are linked through the Federation of State Medical Boards website, so information on physicians can be easily located even if the physician has moved from another state.”

The state medical board federation’s public site has physician-specific data on disciplinary actions and licensure history, among other things. But it lacks some information contained in the NPDB – e.g., malpractice payments – and it charges $9.95 per name search. A sample provider profile is shown here.

A fact sheet listing what’s available within the NPDB is here.

Data Mine thanks Barbara Feder Ostrov, deputy editor of ReportingonHealth.org, the website of the USC/Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, for calling our attention to the NPDB controversy. ReportingonHealth.org’s William Heisel did two blog posts about the database last year.

ABOUT THE DATA:

What: National Practitioner Data Bank

Where: Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

Availability: Portions of database open to the public, but not providers’ names
Format: ASCII text or SPSS portable data file (Public Use Data File only)

Usability: Statistical data available to public researchers

Send your tips on government data sets that you think should be made more accessible or user-friendly to datamine@publicintegrity.org. You can also message us on Twitter or discuss the project on our Facebook page. We’re eager to hear what you turn up — full credit and links will be provided to individuals whose suggestions we use in our series.

This report was first published on the website of the Center for Public Integrity.

The Data Mine is a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation.

You can follow the Center on Twitter and Facebook.

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K Howardgay erotica, gayerotica, boundinpublic, boundinpublic.com, bound in public, gay public sex, gaypublicsex, bound gods, boundgods.com, www.boundgods.com, extreme bdsm gay, bound gods, gay bondage, boys bound and fucked, gay fucked, male bondage, male tied ujay luttestammyFreedom Fighter Recent comment authors
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K Howard
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K Howard

Recently I took my son to the ER for severe nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. We arrived at the ER around 3 pm and he was triaged immediately. He spent four and half hours on a gurney in a hallway while blood tests and urinalysis’ were being run and everything came out clear. The nurse was required to give him two separate doses of morphine and nausea medication. The doctor (who I will not name) tried to or actually insisted that it was a stomach virus and wanted to send him home. Thankfully I have enough medical training that I… Read more »

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jay luttes
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jay luttes

I hired doctor Richard Scott Kaplan Union town Pa. to perform an IME via records. I sent him 30 years of medical records and $ 350. The doctor responded with a two line evaluation. The two lines made no since. He then destroyed all my medical records. The doctor is a pure con artist.

tammy
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tammy

Marwan Baghdan, M.D.
Internal Medicine
Office in Hazel Crest
Advocate South Suburban Hospital
he killed my mother she was diagnosed with gall bladder problems and she ended up dying of cancer of the colon. She was let go to a rehab too early and died there witin 18 hours.

Freedom Fighter
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Please post opinion on my blog

Doc99
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Doc99

Who put the Lyme in his coconut?

rbar
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rbar

Not that I think I could ever convince you, Gary, because the belief in chronic Lyme’s is as strong as the most intense religious fervor, but for the record:
chronic Lyme’s is a concept scientifically refuted by mainstream infectious disease specialists and is actually a self reinforcing cycle of patients suffering from a nonorganic condition which is reinforced in patient-doctor interaction – fringe doctors who feel encouraged to treat chronic Lyme’s by patients thankful for a dangerous placebo treatment, patients who usually pay out of pocket. There is an excellent NYT magazine story that I encourage everyone to read.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/17/magazine/17LYMEDISEASE.html

Gary Lampman
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Gary Lampman

“chronic Lyme disease after standard ABx treatment), patients getting interested into superfluous tests or treatments … this happens every day but is not newsworthy and therefore largely unknown.” Rbar, I know of a person who has chronic Lymes Disease. It took several Doctors 2 Years to decide what he Had. Many Doctors duplicated and Duplicated testing and some simply refused to look at Chronic Lymes diseases. This 27 year old has been bed Ridden for three years so far. Taking Chemical Therapy and a host of other Treatments that are being performed by a licensed Doctor that Has No Contract… Read more »

Gary Lampman
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Gary Lampman

Why should Patients Have Transparency in Medical Errors and HAI’s? These are events that for the greater Part; are preventable! Accidents do Happen,but if they become greater than a Rare Occurrance; The People Have a right to Know! Medical Boards serve better as fraternities than peer review.Also it seldom provides insight to the public unless a judgement is Made. In many cases these judgements are also outside of Public Peer Review. Why reward Medical Professionals who do not perform in an acceptable Manner and meet the National Average Standards? Why reward Hospitals and Institutions that Do Not address Preventable Errors… Read more »

Doc99
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Doc99

Doctors should be just as transparent as Congress!

bev M.D.
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bev M.D.

rbar, as usual, has some good points. I do not know about other states, but I do know that in Va. I was able to discover from the Board of Medicine site that my crazy neighbor, a “doctor” but not M.D., had in fact had his license suspended for insurance fraud (with exact details and dates of the case) and later let it expire. And that was after another, non-physician neighbor, had already discovered it. The information is out there, in my opinion.

rbar
Guest
rbar

“I’m sorry that you feel that open information is more harmful than a lack of information.” I think there is a great misconception that is widespread in THCB and elsewhere: that the fundamentally increased availability of health care info via the internet is a net benefit. That remains to be proven. No doubt, there are enough stories of patients getting valuable, maybe even lifesaving information independently from the internet. However, the downside of patient driven internet research is rarely discussed: patients fearing a diagnosis for no good reason (usually conditions that go along with a large variety of symptoms, esp.… Read more »

MD as HELL
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MD as HELL

Anonymous, Spare me the caps. The parties to a settled care are not at liberty to discuss the settlement. It is a pretty much standard for the court to order neither party discuss it. As i review my entry I see nothing where I said I was against open information. The existence of the data bank is itself an intimidation of physicians. I asure you, I am in it. I settled a case in 1995; an alleged wrongful death. I have found that juries are smarter than they are credited. Retrospectively I would have gone to court. I won a… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

MD as HELL, I’m sorry that you feel that open information is more harmful than a lack of information. I disagree. When I read book reviews on Amazon I have to make a decision about whether the author of the review is making good points or not. When I leave the house I have to decide whether to put a raincoat on based on the weather outside my window. The information that I get isn’t always valid and I have a responsibility to know the problems with what I am looking at. The weather may change. Taste in books differs.… Read more »

MD as HELL
Guest
MD as HELL

It is easy to get sued. Doctors who never have to make a decison never get sued. I’m an ER doc. ER docs make fast decisions with limited information in real time. Sounds like EHR would help. It might if it is really accessable and is not cluttered with a lot of fluff. Even in my own hospital HIPAA has been a problem with accessing some information. The headline for this post clearly illustrates why the NPBD is not for general access; the doctors are not “bad doctors” simply because they are in there. To infer otherwise is to do… Read more »