The HHS Health Resources and Services Administration has temporarily pulled offline a public version of the National Practitioners Data Bank, which provider organizations and physician licensing boards use to check for malpractice events, license disciplinary actions and peer review actions.

Organizations representing consumers, researchers and journalists are protesting removal of access to the Public Use Data File, which contains non-identifiable information to analyze trends. HRSA pulled the plug on the public file after a Kansas City Star newspaper reporter used information from the file to collaborate identifiable information already gleaned from court records and other sources about a local physician with a history of malpractice claims.

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