The HHS Health Resources and Services Administration has issued a final rule to revise governance regulations and expand the National Practitioner Data Bank.

NPDB collects adverse licensure actions against physicians and dentists, reported by malpractice insurers, state medical and dental boards, professional societies, provider organizations and health insurers. Provider organizations, medical/dental boards and other licensing bodies, Medicaid fraud control programs, state health agencies, quality improvement organizations and certain law enforcement agencies have access to the data. Practitioners and provider organizations can self-query the National Practitioner Data Bank.

The final rule also removes regulations that implemented the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank, which now will become part of NPDB. Federal and state agencies report to the HIPDB on adverse actions involving licensing and certification, criminal convictions and civil judgments related to delivering health care, exclusions from government health programs, and other adjudicated actions or decisions, according to the rule. Government agencies and insurers have access, and practitioners, providers and supplies can self-query the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.

Under the final rule, HHS will transfer data from the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank to the National Practitioner Data Bank and cease operations of HIPDB. The rule, being published April 5, is available here.

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