The Health Resources and Services Administration has published a final rule making a number of changes in policies, definitions and reporting processes of the National Practitioner Data Bank for Adverse Information on Physicians and Other Health Care Practitioners. The rule is effective on March 1, 2010.

Based on industry comment, HRSA is revising the language of multiple definitions, such as the terms "negative action or finding," "peer review organization," and "private accreditation entity." For instance, the phrase "a health care practitioner or entity" is changed to "a health care practitioner, physician, dentist or entity."

The changes also make the reporting of certain data, such as the amount of monetary penalty, mandatory instead of discretionary.

The final rule was published Jan. 27 in the Federal Register at

--Joseph Goedert

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