Federal Government Shuts Down Public Access to NPDB


As a result of improper use of the National Provider Data Bank (NPDB). Public access to the information has been shut down for at least 6 months. Martin Kramer, a spokesman for the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration stated "The National Practitioner Data Bank was never meant to be a public file," he added "By statute, it's not a public file."

The file lists sanctions against physicians by state medical boards, hospitals, medical societies and the Drug Enforcement Administration and has historically been updated four times a year. The file does not contain the names of physicians. This information is only available only to state medical boards and hospital and healthcare organizations to which doctors may apply for employment, a medical staff appointment or clinical privileges.

Recently the Kansas City (Mo.) Star—took information from the NPDB and compared it with names of certain local doctors listed in court filings.

HRSA has reacted by shutting down public access to the data file on Sept. 1. According to HRSA the public file will be offline for at least 6 months while they determine how to make it more secure and private.