HHS Restores Public Access to Physician Discipline Database
On Wednesday, HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration restored access to the public section of the National Practitioner Data Bank, which tracks physician disciplinary actions and malpractice claims. HHS blocked access to the public section earlier this year after a physician expressed confidentiality concerns. Upon reopening the database, HRSA officials said users must agree that they will not combine the data with publicly available records to identify physicians. Journalists and consumer advocates criticized the restriction, saying that it places restraints on press freedom.
- "Database on Doctor Discipline Is Restored, With Restrictions" (Wilson, New York Times, 11/9).
- "Obama Administration Restores Access to Problem Doctors Data, But Journalists Decry New Limits" (AP/Washington Post, 11/9).
- "Critics Not Satisfied After Public Access to Doc Discipline Database Is Restored" (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 11/9).