Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
July 26, 2018
I recently ran a self-query on the NPDB and found that there was a report on there from an old employer and, other than what is listed in the reporting which isn't very explicit, I don’t know why I was reported. Is it worth crafting a response to the report and if so what are the benefits of a responding statement?
Thanks, Dr. V
I asked Michael Foster, Esq. of our healthcare department to respond to this one -
For those who don’t know, the National Practitioner Data Bank ("the NPDB") is a computer database run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that lists damaging information about physicians and other healthcare professionals. There are many reasons hospitals and state licensing boards may submit negative information on physicians and other health care practitioners. Some of the reasons you may have been reported include a suspension, termination, or restriction on your clinical privileges at a hospital, an action against your license by an administrative agency (OPMC, OPD, etc.), any medical malpractice awards, or investigations done by hospitals into any patient care or other matters. Any reports to the NPDB may affect your ability to obtain employment in the future when hospitals run background verifications prior to hiring.
The NPDB allows physicians and other healthcare professionals who are subjects of reports to file a statement, which is oftentimes critical and one of the only steps towards explaining circumstances or defending one's reputation. For example, I recently helped a physician craft a detailed response to a report filed by a hospital regarding a resignation of privileges while under investigation for issues related to hospital by-laws - no patient care concern was at issue. Still, a report was filed and this practitioner will always be flagged going forward as having had a problem and removal from a hospital setting. Filing a report for this doctor is absolutely critical towards rehabilitating and explaining circumstances. Of course, the wording of the statement has to be just right.
Generally, it is almost always a smart idea to craft a response when a NPDB report is filed. It is pretty typical for the healthcare provider to be bullied out or ejected from a facility without much due process or appeal rights - their turf, their rules. The benefits of crafting a response statement is that it will allow future employers and credentialing units within hospitals to hear a rebuttal to the report (one-sided story). Posting a defensive and angry statement is not just ill-advised, it is potentially career suicide. It is imperative that the statement crafted be carefully worded (repeat). For one thing, you should avoid incriminating statements, saying negative or false information about a past employer, or violating any settlement agreements you may have entered regarding the report. Do not craft your statement alone, without approval from our office. Do not remit same as an evening insomnia project.
Contact Jennifer (516 747-6700 x. 302; Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com) or me, Michael Foster, Esq. (516 747-6700 x. 308; MFoster@kirschenbaumesq.com) to discuss your circumstances, the benefits of a statement to NPDB and best positioning for posting.