As a national clearinghouse of information regarding the many sorts of disciplinary actions taken against those in the medical profession, the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) carries the power to break the livelihood of a professional.
Its reports are used by people at many levels in the healthcare industry—such as health plans, clinics, hospitals, state Medicare fraud control units, quality improvement organizations, professional societies with formal peer review, and licensing boards like the Texas Board of Medicine and the Texas Board of Nursing—in their determinations of which professionals to hire, to extend privileges of practice, to license, and so forth. It is therefore vital for a healthcare professional to understand what they need to do should they become the subject of a negative report on the Data Bank.
Anytime a report is added to the Data Bank, the system automatically notifies the practitioner that is its subject. Any such report may be challenged by the practitioner, who may submit a subject statement via the NPDB website. This statement is an instrument by which a practitioner may provide any additional information they would like to be included alongside the report. (This does not, however, imply the ability to void the report, or to correct or even modify it—only the organization that made the report may do that.)
Being joined to the report, the subject statement is considered part of the report, and it will only be removed or edited if the practitioner takes action to do so. Besides being sent to the reporting organization, a copy of the practitioner’s statement is sent to any querying organizations that may have received a copy of the report within the previous three years, and will be automatically included in any future queries.
A professional license defense attorney is helpful in creating a well-considered and drafted statement for submission to the NPDB (these statements cannot exceed 4,000 characters, and may not include web links).
A practitioner may also dispute the substance of a given report, by challenging stated facts, challenging procedures used in submitting the report, or questioning the right-to-report of whatever agency submitted the report. If this does not solve the problem, then a practitioner can choose to bring a claim to dispute resolution.
A skilled medical license defense attorney like us here at BERTOLINO LLP can help practitioners to navigate this system. We are familiar with the ins-and-outs of effective responses to the NPDB, and with agency-level dispute resolution.
If someone has lodged a formal complaint against you and your medical license, your professional reputation and good name are on the line. It's critically important that you take the complaint seriously from the start and address the allegations head-on.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack—whether directly or by data bank reporting—by a state agency or board.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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