The National Practioner Data Bank (NPDB), The "Data Bank"
I want to comment on a widespread fallacy about the NPDB that you may not be aware of. Hopefully one day a journalist will introduce this critical distinction into the body of serious journalism on the subject.
The distinction is simply this. The NPDB is not a government database that tracks incompetent or government disciplined doctors, this is a government authorized database of private corporate actions taken against private independent doctors. There is a serious moral hazard here. This is a database of "corporate discipline" with no evidentiary safeguards and no real right of appeal. The entry survives even the physician’s death.
Thousands of reported doctors who were just too ethically minded, whistleblowers and perceived whistleblowers on fraud and abuse by administrators, are in this database. If the government was serious about fraud and abuse, they just need to start properly investigating the cases of aggrieved physicians in the NPDB which they have refused to do at the administrative level. I could be blackballed for even writing this.
I know a doctor who has offered a $10,000 prize to any journalist who can find a
single evidentiary safeguard in the authorizing statute (there is not one). The
late Reagan era statute that created the NPDB (HCQIA 1986) was reportedly
drafted by a Chief lobbyist for corporate hospital monopolies who perennially
sits on the executive committee of the NPDB making sure that evidentiary
safeguards never make it into the process.
The world has never seen evidence spoliation, tampering and destruction of
medical records and fabrication of hearsay evidence until it has been on the
inside of corporate peer review (sham peer review) where corporate doctors and
hospital defense attorneys destroy and blackball an unsuspecting doctor whose
only defense is that he was trying to do the right thing . It happens 100% of
the time when a Doctor raises any patient issue to the corporation. American
bodies are buried deep behind this unjustifiable shroud of sanctimony and the
scapegoats are not killing them.
You also may not be aware that serial misdeeds by corporate bad apples never make it into to the NPDB. These are the guys who are chosen to stand in judgment. The rulemaking executive committee sees to it. The NPDB is a complete product of regulatory capture by corporate hospital and insurance lobbyists with a certain law firm at the forefront ( or should I say under deep cover) . I think it is generally true that corporate lawyers firmly see no moral hazard in the corporation standing in final judgment of its own acts through regulatory capture ( google: Mr Kauffman at Brookings and others on regulatory capture in general)
You should also be aware that only malpractice payments on independent doctors make it into this database and these are most often made without consent from the independent doctor who goes undefended in court by his insurance company.
Corporate doctors enjoy lavish defenses and when settlements are made on their behalf ,which is quite often, they are made pursuant to a customized lobbyist designed loophole called the corporate shield and they are never reported to the NPDB, This has been going on for 21 years. It goes like this, the insurance company tells the plaintiff’s lawyer to drop the doctor’s name form the lawsuit and then the insurance company will settle under the corporations name. This appears to me to be a license to kill based upon one’s corporate affiliation.
Evidence for this completely unreported phenomenon is the 2000 GAO report on the NPDB which you can find online. On about page 10 and 11 you will see a glimpse of how the executive committee of the NPDB have perverted the intent of the law and browbeaten regulators during the Bush years into accepting their version of physician “discipline”.
Only independent small business doctors are dangerous to the public in this
corporate model and they must be blacklisted to keep ‘em quiet on the financial
and public health aspects of health care in general and of the particular
hospital they are working in. Miley Cyrus might say ” pretty cool.”
Knowing this I do not feel safer with this database. I feel much less safe with it. The independent voice of doctors is being stifled and who are we to trust.
I would suggest you google “sham peer review” to see if there may be something to what I say and keep your eye out for an evidentiary safeguard. We would all love to find one. Also there is a pending house bill HR2472 that deals with evidence handling in peer review and corporate lobbyists including the AMA are dead set against its passage.
Please inform me if you have any further interest in researching this and I can
point to very serious people concerned about the preservation of free speech and
independent doctors for the public health who will go on the record and also
source you on some of the points I have made h
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