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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

The NPDB Query Fee Waiver Has Ended

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is committed to protecting the safety of our grantees and program participants and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Learn how to prevent and control the spread of infection; access NIH COVID-19 safety training; and get the latest public health information: cdc.gov/coronavirus; and coronavirus.gov.

In response to President Trump's declaration of a national emergency and emergency declarations by all states, many health care entities have taken unprecedented steps regarding licensure portability and the deployment of skilled health workforce resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These health care entities rely on the NPDB to make informed hiring, licensing, and credentialing decisions. To support these entities during this national emergency, the NPDB temporarily waived query fees (both one-time query and continuous query). The NPDB fee waiver period has ended.

The temporary waiver of NPDB query fees for one-time queries, continuous queries, and continuous query renewals was from March 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020.


Why did the NPDB waive query fees?

In response to President Trump's declaration of a national emergency and emergency declarations by all states, many health care entities have taken unprecedented steps regarding licensure portability and the deployment of appropriate health workforce resources. These health care entities rely on the NPDB to make informed hiring, licensing, and credentialing decisions, while maintaining appropriate standards for the nation's health care workforce. The NPDB waived its entity query fees to support these entities.

Did the NPDB waive query fees for my organization?

All registered active organizations eligible to query the NPDB received queries at no cost during the March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 query fee waiver.

Why does the NPDB charge query fees normally?

Although run by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the NPDB is legally required to recover the full cost of its operations, which it does through user (query) fees.

Will you extend the fee waiver as long as there is still a national emergency?

Because the NPDB has no source of funding other than query fees and federal law requires the NPDB to recover the full cost of its operations, we could not offer a fee waiver indefinitely. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and HRSA recognized the need to support entities in establishing the infrastructure necessary to maximize the portability of the nation's health workforce.

Were all query fees waived?

All one-time and continuous query fees were waived during the query fee waiver.

Should I use a specific query purpose for queries related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. We have added a query purpose option for COVID-19 to identify queries run specifically to support your organization's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I update my query reason to COVID-19?

No. You cannot update the query reason after a query is submitted, but we would appreciate you sending an email to the NPDB Customer Service Center. Please provide your entity information, the date of the queries, the total number of queries, and the number of queries related to COVID-19.

Were self-query fees waived?

No. Self-queries were not eligible for the waiver. The waiver only included continuous queries and one-time queries from registered health care entities.

How can I check my query credit balance?

To see your query credit balance, the administrator of your account should:

  • Sign in to the administrator account and select Continue, which brings you to the Select an Option page.
  • Select Administrator Options, then Purchase Query Credits.
  • Your query credit balance will display on the Purchase Query Credits screen.

How do I redeem my query credits?

Query credits are automatically used as your first form of payment when submitting a query, and will continue to be used until your credit balance is empty.

Query credits must be exhausted before any other form of payment can be used. However, a valid payment method is still required to submit your query, even if your query credit balance covers the cost of your transaction.

My agent is being issued query credits for transactions they submitted on behalf of my organization. How will they be using these credits?

Your agent will be able to use the query credits issued to them to pay for future queries. Contact your agent about your query credits or billing history.

Does the requirement for hospitals to query the NPDB still apply for disaster privileges in this time of national emergency?

Yes. The NPDB's underlying statutes make no distinction between various types of privileges. The requirement that hospitals must query the NPDB "at the time a physician or licensed health care practitioner applies to be on the medical staff (courtesy or otherwise) of, or for clinical privileges at, the hospital..." applies to all granting of privileges, including emergency, disaster, and temporary privileges. The NPDB is a valuable workforce tool that assists in promoting quality health care by providing relevant information to those making critical hiring, privileging, credentialing, and licensing decisions. We provide most query responses to eligible entities in near-real time (just a few seconds) and can help identify previous damaging performance that may not have been disclosed by the practitioner, making it an excellent source of information in times of emergency.

The NPDB's statutes only require hospitals to query. For questions concerning the current status of NPDB querying recommendations or mandates by accrediting bodies, such as the Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC, or DNV-GL, we recommend contacting the accrediting organization directly.

CMS is waiving certain Medical Staff requirements to allow for physicians whose privileges will expire to continue practicing at a hospital. Does this mean I can delay querying the NPDB until we reappoint the physician?

No. The NPDB's underlying statutes state that a hospital querying on physicians or any practitioner on the medical staff, or who has been granted clinical privileges, must occur once every two years. Not performing required queries potentially exposes the hospital to litigation risk as any hospital which does not perform a mandatory query is presumed to have knowledge of any information reported to the NPDB concerning this health care practitioner. To alleviate this concern, the NPDB suggests hospitals use the NPDB's continuous query service and keep practitioners enrolled.

Credentialing Software FAQ

What code should we enter in the query purpose field for queries related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

If the query is being performed specifically in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can indicate that by entering X in the data element.

NPDB Website Resources