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NPDB Insights - August 2021

NPDB to Change Query Fees October 1st

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Beginning October 1, 2021, the cost of a one-year enrollment in Continuous Query will be $2.50. A One-Time Query will also be $2.50. Both are being increased from their current price of $2.00.

In addition, the cost of a Self-Query will be reduced from $4.00 to $3.00. However, as Self-Query results are now digitally certified, the NPDB will no longer automatically provide a mailed paper copy of self-query results. The additional fee for each mailed paper copy, which must be ordered at the time the query is submitted, will be $3.00.

If you or your organization provides instructions to health care practitioners regarding Self-Queries, please update them to reflect these changes effective October 1. As a reminder, we encourage eligible entities to query the NPDB directly for authentic and current results.

For more information, visit the Federal Register notice of July 21, 2021.

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Is It Reportable?

After an investigation and formal hearing, a state hospital suspended without pay one of its physician employees after discovering that the physician had misrepresented his credentials on his employment application. Is this reportable?

Yes. Certain state agencies, including state agencies administering state health care programs, must report other adjudicated actions or decisions to the NPDB. Other adjudicated actions or decisions are formal or official final actions taken against a health care practitioner, provider, or supplier that are related to the delivery of a health care item or service and that include the availability of a due process mechanism.

Continuous Query Is Now Available for All Eligible Entities

Previously, an account administrator needed to enable Continuous Query enrollment via their Administrator Options before any users could submit Continuous Queries. Now, the option to submit a Continuous Query enrollment is enabled for all eligible entities and is available for all qualified users.

On the New Query or Enrollment page, you can now select to submit either a Continuous Query enrollment or a One-Time Query.

If you do not wish to use Continuous Query, an account administrator can deactivate the Continuous Query option by going to their Administrator Options page and selecting Deactivate Continuous Query. After submitting the deactivation, the Continuous Query option will no longer appear to your users. You may reactivate Continuous Query again at any time.

Continuous Query is a monitoring service that keeps you informed about your practitioners' NPDB report activity, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. By using Continuous Query, you receive email notifications within 24 hours of a report being received by the NPDB on any of your enrolled practitioners.

Image of Continuous Query Table. Accessible text-only version of table below.

Features Continuous Query One-Time Query
$2.00 processing fee Yes Yes
Accepted by accreditation organizations and meets hospitals' querying requirements Yes Yes
Provides an initial query response Yes Yes
Compatible with credentialing software Yes Yes
Edit and update practitioner's identifying information Yes No
Notifies you when the NPDB receives new reports on your enrolled practitioners Yes No
Retrieve an updated query response at any time Yes No
Stores query responses for more than 45 days Yes No
Provides a monthly summary of all reports received on your enrolled practitioners Yes No
Renew continuous monitoring for re-credentialing Yes No

Note: The processing fee for a One-Time Query and a Continuous Query enrollment will be increasing to $2.50 on October 1, 2021.

For more information about Continuous Query, visit our Continuous Query page.

What Happens During a Compliance Review?

Every 2 years all state licensing boards renew their registrations with the NPDB. A subset of these boards are selected to participate in the NPDB compliance review, which assesses the completeness and accuracy of reportable actions submitted.

State boards can renew their registrations up to 60 days prior to their scheduled renewal dates. During registration renewal, boards complete the following:

Image of Compliance Steps. Accessible text-only version of table below.

  1. Renew NPDB Registration
  2. Verify Regulated Professions
  3. Attest to Reporting Compliance

If your board is selected for a compliance review, an NPDB compliance officer may send a data request for missing data or actions.

Once registration renewal is complete, the board's compliance and attestation results are evaluated and then shared publicly on the NPDB Compliance Map.

For more information about compliance reviews, check out our new State Board Compliance Overview infographic.


What's the Difference Between an Entity and an Agent?

An entity may designate an agent to report or query on the entity's behalf. While entities and agents are both registered with the NPDB, the chart below highlights some key differences.

An Entity is registered with the NPDB and... An Agent is registered with the NPDB and...
  • Meets federal requirements to access the NPDB for reporting or querying purposes
  • Authorizes agents to report or to query on its behalf
  • Retains responsibility for meeting NPDB requirements
  • Accepts the relationship as authorized by the entity in a mutually written agreement to report or query on the entity's behalf
  • Does not meet NPDB requirements to report or to query, unless it is authorized by an entity

To establish such a relationship, both the entity and the agent must be registered with the NPDB and a written agreement must be in effect. For more information, visit our Registering Your Organization page.

Once an entity designates an agent to query or report on its behalf, and the agent has accepted this designation, the entity is still able to query or report on its own behalf. The entity remains responsible for meeting NPDB reporting and querying requirements, regardless of having a designated authorized agent submitting reports or queries on its behalf.

For more information about eligible entities, see the Defining Eligible Entities section of the NPDB Guidebook. To learn more about authorized agents, visit our About Authorized Agents page.

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Previous editions of NPDB Insights are available in our archive.