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NPDB Insights - August 2023

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Is It Reportable?

Do medical malpractice payers have to report payments made for the benefit of a deceased practitioner?

Yes. Medical malpractice payers must submit reports of payments made for the benefit of deceased practitioners because fraudulent practitioners may seek to assume the identity of a deceased practitioner. One of the principal objectives of the NPDB is to restrict the ability of incompetent practitioners to move from state to state without disclosing their previous damaging or incompetent performance.

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How to Submit Multiple Query Requests at One Time

The best way to submit multiple query requests at one time is to use the NPDB Subject Database.

The NPDB Subject Database allows you to store identifying information for multiple practitioners and organizations and then use that information to submit query requests. The Subject Database can be used for both One-Time and Continuous queries.

To use a Subject Database to submit multiple query requests at one time, first create a Subject Database by either manually entering practitioner or organization information, or importing information from your own system. Then, when querying the subject database, choose Select a Subject on the Subject Type page and choose as many practitioners or organizations as you want to query. Individuals and organizations must be queried separately. Continuous Query is only available for individuals.

Visit our Subject Database page for more information.

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What to Include in a Narrative Description

In order for queriers to be able to fully understand the circumstances of the action or payment reported to the NPDB, all NPDB reports must include a factually sufficient narrative. The narrative description provides an excellent opportunity to summarize the events that led your organization to take a reportable action or the nature of the complaint and judgment/settlement that resulted in a medical malpractice payment. Because a narrative description gives context for your report, it must be detailed.

The Do's and Don'ts of Narrative Descriptions

  • Do limit your description to statements of fact
  • Do summarize the official findings of the action(s) taken
  • Do state the facts of the case
  • Do include a description of the circumstances that led to the action being taken
  • Don't write anything longer than 4,000 characters
  • Don't use URLs or references to external websites
  • Don't use proper names or identifying information about any individual other than the report subject. Characterize individuals in general terms, such as "the patient," "the chief of staff," etc.

For more information about reporting and how to write a narrative description, check out the following resources:

You can also watch a recording and review slides and questions from the Writing Narrative Descriptions for Reports Webinar we hosted in July 2022.

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Registering with the NPDB

When you register with the NPDB, you certify that your organization is eligible to submit queries, reports, or both. Accurately registering with the NPDB is critical for both your organization and the health care community at large. Organizations may only register in accordance with their statutory authorities, as established by regulations.

What is an Eligible Entity?

An eligible entity is an organization that is able or required to query, report, or both. Eligible entities are required to certify their eligibility and register with the NPDB.

Many different types of entities can register with the NPDB. Visit our What is an Eligible Entity page for a complete list. View Chapter B: Eligible Entities of the NPDB Guidebook for specific registration requirements.

What Happens if I Register My Organization Incorrectly?

Certain entities have access to specific NPDB information. Incorrectly registering your entity may cause a query to be missing results, or potentially provide access to information that you are not allowed to view.

Attempting to incorrectly register your entity when first submitting your application may result in the NPDB rejecting your registration. A rejected registration will result in you having to resubmit an application and may delay your access. It is your Data Bank administrator's responsibility to update and maintain your entity's information, as well as to complete the required renewal process every 2 years.

For more information on registering with the NPDB, or about the eligibility of specific entities, see the following resources:

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