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Overview Submitting Reports to the NPDB Reporting Medical Malpractice Payments Reporting Adverse Clinical Privileges Actions Reporting Adverse Professional Society Membership Actions Reporting State Licensure and Certification Actions Reporting Federal Licensure and Certification Actions Reporting Peer Review Organization Negative Actions or Findings Reporting Private Accreditation Organization Negative Actions or Findings Reporting Exclusions from Participation in Federal or State Health Care Programs Reporting Federal or State Health Care-Related Criminal Convictions Reporting Health Care-Related Civil Judgments Reporting Other Adjudicated Actions or Decisions

Submitting a Query

Eligible entities that are registered with the NPDB may query the NPDB in one of two ways:

  • A One-Time Query (formerly known as Traditional Query) involves submitting the name of a health care practitioner, entity, provider, or supplier and receiving a query response that includes all NPDB reports on that individual or organization that the eligible entity is authorized to receive.
  • A Continuous Query involves enrolling practitioners for a 12-month period. Once practitioners are enrolled, the eligible entity receives a confirmation of enrollment, all current reports (a One-Time Query response), and notice of new reports within 24 hours of NPDB's receipt of the reports during the enrollment period. Hospitals that enroll their practitioners in Continuous Query fulfill the mandatory requirements for querying the NPDB.

Both One-Time Queries and Continuous Queries can be submitted via the Integrated Querying and Reporting Service (IQRS) on the NPDB website or through an external application.

The Self-Query service is available on the NPDB website for health care practitioners, entities, providers, and suppliers that wish to find out if there is a report on them in the NPDB.

Querying Through an Authorized Agent

The NPDB's response to a query submitted by an authorized agent on behalf of an entity is based upon two eligibility standards:

  • The entity must be eligible to receive the information, and
  • The agent must be designated to receive that information on behalf of that entity.

Both the entity and the agent must be properly registered with the NPDB prior to the authorized agent's query submission.

Before an authorized agent submits queries on behalf of an eligible entity, the entity must designate the agent by completing an online Authorized Agent Designation form. The eligible entity must indicate whether it would prefer the NPDB to send query responses to the entity, to the authorized agent, or to both. An eligible querier that has designated an authorized agent also is permitted to query the NPDB directly. Responses to queries submitted by the entity will be returned to the entity, regardless of the routing designated for queries submitted by their agent.

Authorized agents cannot use a query response on behalf of more than one entity. NPDB regulations specify that information received from the NPDB must be used solely for the purpose for which it was provided. If two different entities designate the same authorized agent to query the NPDB on their behalf, and both entities wish to request information on the same subject, the authorized agent must query the NPDB separately on behalf of each entity. The response to a query submitted for one entity cannot be disclosed to the other entity. Such a disclosure would be a violation of the NPDB confidentiality restrictions.

However, if a health care system uses an authorized agent and conducts its credentialing centrally, has a centralized peer review process, and has one decision-making body, the health care system may query the NPDB once on each practitioner during the professional review process, regardless of whether the practitioner provides health care services in one or multiple entities.

Subject Information

When submitting a query or enrolling a practitioner in Continuous Query, the entity is required to provide certain information regarding the subject of the query. The NPDB system requires queries to include information in all mandatory fields. An entity's lack of mandatory information does not relieve the entity of its querying requirements as mandated by law.

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