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Health Centers

Health centers that have a formal peer-review process meet the regulatory definition of a health care organization and are allowed to query and required to report.

Attestation

Attestation is our national education and outreach effort to ensure that all registered organizations are meeting their reporting requirements. During attestation, administrators attest that their organization has submitted all reportable actions and medical malpractice payments.

If your organization is a health center with a formal peer-review process, federal law requires you to report certain clinical privileges actions that they have taken against physicians and dentists. If you have taken any reportable clinical privileges actions, you must submit the report within 30 days of taking the action. As part of our commitment to improving health care quality, organizations that report these actions should attest that they have submitted all reportable actions.

Every 2 years, as part of the registration renewal process, you will be asked to attest as to whether or not all reportable clinical privileges actions have been submitted within a 2-year time frame. We send a notification to your account administrator when the attestation is due.

 

Federally qualified health centers are organizations that provides primary health care services to patients, regardless of their ability to pay. We ask federally qualified health centers and look-alikes to attest to whether or not they reported all reportable clinical privileges actions. If your health center is responsible for privileging, credentialing, or both for other service delivery sites, those sites will be included in your attestation. The Bureau of Primary Health Care requires health center program grantees and look-alikes to query before granting privileges to practitioners.

Your attesting official must be able to identify all site locations for which your organization makes decisions regarding credentialing or privileging health care practitioners. Additionally, the attesting official should have access to any clinical privileges actions taken by your organization and be able to attest as to whether or not your organization submitted reports for all reportable clinical privileges actions taken within the 2-year time frame.

If you are a Health Center Program grantee or look-alike, and you missed the webinar, you may view the presentation here:


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Health centers with a formal peer-review process must register to query and report. Even if your health center uses an agent or Credentials Verification Organization (CVO) to query, you must first register. After the registration process is complete, you may designate the agent or CVO to act on behalf of your organization. All health centers, federally qualified or not, should select "Other Health Care Entity" in the Eligibility Questionnaire since they provide health care services but are not hospitals.

Note: If your health center is not owned and operated by a government agency, you should select "Private Sector Organization" on the Organization Information page, even if your organization receives federal funds.

 

Health centers often serve the communities with the highest health risks and least access to care. Health centers should query to assure that they are hiring the highest quality staff to provide the best quality care to their patients. While a report in the NPDB does not necessarily indicate on its own whether or not a clinician is qualified, taken in conjunction with other elements of an applicant's experience and history, reports are a valuable screening tool to alert the health center of potential concerns or areas for additional inquiry. A health center's authority to query is defined in Title IV of Public Law 99-660.

Query responses and enrollment disclosures may be used only in accordance with the confidentiality provisions of 45 CFR Part 60 for the purpose designated at the time of the query or enrollment.

What is a query?

A query is a search for information in the NPDB regarding a health care practitioner or organization. Eligible organizations submit information to us that we disclose to other eligible organizations. We collect information on medical malpractice payments and certain adverse actions from eligible organizations that report. We only disclose this information to organizations that are registered and authorized to query. The ability of an organization to query, and the types of information they may receive through querying, is determined by law. When an organization submits a query, we release only the information they are lawfully allowed to access based on their registration.

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Health centers are required to report certain clinical privileges actions taken against physicians and dentists. They can also report those same actions when taken against other health care providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Health centers not covered by the Federal Torts Claims Act may also be required to report medical malpractice payments. Health centers report under the authority of Title IV of Public Law 99-660 and 45 CFR 60. More information about what and when to report is available at Reporting to the NPDB.

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