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Reporting Participation in Pretrial Intervention Programs

A health care practitioner enters a pretrial intervention program after being charged with a crime related to the delivery of a health care item or service. The practitioner never enters a plea in the criminal case, and no adjudication occurs. As part of the intervention program, the practitioner is required to pay restitution, but this payment is not considered a fine. Must the state prosecutor involved in the case report to the NPDB the practitioner's entry into the pretrial intervention program, even though no adjudication occurred?

In this case, yes. Under a policy set forth in the NPDB Guidebook, state prosecutors must report to the NPDB any practitioner who enters into a first offender or deferred adjudication program, or other arrangement or program under which a conviction related to the delivery of a health care item or service is withheld. The state statute involved in this case gives a state official, at the end of the intervention period, the power to recommend that the criminal case proceed through normal channels or that the case be dismissed. This statute indicates that adjudication and conviction can be deferred or withheld. As such, participation in the program does not negate the requirement to report the practitioner to the NPDB.

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