This week’s “On The Media” show features AHCJ President Charles Ornstein discussing the public use file of the National Practitioner Data Bank.
As regular readers of Covering Health know, this is an important file that has been used by patient safety advocates, reporters and other researchers to report on medical disciplinary actions, lax oversight and loopholes at state medical boards. The Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, took the file offline on Sept. 1 following a complaint from one doctor’s lawyer.
AHCJ and other journalism groups have protested the removal of the file and have called for it to be returned to the public site. U.S. Senator Charles Grassley has joined the protest with a letter to the HRSA administrator that demands answers to his questions about why this file is no longer publicly available.