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Partner Michael Callahan Comments on Changes to NPDB Guidebook in Medical Staff Briefing

Firm News | June 9, 2014

Michael Callahan, a partner in the Health Care practice, spoke with Medical Staff Briefing regarding updates to the National Practitioner Data Bank Guidebook. Under federal law, hospitals, state licensing bodies, insurers and others are legally required to report certain disciplinary actions to the Data Bank. Some changes are being met with resistance from legal and regulatory organizations, particularly concerning the way in which the NPDB defines an investigation. The draft makes reference to a Focused Professional Performance Evaluation (FPPE) being defined as an investigation, which Michael said would skew the intent of FPPE. He noted that FPPE is typically utilized to help identify problems with a physician's practice and help him/her improve care through the normal peer review process without launching a formal investigation. If a physician resigns before or during the imposition of an FPPE it is not reportable. The draft Guidebook would make a resignation a reportable event. Michael adds that "there is some concern that people are playing fast and loose with the reporting requirements…. Now if we move that bar even lower, that's going to complicate efforts to really try and work with physicians." ("NPDB Guidebook Updates Raise Concerns," June 2014)

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