Thursday, September 10, 2009

102,000 Disciplined Health Care Professionals Are In A National Registry. But Nobody Can See It?

NPR -- Twenty-two years ago, the federal government started keeping a list of nurses, nurse aides, pharmacists and pharmacy aides who've been disciplined by state licensing boards. It's called the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.

There are more than 102,000 nurses, nurse aides, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants who've been disciplined and included in the registry. But hospitals and nursing homes aren't allowed to see the database.

By law, it was supposed to be open to hospitals and nursing homes when they hire staff and want to run a background check. But the Department of Health and Human Services never completed the regulation implementing the law. Turns out, slow-moving bureaucracy is the main culprit.

"Until the government makes these data available, patients are going to be injured in hospitals by nurses, nurse's aides who shouldn't be on the staff of the hospital. The only reason they're on the staff is: when the hospital hired them they didn't know what their past records was," says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who runs the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen's Health Research Group.

MP: And we are now considering allowing major increases in government bureaucracy and government control of health care?


At 9/11/2009 11:05 AM, Anonymous richard said...


Do you know who has access to this data base?

There must be a reason why this db exists (and is maintained etc) It's very expensive to keep this in good shape.

At 9/11/2009 3:17 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well the question I have is that "nobody can see it" the how do we know that there are over 100K people who've been disciplined in the health care game?

At 9/12/2009 8:48 AM, Blogger save_the_rustbelt said...

Ah, this ignores several other routes and regulatory schemes health providers routinely use to screen employees, including in some cases mandatory fingerprinting and criminal background checks.

Not to mention state licensure and certification boards.

M.P. getting excited without doing any real inquiry - again.


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