Beware of the National Practitioner Data Bank
Are you a physician who has been contacted for disciplinary review by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs? If so, you should be aware that any disciplinary action imposed upon you could have serious, negative ramifications on your career and ability to continue to practice, even if you receive sanctions short of a license suspension or revocation. The same is true if you are called into a peer review proceeding or have been named as a defendant in a medical malpractice action.
Any discipline imposed upon you by the Bureau must be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. You may already be aware of the Data Bank. If you are not, you should be. Federal law requires anything with a potentially negative effect upon a physician’s license (including, but not limited to, sanctions imposed by a state licensing body, negative peer review determinations, medical malpractice judgments or settlements, etc.) MUST be reported to the Data Bank.
Among others, hospitals, insurance carriers, and other jurisdictions where you are licensed have access to the information in the Data Bank. Negative information in the Data Bank can have a cascading, adverse negative effect on a physician’s ability to continue to practice, including such things as a loss of hospital privileges and greatly increased malpractice insurance premiums, or even the inability to secure malpractice coverage at all.
It is therefore imperative if there is any hint that action may be taken against your license, or that you are called in for peer review, that you immediately contact experienced healthcare counsel to guide you through the process. The same is true if you are a defendant in a medical malpractice action – attorneys appointed by malpractice insurance carriers to defend malpractice actions are sometimes not mindful of the adverse consequences which stem from a malpractice settlement being reported to the Data Bank. Retaining personal, experienced healthcare counsel to guide you can help to provide insights that may not be available from attorneys appointed by your insurance carrier.
Luckily, Scaringi Law has experienced healthcare attorneys available to counsel and guide you through the process and to protect your interests as fully as possible. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.