NEW HEALTH CARE QUALITY

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has launched the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) to help stem health care fraud and abuse.

The new data bank will contain information on: (a) civil judgments, except malpractice judgments, against health care providers, suppliers, and practitioners in federal or state courts related to the delivery of a health care item or service; (b) federal or state criminal convic tions of health care provic ‘ suppliers, and practitioners related to the delivery of a health care item or service; (c) actions by federal or state agencies responsible for the licensing and certification of health care providers, suppliers, and practitioners; and (d) exclusion of health care providers, suppliers, and practitioners from participation in any federal or state health care program.

HIPDB will complement the 10-year-old National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), which contains reports of medical malpractice payments, adverse licensing actions, adverse Bfcjfe^fc clinical privilege actions, HHb and adverse professional f society membership / actions for more than 33,000 physicians, dentists, and other practitioners. Day-to¬day operation of PDB will be managed for the DHHS Inspector General’s office by the Health Resources and Services Administration, which also operates the NPDB. A single NPDB-HIPDB Inte grated Querying and Reporting Service will be used to query or report to both data banks over the World Wide Web. The combined Web site can be accessed at www.npdb-hipdb.com.

Required by law to report to HIPDB are state and federal law enforcement organizations; state and federal agencies responsible for licensing or certifying health care practitioners, providers, or suppliers; federal agencies that administer or provide payment for health care; and private health plans.

During the start-up period, these organizations are required to provide information on all reportable final adverse actions taken since August 21, 1996, the date of enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which mandated the creation of the new data bank.