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Overview Submitting Reports to the NPDB Reporting Medical Malpractice Payments Reporting Adverse Clinical Privileges Actions Reporting Adverse Professional Society Membership Actions Reporting State Licensure and Certification Actions Reporting Federal Licensure and Certification Actions Reporting Peer Review Organization Negative Actions or Findings Reporting Private Accreditation Organization Negative Actions or Findings Reporting Exclusions from Participation in Federal or State Health Care Programs Reporting Federal or State Health Care-Related Criminal Convictions Reporting Health Care-Related Civil Judgments Reporting Other Adjudicated Actions or Decisions

Chapter A: Introduction and General Information


The NPDB Guidebook serves as a policy manual. It is one of a number of efforts to inform the U.S. health care community and others about the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the requirements established by the laws governing the NPDB, primarily:

  • Title IV of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (HCQIA), Public Law 99-660 (referred to as "Title IV");
  • Section 5 of the Medicare and Medicaid Patient and Program Protection Act of 1987, Public Law 100-93, codified as Section 1921 of the Social Security Act(referred to as "Section 1921"); and
  • Section 221(a) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Public Law 104-191, codified as Section 1128E of the Social Security Act (referred to as "Section 1128E").
By law, eligible entities report to the NPDB, query the NPDB, or both.

By law, certain entities (referred to as "eligible entities") report to the NPDB, query the NPDB, or both. Eligible entities include medical malpractice payers, hospitals and other health care entities, professional societies, health plans, peer review organizations, private accreditation organizations, quality improvement organizations, and certain federal and state agencies. Health care practitioners, entities, providers, and suppliers are authorized to query on themselves for information reported to the NPDB, since they may be the subjects of NPDB reports.

Final regulations implementing the laws referenced above governing the NPDB are found at 45 CFR Part 60. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for administering the NPDB.

The NPDB Guidebook is divided into broad topical sections:

This edition of the NPDB Guidebook reflects the entire range of NPDB policies, including those that have changed or expanded since the NPDB opened in September 1990. It briefly describes NPDB operational features and includes links to the NPDB website for more information. This edition replaces all previous versions of the NPDB Guidebook and the HIPDB Guidebook, which governed the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank, or HIPDB (see below).

Update October 2018

The following table describes changes made to the NPDB Guidebook. Style and formatting changes made throughout the Guidebook that do not affect the substance of the text are not indicated below. References to new figures added to this edition can be found in the Table of Figures.

  • Added reference to Appendix C to the list of the Guidebook's topical sections.
  • In the paragraph that follows the list of topical sections, modified the reference to the HIPDB Guidebook.
  • Changed the style of the heading of the section entitled "Title IV of Public Law 99-660, Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986."
  • Modified the second paragraph of the section entitled "Civil Money Penalties."

Sections Updated

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