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NPDB Research Statistics


Data Collection

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) routinely collects information relating to medical malpractice payments and certain adverse actions taken by hospitals and other health care entities, professional societies, health plans, peer review organizations, private accreditation organizations, Federal and State licensing and certification authorities, and certain other Federal and State agencies. More information about the NPDB can be found in About Us. The report level data used in this data analysis application reflect medical malpractice payment and adverse action information, including state licensure and certification actions, clinical privileges/panel membership and professional society membership actions, and HHS/OIG and DEA actions. The term "unique practitioner" is used under the NPDB Practitioners tab to denote the following: one practitioner can be counted in multiple types and in multiple states, which would cause a summation of either category to be greater than the actual unique practitioner count.

Legislation and Regulations

The Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (HCQIA), as amended, Title IV of Public Law 99-660 (42 U.S.C. 11101 et seq.), led to the establishment of the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). Title IV authorized the NPDB to collect and disclose to authorized queriers certain information relating to the professional competence and conduct of physicians, dentists, and other health care practitioners. Subsequent laws later expanded the information collected and disclosed by the NPDB and modified its operations. Most recently, Congress passed Section 6403 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Public Law 111-148 to eliminate duplication between the NPDB and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB). On May 6, 2013, NPDB operations were consolidated with those of the former HIPDB. As a result of this consolidation, information previously collected and disclosed by the HIPDB is now collected and disclosed by the NPDB. This legislation established the NPDB as the single Data Bank to receive and disclose information collected under Title IV, Section 1921 of the Social Security Act, and Section 1128E of the Social Security Act. Information is available to eligible entities based on the requirements of each law. As of May 6, 2013, this NPDB Research Statistics page contains practitioner reports received by the NPDB and includes state licensure and certification actions, clinical privileges/panel membership and professional society membership actions, and HHS/OIG and DEA actions.

Information reported to the NPDB is confidential and can be provided only to authorized queriers, based on their eligibility to receive the information under each of the three laws. Authorized queriers include hospitals, other health care entities with formal peer review, professional societies with formal peer review, quality improvement organizations, health plans, state licensing and certification authorities, Federal licensing and certification agencies, state law enforcement agencies, state agencies administering State health care programs, state Medicaid Fraud Units, agencies or contractors administering Federal health care programs, U.S. Comptroller General, Federal law enforcement agencies and officials, health care practitioners and health care entities, providers and suppliers (self-query), and plaintiff's attorney/pro se plaintiffs (under limited circumstances).

Under section 426 of the HCQIA (42 USC 11135), as implemented by regulations at 45 CFR part 60.13(a)(2)(ix), data may be released to "a person or entity who requests information in a form which does not permit the identification of any particular health care entity, physician, dentist, or other health care practitioner." This information is released in accordance with that provision to facilitate research use of NPDB information by persons interested in medical malpractice, licensing, discipline, and quality assurance issues.

Limitations of the Data

  • Data for 1990 reflect only reports submitted on or after September 1, 1990.
  • Data include reports for the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Armed Forces, and other territories.
  • Data limitations exist for various practitioner types based on the historical data reporting requirements that are described above.
  • Data for this application are based on the most recent full calendar year processed by NPDB for report purposes.
  • Analyses resulting from this annually-updated application may not match those obtained from the Public Use File, which is updated quarterly. The data are aggregated using variables not available in the Public Use File.