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National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)

A federal registry of adverse actions taken against doctors (e.g., payments made on behalf of doctors by professional liability insurers). The NPDB, created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986, was intended to restrict the ability of doctors to move their practices from one state to another without disclosing previous unprofessional or incompetent conduct. However, given the potential abuses inherent in this system, only hospitals, boards of medical examiners, state licensing boards, and the individual physicians have unrestricted access to the NPDB. Correspondingly, limitations have been imposed upon access to the NPDB by insurers and plaintiffs attorneys.


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