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Don’t ask/don’t tell: Feds keep partial muzzle on reporters of discipline data

Photo by Matt Hilger

For more than two and a half years, journalists who consult the National Practitioner Data Bank, the federal repository of state disciplinary actions involving health professionals, have had to agree to a special condition. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which operates the data bank, bars reporters from naming physicians and other providers they can match up with other publicly available data to identify those who have reached often confidential settlements in malpractice cases filed by patients.

It's an ongoing point of dispute among state and federal officials controlling discipline information, professional associations concerned about misuse of data . . .

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