The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions is responsible for receiving reports of medical malpractice payments and adverse actions against medical providers in the United States. It maintains the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) that receives reports of medical malpractice payments and adverse actions against health care practitioners.
The 2006 Annual Report of the National Practitioner Data Bank noted that the majority of reports for the NPDB were medical malpractice payments for physicians, dentists, and other licensed practitioners. Most of the reports for adverse actions were State licensure actions that included licensure actions, clinical privileges affecting a practitioner’s privileges for more than 30 days, Medicare/Medicaid Exclusion actions, professional society membership disciplinary actions, actions taken by the Drug Enforcement Administration concerning authorization to prescribe controlled substances, and revisions to such actions, all of which are required to be reported to the NPDB if they are taken against physicians and dentists.
Physicians make up the majority of practitioners reported to the NPDB (7 out of 10 reports in the NPDB). Of the 237,835 practitioners reported to the NPDB, 69.3% were physicians, 13.3% were dentists, 9.2% were professional nurses and para-professional nurses, and 2.8% were chiropractors. 66.8% of the physicians with medical malpractice reports had only 1 medical malpractice report in the NPDB (85% had 2 or fewer medical malpractice reports in the NPDB). 6.2% of the physicians had both medical malpractice reports and adverse action reports in the NPDB. Physicians had the highest average of medical malpractice reports (1.87) per reported practitioner.
The 2006 Annual Report noted that physicians with at least two medical malpractice payment reports were responsible for the majority of medical malpractice payment reports for physicians. Approximately 33.2% (48,566) of the 146,309 physicians with medical malpractice payment reports had 2 or more of such reports for a total of 138,199 medical malpractice payment reports (58.6% of the 235,942 medical malpractice payment reports in the NPDB for physicians).
The 1% of the physicians with the largest total payments in the NPDB were responsible for about 11.7% of all the money paid for physicians in medical malpractice judgments or settlements reported to the NPDB. The 5% of the physicians with the largest total payments in the NPDB were responsible for 31.5% of the total dollars paid for the physicians. 11.6% of the physicians with at least one medical malpractice payment were responsible for one-half of all medical malpractice dollars paid from September 1, 1990 through December 31, 2006.
If you or a family member were the victim of medical malpractice by a physician or another health care practitioner, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim. You may also reach us toll free at 800-295-3959.
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