The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) issued a press release earlier this week about the implementation of Section 1921, which expands the practitioner information the data bank collects. More details about the new Section 1921 regulation will be published in the Federal Register within the next five to 10 days.
Nevertheless, the press release revealed that Section 1921 will expand the information contained in the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) to include:
- Adverse licensure actions taken against all licensed healthcare practitioners
- Any negative actions or findings by State licensing agencies, peer review organizations, and private accreditation organizations against all health care practitioners and entities
Anne Mitchell, RN and Vicki Galle, RN, two nurses from West Texas, tried reporting a physician’s problem behavior through designated hospital channels. When their complaints fell on deaf ears, they took the next step and anonymously reported the physician to the Texas Medical Board.
If you’re a follower of Rita Schwab’s Supporting Safer Healthcare blog you already know what happened next – the medical board notified the physician of its investigation. In turn, the physician contacted the local sheriff to file a harassment report. The sheriff’s investigation led to third degree felony charges for the nurses.
Newspaper columnists have also come out in support of the nurses, saying the state’s whistleblower laws should offer more protection.
What do you think of the case? Do you think a similar situation could occur within your medical staff?
Practitioners prescribing medication need to be licensed to practice in the state where they are prescribing, otherwise they could end up in prison like one former Colorado psychiatrist.
Christian Hageseth, a former psychiatrist, prescribed antidepressants after telephone patient consults. One out-of-state patient later committed suicide. Although an investigation found that the antidepressants were not linked to the death, Hareseth was sentenced to nine months in prison for prescribing without an in-state license.
“This really doesn’t have anything to do with telemedicine; it really has to do with following the appropriate protocols in both patient management and license credentialing,” says Dale Alverson, MD, president-elect of the American Telemedicine Association and medical director for the Center for Telehealth at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences told Modern Medicine in a June 5 article. “If you’re going to practice healthcare in another state, whether it’s virtually through telehealth or face to face, you should be duly licensed and credentialed.”
The Medical Board of California revoked Dr. Roy Chi Wing Lung’s medical license after he was found to have repeatedly stolen medical supplies from hospitals to sell on eBay, according to an Orange County Register article.
In 2004, the physician allegedly stole two computers from Long Beach Memorial Medical Center after showing up at the hospital in scrubs in an attempt to blend in.