The National Practitioner Data Bank is supposed to make it harder for incompetent physicians to move from state to state without disclosing malpractice payments or sanctions for substandard care. But several hundred reports about malpractice payments appear to be missing, Public Citizen reports. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been violating its own policy requiring the reporting of all malpractice payments, by not reporting those involving federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.
By the way, Sunday, AJC investigative reporter Danny Robbins takes a look at Georgia's record in dealing with troubled doctors who have practiced in other states. Then on Monday, he has a story about a Georgia system that is supposed to provide patients with information about doctors' malpractice payments, disciplinary actions and other sanctions. Find the stories on MyAJC.com. You can also find out if your doctor carries malpractice insurance by clicking here.