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Keywords:

  • National Practioner Data Bank;
  • Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank;
  • adverse action reports;
  • malpractice;
  • nurse-midwifery;
  • midwifery;
  • credentialing

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), mandated by federal legislation in 1986, serves as a mechanism to protect the public from unsafe practitioners who attempt to avoid discovery of prior negligent behavior or malpractice record(s) by moving from state to state. Reporting to the NPDB about malpractice payments on behalf of nurse-midwives began in 1990. Reporting of providers excluded from Medicare and Medicaid program participation began in September 1999. Practitioners who were already in an excluded status at that time were reported. Reports of adverse action against a nurse-midwife can be submitted to the NPDB by a state licensure board, a governmental agency, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, or other health care organizations. Reporting of licensing actions and clinical privilege actions are not required, although these may be voluntarily reported. The NPDB received 484 reports about nurse-midwives from September 1, 1999, to March 31, 2005. Of the 484 reports, 375 have an obstetric malpractice code. The median claim payment made on behalf of nurse-midwives during this period is $225,000. Although limited, the NPDB is the only systematic national source of nurse-midwifery malpractice data collection.