Lawmaker wants to give patients access to database of disciplined doctors

Tuesday, November 2nd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The government keeps a database that lists
doctors who have been disciplined for incompetence, malpractice or other problems.

But the way things now stand, only a select few people are allowed to use the National Practitioner Data Bank, which was created by Congress a decade ago. They include hospital
administrators, licensing boards and H-M-0's.

They use the database to check doctors' records before hiring them or issuing them

Now, a prominent House Republican is questioning whether the public has a right to use the database. Congressman Thomas Bliley
plans congressional hearings early next year to pursue the issue.

The American Medical Association has lobbied fiercely to prevent Congress from opening the database.