Originally published in the December 2010 NABP Newsletter
Boards Strive to Remain Compliant with HRSA Reporting Requirements
With an increase of nearly 99%, disciplinary actions reported by the boards of pharmacy to the NABP Clearinghouse between January 1 and August 31, jumped from 1,667 in 2009 to 3,316 in 2010. Of the actions reported this year, 2,071 were taken against pharmacists and 1,245 were taken against pharmacy technicians.
Showing an even more dramatic increase than the Clearinghouse, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Division of Practitioner Data Banks (DPDB) published in its October 2010 issue of the NPDB-HIPDB Data Bank News that more than 72,000 reports were submitted to the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) and National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) between February 1 and June 21, 2010. This represented nearly double the number of reports submitted during the entire year in 2009.
Since NABP acts as a reporting agent for many of the boards of pharmacy, often providing electronic records directly to HIPDB, these increases in reporting experienced by both organizations may likely be attributed to the new requirements set by DPDB. Earlier this year, DPDB began requiring that all state health care practitioner licensing and certification authorities, state health care entity licensing and certification authorities, peer review organizations, and private accreditation organizations report adverse licensing actions taken against licensed health care practitioners since January 1, 1992, to HIPDB and NPDB.
In March 2010, DPDB implemented a multiphase compliance plan to ensure that the information in the HIPDB and NPDB remains complete and accurate. As part of the initial phase of the compliance plan, DPDB focused on 13 state nursing boards, comparing the data obtained from the boards with the data available in HIPDB. These comparisons resulted in lists of potentially missing reports, which were then sent to the nursing boards along with requests to reconcile the data. Next, DPDB honed in on the states and territories that appeared to have never reported on licensed professions that are certified or authorized by the state or territory. Additionally, DPDB identified six professions most frequently queried by hospitals and conducted similar comparisons of the data as it did for the nursing boards. The six professions included pharmacists, nursing-related professions, physician assistants, podiatrists, social workers, and psychologists. As with the nursing boards, each state board within those six professions was then sent a request to reconcile data and provide a corrective action plan to submit the missing information as appropriate.
Beginning June 21, 2010, DPDB also began posting the compliance status of government agencies on its Web site. Doing so after the agencies were audited, DPDB categorized each as Compliant, Non-Compliant, Working Toward Compliance, or Under Review. DPDB is committed to improving the completeness and accuracy of the data banks and will continue to monitor reporting compliance, posting updated compliance statuses on its Web site.
Resource to the Boards
Working to gather the necessary information to further assist the boards of pharmacy, NABP has been in contact with HRSA and recently attended the Data Banks Education Forum in Chicago, IL. Should a board of pharmacy receive an auditing letter from the DPDB indicating that the board is missing information, NABP is prepared to assist the board in every way possible in order to ensure that it is compliant with reporting requirements.
The Association continues to encourage all of the state boards to designate NABP as their reporting agent to HIPDB. By doing so, boards are able to free up valuable resources and staff time to focus on more important issues. To date, 29 boards of pharmacy have designated NABP as a reporting agent, allowing the Association to electronically transmit records provided by the board directly to HIPDB. As stated in the NABP Constitution and Bylaws, the boards of pharmacy are required to report disciplinary actions and updates to the NABP Clearinghouse as this information is essential to maintaining the lines of communication among the states, especially in instances where a pharmacist or technician holds licensure or registration in multiple states.
Additional information on designating NABP as a reporting agent is available on the NABP Web site.