KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

ProPublica: Docs Avoid Penalties In Suits Against Device Companies

This report notes that despite payments by drug and device companies, none of the more than 75 doctors named as participants were sanctioned.

ProPublica: Doctors Avoid Penalties In Suits Against Medical Firms
At least 15 drug and medical-device companies have paid $6.5 billion since 2008 to settle accusations of marketing fraud or kickbacks. However, none of the more than 75 doctors named as participants were sanctioned, despite allegations of fraud or of conduct that put patients at risk, a review by ProPublica found (Weber and Ornstein, 9/16).

Meanwhile, negative reactions continue in response to a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to remove a public data file on payments in medical malpractice cases and other clinician disciplinary actions.

Medscape: Removal Of Online Malpractice Data Sparks Outcry
Journalists and consumer groups are calling on a federal agency to reverse its decision to remove a public data file on payments in medical malpractice cases and clinician disciplinary actions from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Web site. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which operates the NPDB, removed the file from the Web site on September 1 after news organizations such as the Kansas City Star managed to use it to identify physicians frequently accused of malpractice who went undisciplined by state medical boards. The NPDB data does not include physician names or addresses, but journalists have traced the data to individuals by piecing it together with other data sources (Lowes, 9/17).

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