Hospitals that don't report disciplinary actions against physicians to the National Practitioner Data Bank should have to pay a civil monetary penalty, according to HHS' inspector general's office.
In a July 21 memorandum to HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the data bank, Inspector General June Gibbs Brown recommended that the HRSA propose a bill that would fine hospitals $10,000 for each failure to report such actions.
Hospitals are required by law to report professional review actions that adversely affect the clinical privileges of physicians for more than 30 days.
Brown said as of 1998, about 67% of all hospitals had never reported an adverse action, although such actions occur at all hospitals.
HRSA Deputy Administrator Thomas Morford said his agency would like to see hospitals and other healthcare organizations be subjected to civil monetary penalties if they don't report incidents to the data bank.