Chicago partner Fatema Zanzi was quoted in a Health Law Reporter article titled, “Federal Court Clarifies NPDB Reporting Requirements.” 

The article discussed the recent federal court ruling in Doe V. Rogers, which provides valuable guidance on when physician resignations trigger National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) reporting duties. The reporting duty is triggered when a resignation occurs while the doctor is under investigation (even if the doctor is unaware he or she is under an investigation by the hospital); however what constitutes “an investigation” is one of the most highly debated questions under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA), said Fatema.

While the court in Doe v. Rogers adopted a broad reading of “investigation,” Fatema commented that the decision doesn't draw a “bright line” for providers, and that the NPDB’s 2015 Guidebook reserves to the NPDB the “ultimate authority” to determine whether an investigation was underway at the time of a physician's resignation.

Fatema said that the court reached the right conclusion and that the ruling highlights how important it is for hospitals to “document, as clearly as possible, when an investigation” concerning a physician begins.

There are “a lot of nuances” involved in determining what constitutes an investigation, and careful documentation might help resolve the issue, she said.

Read the rest of Fatema’s comments in Federal Court Clarifies NPDB Reporting Requirements.