And apparently they have been enjoying one for some time, at least when it comes to reporting malpractice awards and settlements to the National Practitioner Data Bank., as reported here in the New York Times. The law requiring reporting to the Data Bank explicitly applies to federal government health services as well as the private sector. However, the new inspector general has found that non-compliance on the part of government health services is routine. The excuses cited by the federal agencies, such as the NIH and the Indian Health Service, are that sometimes the records get lost, or that they just plain don’t think they should have to comply.
What’s being done about it? The Times piece concludes with:
“Betty James Duke, administrator of the health services agency, said she would soon recommend changes to ‘ensure greater compliance’ with the reporting requirements. But in discussions with the inspector general's staff, federal agencies did not make any firm commitments. ‘It was not clear whether they would fully comply,’ Mr. Levinson wrote.”