On May 19, 2014, Public Citizen petitioned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to close a loophole — known as the “corporate shield” loophole — that has allowed physicians and other health care providers to evade having medical malpractice payment reports submitted to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). Such evasions deprive users of the data bank, such as hospitals and state licensing boards, of important information about health care providers and jeopardize patient health and welfare. See the petition.
In July 2016, when HHS had still not granted or denied Public Citizen’s petition, we filed suit under the Administrative Procedure Act seeking to compel the agency to act on the petition. After we filed suit, the agency denied the petition and we dismissed the case.