Since 1990, the state medical and dental boards have been required to report certain disciplinary actions taken against the professionals they license to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
Professional societies, too, must report adverse actions taken against their members, while insurers must report all malpractice payments. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services makes this information available to state licensure boards and certain healthcare entities to facilitate the tracking of professionals who are disciplined in one state, then seek licensure in another. Healthcare facilities must query the Data Bank at least every two years regarding each member of their staff.
Many states now post this information on public websites as well, allowing patients to consider the legal history of practitioners when choosing a healthcare provider.