April 16, 2020
We are experiencing significant changes in healthcare as a result of COVID-19 and it’s not just been about patient care but also administrative changes, specifically changes to regulatory requirements.
On April 15, 2020, the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) announced through their NPDBD Insights that they are waiving all query fees beginning March 1, 2020 through May 30, 2020 for all registered active organizations. The waiver includes one-time query and continuous query, it does not cover self-queries.
In their FAQs, it was clarified that all registered active organizations will be credited query fees submitted on or after March 1, 2020 and that there is no limit to the number of queries that an organization can submit during this time. It was also noted in their FAQs that the NPDB is funded through query fees and the waiver of fees has been set up to support organizations during the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, if an organization has a schedule in place to run their queries, the NPDB is asking organizations continue to submit their queries as scheduled rather than submit now under the waiver.
Organizations that have activated their disaster plan and are credentialing and privileging providers, querying the NPDB is required. They have “added a query purpose specific to COVID-19 to identify queries run specifically to support your organization’s response to the COVI-19 pandemic”. Again, query fees will be waived for all purposes selected.
One additional point that is very important, is that despite the CMS and TJC extension of reappointment or re-privileging, the NPDB is not following suit. The NPDB will continue to require organizations to query all physicians or any provider with privileges once every two years. Therefore, if your organization has or will implement the extension of reappointment or re-privileging during the National Emergency, as permitted by CMS and TJC, you are still required to query the NPDB at the two-year schedule if your providers are not enrolled in continuous query. Continuous query is recommended by the NPDB and is considered best practice. The benefits of enrolling your providers in continuous query ensures that organizations are notified immediately when a reportable action has been taken and submitted to the NPDB rather than waiting for the two-year query and potentially delaying critical information.
Addition information: https://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/coronavirus.jsp
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