The NPDB is a confidential information clearinghouse with the primary goal of improving health care quality, protecting the public, and reducing health care fraud and abuse in the U.S by seeking to prevent health care providers and other entities from moving from state to state without disclosure of previous damaging or incompetent performance. The NPDB, created by federal law, requires reporting of medical malpractice payments and certain adverse actions related to health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers.
Although these reports are not available to the general public, various entities (eg. hospitals and other health care entities) may query the NPDB to obtain information on a specific licensee or entity. These web-based reports are available in real-time and are meant to serve primarily as a national flagging system. Once flagged, the querier should complete a comprehensive review of the credentials of health care practitioner, entity, provider or supplier.