The federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid contributed to gaps in a national database of disciplined health care providers when it failed to report disciplinary actions as required by law, a new investigation found.
Significant gaps in the decades-old database came to light earlier this year when ProPublica found that many states hadn’t been reporting disciplinary actions taken against doctors, nurses, therapists and other health practitioners as required.
But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency that’s part of the Department of Health and Human Services, essentially undermined its own department’s efforts to manage and maintain the federal database.
The new investigation was conducted by the department’s inspector general. It found that CMS, which oversees health care programs serving about 45 million Medicare beneficiaries and 59 million Medicaid beneficiaries, took disciplinary action against numerous bad medical providers but did not report those actionsto the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank. Continue reading →