Several hundred medical malpractice cases settled or adjudicated by the Department of Health and Human Services between 1997 and 2004 were not reported to a national repository of provider data, the HHS Office of Inspector General said in report released Oct. 19.

All HHS medical malpractice cases must be reported to the National Practitioner Database (NPDB). However, the OIG found that 474 cases that should have been in the database were not included.

Agencies for which medical malpractice cases were underreported to the NPDB were the Health Resources and Services Administration (which oversees the NPDB), the Indian Health Service, and the National Institutes of Health. Cases were not included in the database for a number of reason, the OIG said, including lost medical malpractice files and incomplete information in medical malpractice files.

BNA’s Health Care Daily Report; Thursday, October 20, 2005