Health Care Professionals Demand Access to Public Files


Oct. 10, 2011

The effort to convince the Administration to reverse its decision to bar public access to a health information database got support from leading university researchers and mentioned in the New York Times. 

The Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) has been leading an effort, supported by the NFOIC and leading journalism organizations to protest the decision, which was in response to a Kansas City Star news story.  Last week, Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking opposition member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, protesting the move.  And now, 23 leading health care researchers from universities around the country sent a strongly-worded letter to Sebelius, saying they condemned the action “in the strongest possible terms.”

The National Practitioner Data Bank, which records malpractice awards and other health quality indices, is “an indispensable resource for academic researchers,” the letter said. 

We posted a link last week to the health care journalists association’s blog on the issue.  The New York Times account, written since that blog but before the university researchers joined the fray, can be found at this link:

— by Kenneth F. Bunting, executive director, NFOIC