Until my retirement three years ago I was Associate Director for Research and Disputes for HRSA's National Practitioner Data Bank. For over 10 years I read every Secretarial Review request, assigned every case to staff reviewers, and approved every decision before forwarding it for final approval and signature by the Director. In other words, I have great familiarity with this matter.
Before turning to the eight suggestions, I must take issue with the implication that a report to the NPDB can destroy a career. It is the underlying actions that hurt careers, not reports to the Data Bank. Applications for licensure, privileges, etc., require physicians to disclose more than is required to be reported to the Data Bank. For example, the Data Bank does not require reporting of pending cases; applications do. Honest physicians have nothing to fear from Data Bank reports; they have to disclose the same information regardless of the Data Bank.
It also should be noted that there are thousands of physicians with multiple reports in the Data Bank who continue to practice and, often, to have even more actions taken against them and reported. If the Data Bank ended careers, physicians would not continue to have action after action taken against them.