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NPDB Basis for Action

Explaining disciplinary action categories

The Basis for Disciplinary Action Definitions and Descriptions is a tool developed by FSBPT that categorizes the basis for disciplinary action. It includes definitions and guidelines to help state licensing authorities understand how to report disciplinary actions they take.


Need to report disciplinary actions?

Email us at FSBPT encourages anyone reporting physical therapy disciplinary actions to use these definitions. This will establish a level of consistency that will allow the data to be used to determine trends, focus on prevention and evaluate the effectiveness of remedial actions.


Any questions?

Email us at FSBPT welcomes questions and comments about this document. We hope to continually update this document to reflect the issues that jurisdictions face in dealing with disciplinary actions of licensees.


Alert system for public protection

Once decisions are made about sanctioned individuals, the information is stored in FSBPT's Exam Licensure and Disciplinary Database (ELDD). This database serves as an alert mechanism for physical therapy licensing boards.

For example, if a licensee holds multiple licenses and gets disciplined in one jurisdiction, FSBPT's ELDD will alert the other jurisdictions in which the individual is licensed. This prevents sanctioned individuals from moving across state lines to avoid the effects of disciplinary action.

Beyond this, however, the database is a rich source of data that can help licensing boards formulate decisions based on evidence.


Background information

In the early 2000’s when the FSBPT first planned its disciplinary database, the federal government was implementing the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB). These federal data banks serve as a repository of information about health care providers in the United States. Federal law requires that adverse actions taken against a health care professional's license be reported to these data banks.

Since all jurisdictions were required to report to the NPDB-HIPDB, the decision was made to use the same Basis for Action Categories for the Federation’s database as the NPDB-HIPDB. This was to avoid duplication and keep things as simple as possible for the FSBPT members filling out NPDB-HIPDB reports.

Effective May 6, 2013, the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) merged into one Data Bank: the NPDB.


Consistency was needed to make the data useful

Unfortunately there were no specific definitions for these Basis for Action Categories and in the intervening years, the NPDB has not developed definitions. Without specific definitions for the categories, it is impossible to determine when to use one category versus another. As a result every jurisdiction categorizes the data differently. Without consistency, the data has limited, if any use.

To help solve this problem, the FSBPT board of directors appointed the Disciplinary Categories Task Force to develop definitions and guidelines for how and when to use the categories. The task force was represented by four different jurisdictions as well as a board attorney. Over the course of several months, they defined and refined the categories. They used sample cases to test their definitions. This document is the result of this group’s efforts.


More tools

Below are more tools that we have developed for state licensing authorities in the regulation of physical therapy.