Contract awarded for malpractice databases

SRA International Inc. has been awarded a six-year, $77 million contract to operate two databases with information on health care providers who have had malpractice settlements and other negative actions against them.

The database, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, is operated by SRA from the company's offices in Fair Lakes, Va., where it keeps adverse information on more than 160,000 doctors, dentists, nurses and other health professionals.

The databases —the National Practitioner Data Bank(NPDB) and the Health Care Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB)—were established by Congress as national repositories to help safeguard health care systems against high-risk practitioners moving from state to state or job to job to continue practicing medicine.

It gives health care providers a way to see if any malpractice judgments have been made against job applicants or employees. The data is Web-based and eliminates the need to have a paper-based system, said Renny DiPentima, president of SRA's government sector.

The database, designed and implemented by SRA seven years ago, processes more than 3 million transactions a year.

The fee-for-query system is accessible through the Internet to authorized users and generates more than $12 million in revenue a year for the federal government.

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