The Guam Board of Medical Examiners does not list physician profiles on its website, despite the requirement established by law. However, that might be resolved.
Speaker Tina Muña Barnes, who introduced the Patient Protection Through Information Act, wrote a letter to board Chairman Dr. Nathaniel Berg in September seeking a status update on the database.
"The law states funding for the database can come from licensing and application fees. Given that laws are in place to address these issues, I am respectfully requesting a status update on this matter. Let us work together to change that statistic and do right by our people of Guam," Barnes wrote.
The pair initially met Friday to brief the speaker on the status of the PPTIA.
Chirag Bhojwani, the speaker's spokesman, said Berg highlighted some areas of law that needed clarification but advised that the website issue would be resolved shortly.
The speaker and Berg will be having a follow-up meeting with the Health Professional Licensing Office and Office of the Attorney General, Bhojwani said.
Disclose doctors’ disciplinary history
The PPTIA was enacted in September 2011 as Public Law 31-84 and required the board to disclose a licensee’s disciplinary history to anyone who asks.
Public Law 34-79, enacted in February 2018, required the board to establish and maintain a searchable website containing a profile page for each current and former licensee. The page should list the licensee’s current status, whether they are in good standing, enforcement actions they are subjected to, any accusations filed against them with the attorney general, and historical information, to include convictions and civil judgments.
The Guam Daily Post was not able to get a response from Berg but was able to confirm with HPLO administrator Zennia Pecina that the medical examiners board is working with the website vendor on information for the database.
Guam out of compliance with national databank
Barnes also drew attention to Guam's compliance rate with the National Practitioner Data Bank in her September letter to Berg.
Guam is 71% noncompliant with NPDB adverse action comparison reviews.
The Health Resources and Services Administration's Practitioner Data Bank division reviews reports submitted to the NPDB.
"We gather data regarding disciplinary actions taken by state licensing and certification agencies (State licensing boards). This data is compiled and compared with the actions submitted by the boards to the NPDB," its website stated
Medical physicians are among the professions not in compliance with NPDB reporting standards.
To be noncompliant, the state licensing board must not have responded to HRSA's request to reconcile missing report actions, not responded to request for data or refused to register with the NPDB "and submit reportable actions taken by the board to the NPDB."
However, Guam is 100% attested, meaning the state licensing boards certified Guam has submitted all required actions to the NPDB and will continue to report required actions 30 days after action is taken.