Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Can your coworkers work in healthcare?

For those of you who work in the healthcare industry, it comes as no surprise that things have to be checked, double checked, and then for good measure, checked again (not that this always happens, but that's the hope). One of the things that has to be reviewed is the list of people that work with patient information and to ensure that they are not part of any "special" lists. The main ones are: All of these provide some sort of web search interface (SDN, OIG, SAM), but this gets a bit tedious there are more than 3 employees... especially if you have to check this for every employee every month (which we do).

As such, I put together a simple python script that checks a list of people against all three lists by downloading the actual exclusion lists. The lists that it downloads are: You may have noticed that there are no downloads for the FDA Debarment List (Drug Product Applications) and the TRICARE excluded provider sanction list. Unfortunately, those lists aren't available for download, and so this script scrapes the appropriate sites to obtain the lists.

It's nothing fancy and doesn't cover all cases, but it should be enough to get you started. Note, you will still have to perform actual background checks as well, but this can be run more frequently. You can run the script via:
python background_exclusion_check.py
Note, you will need to have requests installed as it uses that to download the files. In case you don't feel like going over to github to take a look at the code, here it is in full.

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