Arizona Acupuncture Board Criminal Reporting: criminal consequences for anacupuncturist with the Arizona Board ofAcupuncture
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires thatacupuncturist licensees and applicants for anacupuncture license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the ArizonaAcupuncture Board within 10 working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the ArizonaMedical Practice Act and could result in ArizonaAcupuncture Board Probation.
What Current and Past Crimes Must anAcupuncturist Report to the Arizona Acupuncture Board?
A felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of misdemeanor or other criminal histories are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty and Related Offenses
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Medical Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in ArizonaAcupuncture Board Probation.
DUI Effects on a License
Acupuncturists who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows anacupuncture professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona StateAcupuncture Board? The short answer is yes. An ArizonaAcupuncturist DUI will not necessarily prevent an acupuncturist from obtaining a license or a career in the health field. However, the Board (which handles all complaints) has a public policy (updated as of September 2020) on their website which covers the details of what circumstancesacupuncture professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Disclosing a Record for an Arizona State Applicant
If an acupuncturist license applicant is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based upon the results of a health care fingerprint background check. The Board will then contact the professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Medical Practice Act (current as of October 2020). This license investigation determines whether theacupuncturist is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether theacupuncturist has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. Simply, the Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Acupuncture Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows an acupuncture professional with a felony criminal background or an arrest to get a license with the ArizonaAcupuncture Board? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony foracupuncturists will not necessarily prevent anacupuncturist from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on their website which covers the details of under what circumstances anacupuncturist with a case that resulted in criminal records can get a license.
Criminal Charges and Behavior Analyst Rules with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona’sAcupuncture Board, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. Anacupuncturist must self report a felony no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the conviction. After self-reporting occurs, the Board contacts theacupuncturist and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Medical Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the acupuncture professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether theacupuncturist has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put,Acupuncture Boards want to know whether theacupuncture applicant can provide safe care.
Arizona Acupuncture Board Probation Information
When anacupuncturist faces ArizonaAcupuncture Board Probation the probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires theacupuncturist do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (using alcohol, prescribing schedule drugs, seeing certain patients, etc.). The ArizonaAcupuncture Board can placeacupuncturists on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Acupuncturists who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the ArizonaAcupuncture Board for many different reasons. If theAcupuncture Board determines notification of formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Medical Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an ArizonaAcupuncture Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense attorney may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer theacupuncturist formal discipline.
Acupuncturist Practice Disciplinary Actions
Acupuncturists who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face license actions by the AZ Board of Acupuncture for any investigatory matters. If the Board determines formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Acupuncture Board Meeting the Board (see Meeting Agendas and Minutes) will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense attorney may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the acupuncturist formal discipline.
Examples of Acupuncture Disciplinary Actions include:
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board may dismiss a case if they determine there was not a violation of Arizona law.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the acupuncturist’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate Arizona law. (Not uncommon for a first time DUI)
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER: The Board will require a prescribed number of hours of continuing education that provides the necessary understanding of current developments, skills, procedures or treatment.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements.
- PROBATION: Probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the acupuncturist to do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (unsupervised care, using alcohol, etc.).
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the acupuncturist from practicing as a acupuncturist for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a acupuncturist‘s license the acupuncturist will be unable to provide care for a minimum amount of time. After the period the acupuncturist will have to reapply for their license after the five year period has ended. If the acupuncturist reapplies for licensure the acupuncturist must must demonstrate that the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions, medical issues) has been rectified.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The acupuncturist voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of a voluntary surrender is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a acupuncturist can reapply (between 2 to 3 years).
Board of Acupuncture Application Denial Assistance
Applicants to the Arizona Board of Acupuncture who have a criminal history from years ago (like a DUI) or previous case discipline by the Arizona Board of Acupuncture (or any other acupuncture Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure. Thus, those with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards will be investigated by the Arizona Board of Acupuncture after receiving contact of an investigation.
Reporting a Misdemeanor to the Arizona Board
Acupuncturists who currently hold a valid license with the Arizona Board of Acupuncture or pending applicants must notify the board of acupuncture of any criminal charge that may affect patient safety within ten (10) business days (like a DUI). acupuncturists should learn what crimes an individual must report and the potential discipline that can come with it.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Acupuncture Board Complaint or self-report, an acupuncturist receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Acupuncture Board assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the acupuncturist’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the owner, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Appeals of Arizona Acupuncture Board Decisions by Attorneys
It’s always disappointing when an acupuncturist receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Acupuncture Board (“AB“). However, acupuncturists in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Acupuncture Board Appeals and hearings after an Arizona Acupuncture Board Complaint is heard. If you are facing an unfavorable AB outcome due to an Arizona Acupuncture Board Disciplinary Action, you can always appeal the decision.
Acupuncture License Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any professional acupuncturist licensee may request a legal appeal of an Arizona Acupuncture Board disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The OAH hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The administrative process is not as formal as a trial, but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A acupuncturist’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
Protect Your License with Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our ArizonaAcupuncture Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.