Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney helps mental health professionals with behavioral health Arizona board issues
The job of the Arizona Behavioral Health Board is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each person who holds a license as a behavioral health professional in the State of Arizona is competent to practice safely. This means the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners has the authority to discipline the license of any behavioral health professional. Chelle Law’s Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorneys have represented over 1000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards and have the experience needed to help behavioral health professionals with Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners matters. We can assist all behavioral health professionals with Arizona Behavioral Health Board issues, including:
Arizona Board Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a behavioral health professional? Patients, Health Care Facilities, other Arizona professionals, among others. When the Arizona Behavioral Health Board receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the behavioral health professional will receive notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for behavioral health professionals as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at a Arizona Behavioral Health Board Meeting. Our attorneys can assist these behavioral health examiners professionals:
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Social Workers
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Licensed Substance Abuse Counselors
Behavioral Health Application Assistance
Applicants to the Arizona Behavioral Health Board who have a criminal history or previous discipline by the Arizona Behavioral Health Board (or any other 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 Board.
Reporting a Criminal Charge to the Behavioral Health Board
Behavioral health professionals who currently hold a valid license with the Arizona Behavioral Health Board or pending applicants must notify the Board of any criminal charge that may affect patient safety within ten business days. Learn what crimes an individual must report and the potential discipline that can come with it.
Impaired Professional Program (IPP)
In lieu of disciplinary action the Arizona Behavioral Health Board may allow a behavioral health professional to enter into an IPP Stipulated Confidential Recovery Agreement (SCRA). The IPP is a confidential program which monitors behavioral health professionals who are chemically dependent or have psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health disorders that impacts their ability to safely practice. The behavioral health professional will likely be offered entry into the Impaired Professional Program if:
- The behavioral health professional voluntarily requests admission to IPP.
- The licensee undergoes a substance abuse or psychological evaluation.
- The behavioral health professional agrees to follow all of the stipulations in the SCRA.
- The licensee admits to chemical dependency, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health disorders that impair their ability to safely practice.
Behavioral Health Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any licensee may request an appeal of an Arizona Behavioral Health Board disciplinary action; however, any Board appeal is not heard by an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). This Board oversees their own hearings. In some circumstances, a case can also be sent automatically to hearing. The hearing 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 the Board should rule one way or the other. A behavioral health professional’s lawyers can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After the hearing the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify their original decision. If a professional feels there has been an error they can request a rehearing or review with the health examiners board.
Arizona State Disciplinary Actions and Probation
Behavioral health professionals in Arizona with a license or certification in Arizona can receive Arizona Behavioral Health Board disciplinary actions. If the Board determines formal disciplinary action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Arizona State Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona laws and regulations. Thus, at an Arizona Behavioral Health Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each mental health professional investigation. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the behavioral health professional formal discipline. Disciplinary actions in Arizona can include:
- Letter of concern.
- Decree of censure.
- Non-disciplinary order for continuing education.
Arizona Behavioral Health Board Non Disciplinary Actions
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Arizona Board may dismiss a complaint if they determine the information indicates there was not a violation of the rules of the Arizona behavioral health professional Practice Act. This outcome is not available to the public.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the behavioral health professional’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate the Medical Practice Act or Board policy and no further contact is needed. This will not effect future licensure or if the behavioral health professional wishes to further their education. This is not shown on license verification.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the behavioral health professional must complete a number of hours of continuing medical education for specific topics.
Arizona Behavioral Health Professional Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a behavioral health professional’s license the behavioral health professional will be unable to practice or get licensed again for a minimum of five years. After the five year period license revocation the behavioral health professional will need to reapply for their license. If the behavioral health professional reapplies for licensure they must demonstrate the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions) has been rectified through an applicable program. This is a public document.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The behavioral health professional voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of this voluntary consent is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a behavioral health professional can reapply. This is usually between two to three years.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the behavioral health professional from practicing. It prohibits any patient contact or services for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- PROBATION: The Board offers probation through a consent agreement. The consent agreement requires the behavioral health professional do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Alternatively, they may need to refrain from doing things (unsupervised Medical like home health, working under the Medical licensure compact, using alcohol, etc.) A request for a removal of probation will be needed.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline against a respondent. There are no probationary requirements. However, the action is on the website for the public to inspect. This is similar to a civil penalty with other boards.
Behavioral Health Medical Attorney
To set up a consultation with our Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney at Chelle Law or to learn more about the services we provide to Arizona behavioral health professionals we invite you to reach out to us today.