Arizona Behavioral Health Board Disciplinary Actions | How Arizona Board Actions Affect a Behavioral Health Professional
Arizona Behavioral Health Board disciplinary actions are given to behavioral health professionals with a license or certification in Arizona. If the Board determines formal disciplinary 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 Arizona laws and regulations. Chelle Law’s Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorneys have represented over 1,000 healthcare professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law, our attorneys have the experience to help behavioral health professionals with all Arizona Behavioral Health Board matters.
Thus, at a Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary action or vote to offer the behavioral health professional formal discipline. Disciplinary actions 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 affect 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 period of time. After the time period of 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 application 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 practice, using alcohol, etc.) A request for the removal of probation will be needed.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A letter of reprimand is the lowest level of formal discipline against a respondent. There are no probationary requirements. This is similar to a civil penalty with other boards.
AZ Behavioral Health Board Complaint Information
Who can file an Arizona Behavioral Health Board Complaint against a behavioral health professional? Patients, health care facilities, and other 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 receives 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, and interview with the investigator, while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Behavioral Health Board.
Responding to a Records Request
After receiving an Arizona Behavioral Health Board Complaint or self-report, a behavioral health professional receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Medical Board assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected include:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the behavioral health professional’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Consultation with Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.