Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Appeals | PA Board Defense for an Arizona Physician Assistants
It’s always disappointing when a physician assistants (PA) receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Board of Physician Assistants (“ABPA“). However, physician assistants in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Board appeals and hearings after a case is heard by the Board. If you are facing an unfavorable ABPA outcome due to an offered disciplinary action, you can always appeal the decision and request an administrative hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Filing an Appeal after a Board of Physician Assistants Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: Once the Board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation into the Arizona physician assistant license. The purpose of this investigation is to give the ABPA evidence to make a decision on whether or not a physician assistant should face disciplinary action. If the physician assistant receives an unfavorable formal disciplinary decision, it is at this point, they can then file an appeal and request a hearing with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will then oversee the appeal and the physician assistant may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held (if requested).
Arizona PA Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any physician assistant licensee may request a legal appeal board discipline 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 Arizona’s 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 physician assistant’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 by appealing the decision by the department.
Criminal Information Reporting Requirements for a Physician Assistant
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that physician assistant licensees and applicants for a physician assistant license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the 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 Arizona statutes.
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Criminal Reporting requirements hold that 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 Arizona Revised Statutes § 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 Board Probation.
DUI Criminal History
Physician Assistants who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows a physician assistant with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona Physician Assistant DUI will not necessarily prevent a physician assistant 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 circumstances physician assistant with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Physician Assistant License Criminal Consequences
This specific policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a physician assistant applies for a license to practice to the Board, they need to disclose any felony DUI criminal court convictions (from previous years) on their application. A physician assistant must report a felony DUI no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the time of the conviction or case. The AZ Board may also ask about past DUI misdemeanor criminal charges or cases that resulted in a conviction. This is done to ensure a physician assistant can perform safe patient care and can have safe direct contact with patients or other providers.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for a Professional Applicant
If a physician assistant 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 the physician assistant licensee is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the physician assistant 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.
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Complaint Lawyer | Board Complaint Defense for AZ Physician Assistants
Who can file a complaint against a physician assistant? Patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Board of Physician Assistants 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 physician assistant receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for physician assistants as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Board of Physician Assistants.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Complaint or self-report, a physician assistant receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Board of Physician Assistants 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 physician assistant’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Board of Physician Assistants Probation
When a physician assistant faces Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Probation the probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the physician assistant to 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 Board can place physician assistants on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Physician assistants who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Board for many different reasons. 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 Medical Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Board of Physician Assistants 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 the physician assistant formal discipline which will affect the supervising physician relationship.
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Probation Attorney | AZ PA Board Defense for Physician Assistants
Probation from the Arizona Board of Physician Assistants against the licenses of physician assistants in Arizona is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the physician assistant 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 Arizona Board of Physician Assistants can place physician assistant on probation through:
- License restriction
Physician assistants who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by a Arizona Regulatory Board for many different reasons. If the Board of Physician Assistants 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 Medical Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Board of Physician Assistants 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 the physician assistant formal discipline.
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Attorney | Attorneys for AZ Physician Assistants Board Issues
The Arizona Board of Physician Assistants protects and promote the welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each person who holds a license as a physician assistant in the State of Arizona is competent to practice safely. This means the Arizona Board of Physician Assistants has the authority to discipline the license of any physician assistant.
Chelle Law’s Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Attorneys have represented over 1,000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards and have the experience needed to help physician assistants with Arizona Board of Physician Assistants matters. We can assist you with:
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Disciplinary Actions | Board Defense for Arizona Physician Assistants
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants disciplinary actions are given to physician assistants 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 the Arizona laws and regulations. Chelle Law’s Arizona Board of Physician Assistant Attorneys have represented over 1,000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law, our attorney’s have the experience to help physician assistants with all Arizona Psychology Board matters.
Thus, at a Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation including unprofessional conduct actions. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the physician assistant formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Advisory Letter
- Letter of Reprimand
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Nondisciplinary Order for Continuing Education
- Voluntary Surrender
Arizona Board Non Disciplinary Actions
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board may dismiss a complaint if they determine the information indicates there was not a violation of the rules of the Arizona physician assistant Practice Act. This outcome is not available to the public.
- ADVISORY LETTER: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the physician assistant’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 physician assistant wishes to further their education. This is not shown on license verification.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the physician assistant must complete a number of hours of continuing education for specific topics.
Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a physician assistant’s license the physician assistant will be unable to practice or get licensed again for a minimum of five years. After the five year period license revocation the physician assistant will need to reapply for their license. If the physician assistant 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 physician assistant 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 physician assistant can reapply. This is usually between two to three years.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the physician assistant 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 physician assistant 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.
- LETTER OF REPRIMAND: A letter of reprimand is the lowest level of formal discipline against a license or certificate. There are no probationary requirements. However, the action is on the website for five years for the public to inspect. A document removal will occur five years after signed.
- STIPULATED REHABILITATION AGREEMENT: An Agreement that dictates the physician assistant must be monitored and complete rehabilitation. For instance, a physician assistant found to have a substance abuse problem would be subject to drug testing, group or individual therapy, practice restrictions and supervision.
Medical License Attorney
The attorney’s at Chelle Law assist nurses with interpreting Board policy (which is generally on the Board website). Our attorney’s help the healthcare workers and nurses with their application to show the Board the professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public and is able to provide safe patient care.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.