Arizona Chiropractic Board Criminal Reporting
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that chiropractor licensees and applicants for a chiropractor license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Chiropractic 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 Practice Act and could result in Arizona Chiropractic Board Probation.
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
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 Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in Arizona Chiropractic Board Probation.
DUI Criminal History
Chiropractors who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s if state law allows a chiropractic professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona Chiropractic Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona Chiropractor DUI will not necessarily prevent a chiropractor 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 chiropractic professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for an Applicant
If a chiropractic 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 chiropractor professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Practice Act (current as of October 2020). This license investigation determines whether the chiropractor is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the chiropractor 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 medical care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Criminal Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a chiropractic professional with a felony criminal background to get a license with the Arizona Chiropractic Board? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony for chiropractors will not necessarily prevent a chiropractor 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 a chiropractor with a case that resulted in a criminal sentence can get a license.
Criminal Charges for Chiropractors with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona Chiropractic Board, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. A chiropractor 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 the chiropractor and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the chiropractic professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the chiropractor has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, the Medical Board wants to know whether the chiropractic applicant can provide safe medical care.
Chiropractic Board Probation
When a chiropractor faces Arizona Chiropractic Board Probation the probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the chiropractor 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 Chiropractic Board can place chiropractors on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Chiropractors who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Arizona Chiropractic Board for many different reasons. If the Chiropractic 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 Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Chiropractic 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 the chiropractor formal discipline.
Public Complaint For Chiropractic
Who can file a complaint against a chiropractor? Patients, health care facilities, and other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners 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 chiropractor receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for chiropractors. This is because the chiropractor must submit a response, and interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Chiropractic Board hearing.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Chiropractic Board Complaint or self-report, a chiropractor receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Chiropractic 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 chiropractor’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Arizona Chiropractic Board Disciplinary Actions
Arizona Chiropractic Board Disciplinary Actions disciplinary actions are given to chiropractors 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 Chiropractic Board Attorneys have represented over 1,000 healthcare professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law, our attorneys have the experience to help chiropractors with all Arizona Chiropractic 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 outcome or vote to offer the chiropractor formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Advisory Letter
- Issue an Order to Cease and Desist
- Letter of Concern
- Order of Censure
- Civil Penalty
- Refuse to Renew a License
- Nondisciplinary Order for Continuing Education
- Disciplinary Order for Continuing Education
Arizona Chiropractic 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 Practice Act. This outcome is not available to the public.
- ADVISORY LETTER: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the chiropractor’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate the Practice Act or Board policy and no further contact is needed. This will not affect future licensure or if chiropractor wishes to further their education. This is not shown on license verification.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the chiropractor must complete a number of hours of continuing education for specific topics.
Arizona Chiropractic Board Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a chiropractor’s license the chiropractor will be unable to practice or get licensed again for a minimum of five years. After the five-year period of license revocation, the chiropractor will need to reapply for their license. If the chiropractor 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 chiropractor 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 chiropractor can reapply. This is usually between two to three years.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the chiropractor 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 chiropractor 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 the 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 signing.
- STIPULATED REHABILITATION AGREEMENT: An Agreement that dictates the chiropractor must be monitored and complete rehabilitation. For instance, a chiropractor found to have a substance abuse problem would be subject to drug testing, group or individual therapy, practice restrictions, and supervision.
Arizona Board Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Chiropractic Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.