Arizona Medical Board Attorney | Lawyers for AZ Medicine License Issues
The Arizona Medical Board protects and promotes the welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each person who is a doctor and holds a license as a physician in the State of Arizona is competent and able to practice safely.
It means the Arizona Medical Board (located in Phoenix) has the authority to discipline the medical license of any doctor in the state.
Mr. Chelle did an excellent job in defending my license I would definitely recommend him.
Chelle Law’s Arizona Medical Board Attorneys have represented over 1,000 healthcare professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law Group, our attorneys have the experience to help physicians with all Arizona Medical Board matters.
We can assist Arizona Medical Board licensees with the following:
Arizona Medical Board Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a physician? Patients, healthcare facilities, and other professionals, among others, typically file Board complaints.
When the Arizona Medical Board receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and no one dismisses it), and they open a case. After this happens, the physician receives notice, and the Board assigns an investigator to the case.
Please note having lawyers during this step can be crucial for physicians as they must submit a response and interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Medical Board’s meeting.
Medical Doctor Application Assistance
Applicants to the Arizona Medical Board who have a criminal history or previous discipline by Arizona’s Medical Board (or any other Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure.
Thus, a healthcare professional with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards may face an investigation by the Board.
Reporting a Criminal Charge to the Arizona Board of Medicine
Doctors who currently hold a valid license with the Arizona Medical Board or pending applicants must notify the Board of Nursing 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.
Physician Health Program (PHP)
In lieu of disciplinary action, the Arizona Medical Board may allow a physician to enter various PHP agreements which handle the post-treatment monitoring, education, and intervention of allopathic physicians who suffer from substance abuse or dependence, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health disorders that affect their ability to practice safely.
- Stipulated Health Agreement: A confidential, non-public monitoring agreement for psychological, psychiatric, behavioral or physical health problems issued by medical boards. This can last anywhere from six months to five years or more.
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement: A confidential, non-public monitoring agreement for substance abuse which can last from 6 months to 5 years or more.
- Interim Consent Agreement for Practice Restriction: A disciplinary, public, reportable action that restricts the practice of a physician with substance abuse disorder that has led to unsafe practice.
- Interim Consent Agreement for Practice Limitation: A non-disciplinary, public, reportable action that limits the practice of a physician suffering from health reasons that has led to unsafe practice.
- Probation to Participate in the PHP: Requires a physician to remain in compliance with PHP monitoring recommendations.
Medical License Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any licensee may request an appeal of an Arizona Medical Board disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
In some instances, a case is sent automatically to a hearing. OAH conducts the administrative hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
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 judge should rule one way or the other.
A physician’s attorney can cross-examine witnesses and testify on their behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ reviews the transcripts and evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board decides to accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feel there has been a mistake, they can request a rehearing.
Physician Law and Disciplinary Actions
Arizona’s licensed or certified physicians are the ones who receive Arizona Medical 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 Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of Arizona laws and regulations.
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 physician a formal discipline.
Disciplinary actions can include:
- Advisory Letter
- Letter of Reprimand
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Nondisciplinary Order for Continuing Education
Hospital Peer Review Defense by Lawyers
The Arizona medical peer review process is designed to protect patients from licensed physicians who may threaten patient safety. However, a hospital can often use the Arizona medical peer review process as a sham for political or financial reasons.
If you have been accused of providing substandard patient care or unprofessional behavior at your hospital, your case will most likely be initiated into the Arizona medical peer review process.
Do not enter the peer review process alone. Take a proactive approach and seek legal counsel. Going through the peer review process unrepresented could leave you with the temporary or permanent revocation of your hospital privileges.
Professional License Attorneys in Phoenix
Contact us if you’re interested in setting up a consultation with our Arizona Medical Board Attorney. Or if you want to learn more about the professional license defense that Chelle Law (located in Phoenix) offers.
Additional Professional Information
My firm represents physicians before the Arizona Medical Board. We also represent before the osteopathic board. We’ve been representing healthcare providers in Arizona for a long time, over a decade now.
Now, one thing that comes up semi-frequently is the question, can you sue someone for filing a false board complaint in Arizona? Pretty simple question. The answer is yes, but there are some caveats we’ll go over right now.
Every board has a statute. They’re in the Arizona revised statutes, which lay the groundwork for what the board can and can’t do. In the Arizona medical board statute, there’s a section that says, “Any person or entity that reports or provides information to the board in good faith is not subject to an action for civil damages.”
Arizona Medical Board
Let’s break that down. Anyone who files a board complaint in good faith can’t be sued for civil damages. The most important part of that section is good faith. What is good faith?
It means if someone honestly believes that there was some bad conduct on the part of a physician or that the physician did something illegal or violated a statute, they’re immune from civil damages.
The only way that a physician could sue someone for filing a board complaint is if it was false and in bad faith. People can file a good-faith complaint with bad intentions, right? You could have a patient who wants to stick it to the doctor, a competitor physician who’s doing the same, an employer who is somehow upset about their relationship terminating, or something like that.
Licensing Board Complaint
If any of those people filed a good faith argument, meaning they believe that whatever the physician did could violate a statute, they’d be immune from a civil lawsuit.
If you’re going to sue the person, you have to prove that they acted in bad faith. They knew that what they were alleging was false or potentially made-up falsehoods and used that as a basis for a complaint.
A case in the mid-two thousand worked its way up the Arizona court of appeals. Basically, it was one physician who filed a board complaint against a competitor physician. They’re in the same specialty, fighting for patients in the same area, and alleged many things. The physician who had the complaint filed against him filed a lawsuit against the other doctor stating he did not submit the complaint in good faith.
Are There Any Mistakes Physicians Make?
And therefore, he suffered some damage. The counts of that lawsuit were:
- Alleged defamation
- False light invasion of privacy
- Wrongful institution and maintenance of an administrative proceeding
- Intentional interference with prospective contractual to-business relationships, and
- Injurious falsehood.
So, five counts. What the court held, though, was the first count. Was the complaint filed in good faith or not? And the court said, yes, it was. They’re saying even if, maybe, some of the things that the person who filed the complaint alleged were untrue, they believed they were true.
They made at least a minimum amount of verification of the facts. And therefore, he filed the complaint in good faith. And so the physician who filed the complaint against him couldn’t recover any damages.
We currently have a case with the Arizona Medical Board representing a client. I won’t get into the details of it. However, I can give broad strokes. In this case, a patient alleged that our client gave them a specific procedure on a certain date. Then, there was a negative outcome during the procedure. After a review of the medical records, our client never saw the patient on the date alleged and never even provided the procedure alleged by the patient. But the bad outcome didn’t occur either.
So, did that person file a complaint in bad faith? Well, we believe, yes. As I stated before when looking at whether a complaint’s filed in good or bad faith. You need to consider whether the person who filed the complaint made any attempt to verify any of the information.
Medical Board Complaints
In this case, obviously, no. What could someone do to verify information? They could call the office and verify when they saw the physician, request the medical records and review those, or talk to the people involved.
A bare minimum amount of effort is needed to verify allegations. Say the complainant, the person who files a complaint doesn’t do any of that. Then that allows whoever had the complaint filed against them to argue that the complainant filed it in bad faith.
It is a reasonably nuanced topic, but in summary, can you sue someone for filing a false board complaint in Arizona? The answer is yes, you can, under certain circumstances. But it’s an interesting topic to discuss.
Consultation with Chelle Law
As I stated, my firm Chelle Law represents physicians before the Arizona medical board and osteopath boards.
If you have any questions, we’re certainly happy to answer them. Just give us a call, the number is listed below in the description, or you can visit us on this website, chellelaw.com.
Hopefully, this is informative. Please comment if you have suggestions for other topics you want me to discuss. I would be happy to do that.
Thanks for reading, and take care.