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. This means the Arizona Medical Board (located in Phoenix) has the authority to discipline the medical license of any doctor in the state. Chelle Law’s Arizona Medical Board Attorneys have represented over 1,000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law Group, our attorney’s have the experience to help physicians with all Arizona Medical Board matters. We can assist Arizona Medical Board licensees with:
Arizona Medical Board Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a physician? Typical Board complaints are filed by patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Medical 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 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, 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 handles 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 safely practice. Types of PHP Agreements:
- 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 hearing. The administrative hearing is conducted by OAH 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 his or her behalf. After the hearing, 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 n individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
Physician Law and Disciplinary Actions
Arizona Medical Board disciplinary actions are given to physicians 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. 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 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 present a danger to patient safety. However, the Arizona medical peer review process can often be used as a sham by a hospital 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
If you’re interested in setting up a consultation with our Arizona Medical Board Attorney or would like to learn more about the professional license defense Chelle Law (located in Phoenix) offers, reach out to us today.
Additional Professional Information
My firm represents physicians before the Arizona medical board and the osteopathic board as well. We’ve been representing healthcare providers in Arizona for a long time over a decade now. And 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 obviously, there are some caveats that we’re going to 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 statute for the Arizona medical board, there’s a section, I’m just gonna read it, 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
So breaking that down, basically, 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? What that means is if someone honestly believes that there was some kind of bad conduct on the part of a physician or that the physician did something that in some way was illegal or violated statute, that they’re kind of 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 just wants to stick it to the doctor, a competitor physician who’s doing the same, an employer who is somehow upset about maybe 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 statute, they’d be immune from a civil lawsuit. If you’re gonna sue the person, then you have to prove that they acted in bad faith, meaning, they knew that what they were alleging is false or potentially they made up falsehoods and used that for a basis of a complaint. There was a case in the mid-two thousand that kind of worked its way up to the court of appeals in Arizona. And 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 a number of things. And the physician who had the complaint filed against him filed a lawsuit against the other doctor stating that the complaint was not submitted in good faith.
Are There Any Mistakes Physicians Make?
And therefore he suffered some damages and I’m just gonna read what the counts of that lawsuit are. Right? One, the 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 the complaint was filed in good faith. And so the physician who had the complaint filed against him couldn’t recover any damages.
We have a case currently with the Arizona medical board, we’re representing a client, obviously, 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 on a certain date, a specific procedure. And 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, never even provided the procedure alleged by the patient. And then obviously 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, whether a complaint’s filed in good faith or bad faith, you need to look at, well, did the person who filed the complaint make any attempt to verify any of the information?
Medical Board Complaints
In this case, obviously, no. What could someone do to verify information? Well, they could call the office and verify when they saw the physician, they could request the medical records and review those, talk to people involved. A base minimum amount of effort needs to be given to verify allegations. And if the complainant, the person who files a complaint, doesn’t do any of that. Then that certainly allows whoever had the complaint filed against them to argue that it is filed in bad faith. This is a fairly 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 kind of discuss. As I stated before, 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 our website, Chelle law.com, C H E L L E law.com. Hopefully, this is informative. If you have any suggestions for other topics you want me to go over, please comment and I’m happy to do that. So anyway, thanks for listening, and take care.