Arizona Medical Board Appeals | Assistance with Arizona Medical Board Discipline
It’s always disappointing when a physician receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Medical Board (“AMB “). However, physicians in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Medical Board appeals and hearings after the Board hears a case.
Suppose you face an unfavorable AMB outcome due to an offered disciplinary action. In that case, you can always appeal the decision and request an administrative hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Filing an Appeal after an Arizona Medical Board Meeting
The investigatory and appeal process work like this:
Once the Board receives a complaint or self-report, they will investigate. The purpose of this investigation is to give the AMB evidence to decide whether or not a physician should face disciplinary action.
Suppose the physician receives an unfavorable formal disciplinary decision. In that case, 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 oversee the appeal, and the physician may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to a hearing, or an informal settlement conference can be held (if requested).
Administrative Appeal and Hearing for an Appellant
Any physician licensee may request a legal appeal of Arizona Medical Board Discipline to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The OAH conducts the hearing 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’s attorney can cross-examine witnesses and testify on their behalf.
After completing it, 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 individual feels there has been a mistake, they can request a rehearing.
Criminal Reporting Requirements for a Medical Doctor
ARS 32-3208 requires physician licensees and applicants for a physician license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Board within ten working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within ten business days violates the Arizona Medical Practice Act.
What Current and Past Crimes Must the Physician Report?
Arizona Medical Board Criminal Reporting requirements hold that the physician must report a felony within ten days of being charged.
The following types of misdemeanors or other criminal histories are crimes that the Board has determined to be reportable according 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 ten business days violates the Arizona Medical Practice Act. It could result in disciplinary action, which could result in Arizona Medical Board probation.
DUI Criminal History
Physicians who contact our office frequently ask our attorneys if state law allows a physician professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Medical Board. The short answer is yes.
An Arizona Physician DUI will not necessarily prevent a physician 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 professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Medical License Criminal Consequences
This policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a medical professional applies for a license to practice from the Arizona Medical Board, they need to disclose any felony DUI criminal court convictions (from previous years) on their application.
A physician must report a felony DUI no matter how much time or years have passed since the conviction or case. The AZ Board may also ask about past DUI misdemeanor criminal charges or cases that resulted in a conviction. They do this to ensure a physician can perform safe patient care and have safe, direct contact with patients or other providers.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for an Applicant
Suppose a medical license applicant (like an RN) is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI. In that case, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based on healthcare background check results. The Board will then contact the medical 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 is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems, and whether the physician has rehabilitated since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. The Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe medical care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
The attorneys at Chelle Law assist physicians with interpreting Board policy (generally on the Board website). Our attorneys help the healthcare workers with their application to show the Board that the patient care professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public and can provide safe patient care.
Consultation with Chelle Law for Physician State Court Issues
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Medical Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.