Arizona Medical Board Complaint Lawyer | Our Arizona Attorney Provides License Defense
Who can file a complaint against a physician? Patients, health care facilities, and 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 nobody dismisses the complaint). After this happens, the physician receives notice, and the board assigns an investigator to the case.
Please note that having a lawyer during this step can be crucial for physicians. Here, they must submit a response and interview with the Arizona investigator while also possibly appearing before the Arizona Medical Board to address the Board complaints.
Responding to Arizona Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Medical Board Complaint or self-report, a physician gets a notice from the Board requesting additional information and response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Board assigns an investigator to the complaint, and they begin to collect evidence.
The documents and evidence collected include the following:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the physician’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
- Medical license information from other states
Appeals of Board Decisions after a Complaint
It’s always disappointing when a physician receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Medical Board. However, physicians in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Medical Board Appeals and hearings after the hearing of medical board complaints.
You can always appeal the decision if facing an unfavorable AMB outcome due to an Arizona regulatory board disciplinary action.
Filing an Appeal after a Board Meeting
The investigatory and appeal process work like this:
The Arizona State Board receives a complaint or initiates an investigation into the physician’s conduct. 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.
If the physician receives an unfavorable decision, it is at this point they can 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 medical board Arizona hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to a hearing, or the board can hold an informal settlement conference.
Physician Administrative Appeal and Hearing
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 lawyer 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.
AMB 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 Practice Act. This outcome is not available to the public.
- ADVISORY LETTER: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the physician’s conduct was not ideal. However, the behavior does not necessarily violate the Medical Practice Act or Board policy, and no further contact is needed. It will not affect future licensure or if the physician wishes further their education. The license verification does not show this.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the Arizona physician must complete a number of hours of continuing education for specific topics.
Arizona Medical Board Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a physician’s license, the physician will be unable to practice medicine or get licensed again for a minimum of five years. After the five-year license revocation period, the physician will need to reapply for their license. If the physician reapplies for licensure, they must demonstrate that they have rectified what would be grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions) through an applicable program. It is a public document.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The physician voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of this voluntary consent is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the time until a physician can reapply. It is generally between two to three years.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the physician from practicing. It prohibits any patient contact or services for a while until the Board lifts the suspension.
- PROBATION: The Board offers probation through a consent agreement. The consent agreement requires the physician 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.) The physician will need a request for the removal of probation.
- 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 will be on the Arizona 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 physician must be monitored and complete rehabilitation. For instance, a physician with a substance abuse problem would be subject to drug testing, group or individual therapy, practice restrictions, and supervision.
Consultation with Chelle Law Professional License Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Medical Board Attorney services and how to protect your Arizona license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.