Subpoena From Arizona Health Regulatory Board
Dealing with the Health Professional Regulatory Board has not always been a straightforward affair for most medical professionals. Studies show that Arizona is one of the states with many medical malpractice cases. Much can also be highlighted about the increase in the number of physicians who have been subjected to investigations owing to negligent medical activities.
These are some of the main reasons why most medical professionals in this state have not always formed a friendly relationship with the Health Professional Regulatory Board. As data shows, physicians have a perception that interacting with this body has the potential to expose their weaknesses in adhering to the required medical procedures and practices.
Health Professional Regulatory Board and Medical Records Subpoena
A medical records subpoena is a formal request by the court through a judge, an attorney, or any other legal authority that demands medical records from a physician. The ultimate objective of requesting such details is to use them for investigative purposes in a court proceeding. These records can prove or disapprove an essential aspect in the court. That’s why a judge might consider requesting medical records in civil actions such as:
- Workers’ compensation
- Personal injury cases
Also, a professional medical board might demand medical records to investigate a medical professional for negligence or any other medical malpractice. This has been a common trend and has unearthed multiple issues that medical professionals have found wanting. Some of the main reasons why a professional health body might request medical records for investigation include the following:
- Medical negligence
- Patient misdiagnosis
- Wrong medical prescription
- Medical malpractice
Who Can be Served a Subpoena by an Arizona Licensing Board?
In Arizona, the Arizona Licensing Board has the absolute authority to analyze and investigate various medical claims reported by patients consistently. The Arizona Licensing Board aims to ensure that all the medical professionals operating in the state pay attention to the codes of ethics governing how the industry works.
Usually, a complaint has to be served to the board before it can commence investigations. Also, the board must determine whether it has the necessary jurisdiction to investigate a claim before it can request the required medical records. Suppose the Arizona Licensing Board determines it has the necessary jurisdiction. In that case, it will subpoena all the medical records needed for investigations. Some of the areas where the Arizona Licensing Board has jurisdiction include:
- Behavioral experts
Do You Have to Respond to a Subpoena from an Arizona Licensing Board?
Generally, anyone registered and licensed by the Arizona Licensing Board falls under this board’s authority and is obliged to respond to subpoenas requested by the board. It falls under the operational code of ethics to respond to the licensing body. Those who do not respond can easily have their licenses canceled, and they could even face some extreme legal repercussions, such as court cases, mainly when found guilty of medical malpractice.
However, those outside the state or not licensed by the board are not obligated to respond to medical records subpoenas by the Arizona Licensing Board. Usually, the board may request medical records to assist its investigations. However, you can choose whether to respond or not. Essentially, it’s always advisable to work with an experienced attorney who can offer insight on whether to respond to such medical records subpoenas or not.
How to Respond to a Subpoena from the Arizona Nursing Board
The Arizona Nursing Board is responsible for registering and licensing all nurse practitioners in Arizona. All state nurses must adhere to this board’s requirements and regulations. Those who don’t adhere to the rules provided by the board can quickly lose their licenses.
Therefore, as a practicing nurse in Arizona, you don’t have any obligation other than responding to the subpoena requested by the Arizona Nursing Board. This organization has the authority to undertake all the necessary investigations against nurses to decide on their accusations.
How to Respond to a Subpoena from the Arizona Psychology Board
Recently, the number of psychologists in Arizona has drastically increased. As trends already show, many patients have been seeking psychological services. That’s why the Arizona Psychology Board has been on the top line as one of the few boards focused on enhancing its operational procedures.
As a psychologist operating in Arizona, you don’t have any option other than to respond to the medical records subpoenas submitted by the Arizona Psychology Board. This is the ultimate authority, and you have to ensure that you’re consistent with the demands of the licensing authority.
How to Respond to a Subpoena from the Arizona Behavioral Health Board
Over the years, there has been a tendency to view the Arizona Behavioral Health Board as one of the few bodies in Arizona that do not have a considerable following. However, this body has been very effective in ensuring that it is always working hard to ensure that all the people offering behavioral health services are offering professional assistance. As a behavioral health expert, you must ensure that you respond to all the necessary medical records subpoenas from the Arizona Behavioral Health Board.
How to Respond to a Subpoena from the Arizona Medical Board
As a physician, you should understand that the Arizona Medical Board is Arizona’s registering and licensing board. This organization regulates the medical industry in this state, which means that all medical practitioners have to respond to any medical records subpoenas requested by this body. Usually, the Arizona Medical Board may request medical records to aid its medical malpractice or medical negligence investigations. You must supply all the documents this body has asked for via subpoena.
Work with an Experienced Arizona Defense Attorney
Over the years, medical practitioners have been subjected to extreme scrutiny by the Health Professional Regulatory Board (32-3201). Most of them don’t know how they can respond, especially when subjected to medical records requests through subpoenas.
As a physician working in Arizona, you must work with an experienced Arizona defense attorney. It’s the only way you’ll be able to protect your rights and ensure that medical records are not used to subject you and your career to unfair treatment.
At Chelle Law, we have experienced defense attorneys ready to listen to your concerns.
What Should Be Considered?
What should be considered when a healthcare provider has been sent a subpoena from an Arizona health professional regulatory board? So, what happens if you’re a healthcare provider and you get a subpoena request from a licensing board? There are several things to consider. One, a normal investigatory process for a board is they’ll receive a complaint either maybe from an employer who’s fired a provider or a patient who’s received care from a provider and there’s some issue. And so, the board has broad subpoena power in Arizona. They absolutely have the authority to request medical records from a provider. They will also request employment files from hospitals, healthcare networks, and physician offices.
They’re going to try to get all the documentation that they possibly can to investigate a complaint. And so, if you are a healthcare provider and you’ve received one of those subpoenas from one of the boards, the board does have the authority to issue that subpoena. Now, whether you respond to it or not, as I said before, the law states they have the authority to get those documents. Now, what will happen if you don’t respond? Well, if you have nothing to do with the board, so let’s just say it’s the Arizona Board of Nursing.
They’re sending a physician a request for medical records and then the physician, for whatever reason, decides not to respond to the subpoena request; it’s unlikely, in my experience, that the board would do anything beyond just sending multiple subpoenas requesting the documents. And then at some point, if someone just simply refuses to respond to the subpoena request, the board is just going to move on and go forward with the investigation without those documents.
Most of the time, I find that it’s not the individual providers that receive subpoenas that ignore, it is the healthcare organization. Maybe a home care agency, a small hospital, it’s not a jail, is certainly one that regularly just doesn’t respond at all to a subpoena from the licensing boards. In that scenario, it’s very unlikely the board would do anything to compel the production of those documents. As I said before, they’ll just send them multiple requests and then if they don’t get anything, they’ll just move on. Now, what can happen if you absolutely refuse and then the board decides to do something about it?
Well, they most likely would have to go through some court to compel the production, and then if that person refuses to respond to the subpoena, they could be held in contempt. I can’t recall a scenario where that’s ever happened. We’ve assisted health professionals with licensing board issues for over a decade. I don’t recall a single time where a board has gone to those lines to compel the production of documents. But it certainly is something they theoretically could do, but just doesn’t happen very often. There are some very specific rules for subpoena requests for medical records that must be followed by the requesting party. But in this scenario, if it is a licensing board, they do have the authority to do that.