Will an Arizona Nurse Be Placed on The OIG List After a Voluntarily Surrender?
Unfortunately, the answer is maybe. There are several things that can lead to the inclusion on the Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE), including:
- Voluntary Surrender
However, we have found that it is hit and miss when it comes to LEIE inclusion. The LEIE provides information to the health care industry, patients and the public regarding individuals and entities currently excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, all other Federal health care programs as well as those who have been charged with fraud-related crimes. This LEIE also includes a listing under everyone which contains his offense code(s), date he was barred from participating in federal healthcare programs; exclusion reason(s); and program areas affected by these exclusions.
What is a Voluntary Surrender?
A voluntary surrender will place a permanent mark on a nurse’s record; thus a nurse must make absolutely certain they are making an informed decision. A voluntary surrender is when a licensee chooses voluntarily to surrender a professional license or voluntarily agrees not to renew one’s license, usually to resolve an outstanding complaint instead of going through the investigatory process that could lead to discipline, suspension or revocation.
A voluntary surrender is considered formal discipline. Any formal disciplinary action from the Arizona Nursing Board is reported to NURSYS and the National Practitioner Database.
Nursing Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any professional nurse licensee may request a legal appeal of an Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The Arizona Nursing Board Hearing is conducted 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 nurse’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, 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 an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
There are 2 Ways to Overcome a Summary Suspension with the Arizona Nursing Board. If the Arizona Board of Nursing believes a nurse is not able to practice safely, they can initiate a summary suspension. The legal standard in Arizona is that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action necessitating the immediate suspension of a nurse’s license. Examples of actions that can lead to a summary suspension:
- Substance Abuse
- Sexual Misconduct
- Mental Health Concerns
- Refusal to Follow Board Order
Summary Suspension Meeting
The Board will oversee the summary suspension proceeding and vote to whether suspend the nurse’s license or not. Two ways to avoid the summary suspension include:
- Consent Agreement: Agree to and sign a Consent Agreement prior to the Summary Suspension proceeding. If the nurse can come to terms on a Consent Agreement without a suspension the Board will likely accept the signed Consent Agreement.
- Convince the Board: The nurse (or their attorney) would attempt to convince the Board that the legal standard is not met and a summary suspension is unnecessary.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing Board Appeals services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Board Attorney reach out to us today.