Arizona Physical Therapy Board Disciplinary Actions
Arizona Physical Therapy Board Disciplinary Actions disciplinary actions are given to physical therapists 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. Chelle Law’s Arizona Physical Therapy Board Attorneys have represented over 1,000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law, our attorney’s have the experience to help physical therapists with all Arizona Physical Therapy Board matters.
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 physical therapist formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Advisory Letter
- Civil Penalty of not more than $10,000
- Refuse to Renew a License
- Nondisciplinary Order for Continuing Education
- Voluntary Surrender
Arizona Physical Therapy Board 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 law. This outcome is not available to the public.
- ADVISORY LETTER: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the physical therapist’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate the law or Board policy and no further contact is needed. This will not effect future licensure or if the physical therapist wishes to further their education. This is not shown on license verification.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the physical therapist must complete a number of hours of continuing education for specific topics.
Arizona Physical Therapy Board Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a physical therapist’s license the physical therapist will be unable to practice or get licensed again for a period of time. After the license revocation the physical therapist will need to reapply for their license. If the physical therapist reapplies for licensure they must demonstrate the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions) has been rectified through an applicable program. This is a public document.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The physical therapist voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of this voluntary consent is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a physical therapist can reapply.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the physical therapist from practicing. It prohibits any patient contact or services for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- PROBATION: The Board offers probation through a consent agreement. The consent agreement requires the physical therapist do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Alternatively, they may need to refrain from doing things (unsupervised care like home health, working under the supervision, using alcohol, etc.) A request for a removal of probation will be needed.
- CIVIL PENALTY: Similar to a Decree of Censure, but the physical therapist can be fined. The Civil Penalty is listed as formal discipline.
AZ Physical Therapy Board Complaint
Who can file an Arizona Physical Therapy Board Complaint against a physical therapist? Patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Physical Therapy 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 physical therapist receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for physical therapists as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Physical Therapy Board.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Physical Therapy Board Complaint or self-report, a physical therapist receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Physical Therapy Board assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the physical therapist’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Appeals of Arizona State Board Decisions by Attorneys
It’s always disappointing when a physical therapist receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Physical Therapy Board (“APTB“). However, physical therapists in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Physical Therapy Board Appeals and hearings after an Arizona Physical Therapy Board Complaint is heard. If you are facing an unfavorable APTB outcome due to an Arizona Physical Therapy Board Disciplinary Action, you can always appeal the decision.
Filing an Appeal after a Physical Therapy Board Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: The Arizona Board receives a complaint or initiates an investigation into the conduct of the physical therapist. Once the board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation. The purpose of this investigation is to give the APTB evidence to make a decision on whether or not a physical therapist should face disciplinary action. If the physical therapist receives an unfavorable decision, 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 then oversee the appeal and the physical therapist may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held.
Physical Therapist Administrative Appeal and Hearing Information
Any physical therapist licensee may request a legal appeal of Arizona State Board Discipline 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 OAH 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 physical therapist’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.
Consultation with Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Physical Therapy Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.