Arizona Podiatry Board Complaint Lawyer | Our attorney can assist a Podiatrist with Board Complaints
Who can file a complaint against a podiatrist? Patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Podiatry 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 podiatrist receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for podiatrists as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Podiatry Board.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Podiatry Board Complaint or self-report, a podiatrist receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Podiatry 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 podiatrist’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the owner, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Appeals of Arizona Board Decisions by Attorneys
It’s always disappointing when a podiatrist receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Podiatry Board (“APB“). However, podiatrists in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Podiatry Board Appeals and hearings after an Arizona Podiatry Board Complaint is heard. If you are facing an unfavorable APB outcome due to an Arizona Podiatry Board Disciplinary Action, you can always appeal the decision.
Filing an Appeal after a Podiatry 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 podiatrist. Once the board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation. The purpose of this investigation is to give the APB evidence to make a decision on whether or not a podiatrist should face disciplinary action. If the podiatrist 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 acupuncturist may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held.
Podiatry Administrative Appeal and Hearing Information
Any podiatry 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 podiatrist’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.
Arizona Podiatry Board Disciplinary Actions
Arizona Podiatry Board disciplinary actions are given to podiatrists 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 Podiatry 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 podiatrists with all Arizona Podiatry Board matters.
Thus, at a Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation and review of complaints. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the podiatrist formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Case Dismissal
- Letter of concern
- Decree of censure
- Non-disciplinary order for continuing education
- Voluntary surrender
Arizona Podiatry 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 Medical Practice Act. This outcome is not available to the public.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the podiatrist must complete a number of hours of continuing education for specific topics.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern the podiatrist’s conduct wasn’t ideal. However, the conduct doesn’t necessarily violate Arizona law.
Arizona Podiatry Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a podiatrist’s license the podiatrist will be unable to practice or get licensed again for a minimum of five years. After the five year period license revocation the podiatrist will need to reapply for their license. If the podiatrist 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 podiatrist 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 an podiatrist can reapply. This is usually between two to three years.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the podiatrist 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 podiatrist 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.) A request for a removal of probation will be needed.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements, but the Order will be listed on the website.
Professional Licensing Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Podiatry Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with an Arizona attorney with Chelle Law today.