What Criminal Charges Should a Physician Report to the Arizona Medical Board?
What types of criminal charges must physicians report to the Arizona Medical Board? To put it another way, imagine you are a doctor who has been arrested and charged with a crime. Now, what are your reporting obligations to your licensing board?
In Arizona, we have a statute called ARS 32-3208. It governs the reporting of criminal charges by all healthcare professionals to their regulatory boards. Essentially, this statute states that if charged with a felony or misdemeanor, that may affect patient safety. A practitioner or provider must report those criminal charges to their regulatory board. It must be in writing and within ten working days upon the filing of charges.
Many people are unaware that they must do so. Many practitioners mistakenly believe that they must only report the final disposition of a criminal case. Alternatively, any conviction resulting from criminal charges. However, this is not the case.
Under the statutory language, a provider must report any criminal charges filed within ten working days. The statutes here go even further. It is unprofessional for a provider not to report these criminal charges to their regulatory board.
Look Up Information About Reportable Offenses
Consider the following scenario: you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Or any other felony that may seriously affect patient health and safety. In that case, you must notify the medical board within ten business days. It’s worth noting that, yes, the language surrounding the misdemeanor charge that may seriously affect a patient’s safety appears to be very limiting. Still, visit the website of the Arizona Medical Board. They do provide a list of misdemeanor offenses that are reportable. According to the statute, these are misdemeanors that may jeopardize patient safety.
The list includes a wide range of offenses. In that case, don’t assume that the misdemeanor you’ve been charged with won’t have an impact on patient health and safety. And it will also relieve you of the obligation to notify the medical board about the charge. Suppose you have been charged with a crime, or you are a physician who needs help self-reporting to the Arizona medical board. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Other Blogs of Interest
- What Happens When a Doctor in Arizona is Under Investigation?
- What Is the Most Common Medical Board Complaint?
- Is a Letter of Reprimand from the Arizona Medical Board Public?
Can a Physician Request a Hearing with the Arizona Medical Board?
I wanted to briefly discuss today the formal hearing process after the conclusion of a medical board investigation. What does that mean? What are your options regarding requesting a formal hearing? After an investigation by medical board staff into allegations of unprofessional conduct, board staff will reach out to the physician. And let them know that the matter has closed. A consent agreement for a particular discipline will frequently be made available, and the physician can sign it there and then. To resolve the matter. So, this will be a disciplinary consent agreement for a term of probation. With various stipulations and requirements for the physician to comply with.
Medical Board Interview
Of course, it can also offer non-disciplinary outcomes at the end of an investigation. It could be an advisory letter or perhaps a full dismissal of the matter. Still, those are not outcomes that would trigger the physician’s right to proceed to a formal hearing. So, suppose they present the physician with an option to sign a disciplinary consent agreement. In that case, there will also be the option and the consent agreement to appear before the Arizona medical board. It’s called a formal interview. In place of a formal interview, the physician can ask that board staff refer the case to the OAH. Or Office of Administrative Hearings for a formal evidentiary hearing on the allegations.
If a physician opts to appear before the Board for a formal interview, it’s a truncated approach to resolving the matter. And it’s shortened. It can result in a similar consent agreement that the Board offered initially. It could always result in a better outcome for the physician, but it could also result in a worse outcome.
If the physician declines the formal interview, they decline to sign the consent agreement. They opt to have their matter referred to OAH. They assign the case to one of the Board’s litigation councils. And they will then proceed with drafting and serving a complaint and notice of hearing. Informing the physician of formal allegations that everyone will hear at the hearing. And its date and time. They will allow the physician to respond to the allegations in writing. With the option of a formal hearing, our statutes here in Arizona also enable a physician to elect to participate. They can partake in an informal settlement conference with board staff and their attorney before attending the hearings.
Contact Attorneys for More Information
So, suppose the physician does elect to pursue a formal hearing as an option in their case. In that case, they can also ask that board staff and attorneys hold an informal settlement conference. That is to resolve the matter instead of going forward with that formal hearing.
If you are a physician here in Arizona, you’re under investigation by the Arizona medical board. The investigation has concluded. And now, you must decide which option to choose and how that may affect your license and practice. If this is you, please feel free to contact our firm.
What is a Summary Suspension by the Arizona Medical Board?
What is a summary suspension for a physician licensed with the Arizona Medical Board? And what does that process look like? And what can a physician expect if they find themselves in a proceeding to suspend their license summarily?
To Protect Public Health, Safety, and Welfare
A summary suspension is an emergency action the Arizona Medical Board takes if they believe that the health, safety, and welfare of the public imperatively requires emergency action against a physician’s license to restrict all or some of their practice. This is a step taken by the medical board before the allegations of unprofessional conduct are thoroughly investigated. The physician has had an opportunity for a formal interview or hearing on the allegations.
Suppose the medical board feels the allegations are serious enough. So serious that they cannot put off action against the license until the investigation has concluded. In that case, they can summarily suspend. If they believe that harm could come to public health while board staff is completing their investigation into the allegations. This can be an action the board staff recommends to the board to restrict the physician’s ability to practice completely. It could be an action the board staff takes. Should a physician refuse to sign an interim practice restriction during the investigation?
If the board staff receives a complaint with serious allegations. If they’re concerned about the physician’s ability to practice at that time, they can offer an interim practice restriction. To prohibit or limit some of that physician’s practice activities while they gather more information about the allegations.
Say a physician refuses to sign an interim practice restriction offered by board staff during the investigation. The board staff’s recourse at that point is to proceed with a summary suspension of the physician’s license. This again is asking the medical board to suspend and restrict the physician’s ability to practice pending a formal administrative hearing into the allegations.
Right by Statute
If the board decides to permanently suspend a doctor’s license and feels that doing so is necessary to safeguard the public’s welfare, health, and safety. In that situation, the doctor has a right to an administrative hearing to address the accusations. In addition, within 60 days of the summary suspension. Suppose the board votes to suspend the physician’s license indefinitely. For that reason, the case will be referred to the administrative hearings office for a full evidentiary hearing.
According to the statute, the hearing must be held within 60 days of the medical board’s summary suspension. Should the Arizona Medical Board conduct an investigation into you? Or suppose you are in the midst of summary suspension proceedings or a subsequent formal hearing after being summarily suspended. Please do not hesitate to contact our firm if you require advice or assistance.
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