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Checkett Law works with licensed professionals in Arizona and beyond to defend their licenses against actions brought by licensing agencies and various governing bodies.
Reputation is everything for healthcare providers. A positive review from a patient can catapult you into lasting success, whereas a complaint or allegation can throw your competency into question.
The State of Arizona investigates healthcare providers who’ve been accused of malfeasance, and a notice of a complaint can be one of the most unwelcome items that will ever hit your inbox. If you do receive a notice, however, do not panic - and more importantly, do not ignore it.
The best plan is to engage an attorney to help you navigate the proceedings and to do all you can to honestly rehabilitate your reputation.
Arizona Licensing Boards
In Arizona, organizations like the Arizona State Board of Nursing, the State Board of Medical Examiners, and the Arizona State Board of Therapy are responsible for issuing complaints, adjudicating fault, and disciplining practitioners who fall under their jurisdiction. These groups do not take complaints lightly and as such, it is wise to ensure you have all of your documents in order before appearing for a disciplinary hearing.
Types of Disciplinary Actions
Specific types of disciplinary action will vary based on the specific board and the offense in question, but generally, disciplinary actions can include:
- An advisory letter
- A letter of reprimand
- A stipulated rehabilitation agreement
- A nondisciplinary order for continuing educational requirements
- Temporary suspension from practice
- License revocation
Complaints and Investigations
Professional licensing board complaints may be filed by anyone who has interacted with the care provider, from patients to their family members, other healthcare providers, or employees. Once a complaint is filed, the relevant board will review the allegations and make a decision as to whether - and how - to discipline the healthcare professional.
During the investigation, the board may request documents (like hospital records, medical staff records, or other physical evidence). The board may also request a written statement from the provider. Ultimately, the board will determine whether there is “reasonable cause” to pursue disciplinary action.
License Probation Compliance
In some cases, the board may recommend license probation for a period. The board will issue specific terms for the professional to observe and follow during this period. For instance, the professional may regularly report to the board to demonstrate compliance. Unfortunately, in many cases, professionals will not understand the gravity of the situation and will not comply with the terms. Compliance is necessary to restore a license, so this type of malfeasance can lead to more lasting, serious consequences.
Judicial Review of Disciplinary Action
Final decisions of a board are appealable to the Supreme Court of Arizona. These appeals must be made within 35 days of the date of the final decision. Grounds for appeal depend on the specific facts. As such, you should reach out to an attorney to discuss your case and to determine whether your matter is appealable.