The Arizona Board of Physical Therapy (“Board”) administers all investigations and complaints regarding licensed physical therapists and certified physical therapist assistants in Arizona. The Board imposes disciplinary action if they determine that a violation has occurred. The Board has issued a list of Frequently Asked Questions that sheds some light on the complaint process. An investigation by the Board is initiated when; 1) a complaint is filed, 2) self-reporting, and 3) when an organization is required by law to report a possible violation to the Board. The Board’s Complaint Review Process can be broken down into:
1. Filing a Complaint
3. Board Review
4. Disciplinary Action
This post will examine the final stage of the complaint process; Disciplinary Action. A general time-line for the disciplinary stage is as follows:
1. The Board determines if a violation of law has occurred.
2. If so, the Board will impose disciplinary action, including the following:
- Decree of Censure
- Restriction: scope, place or supervision of practice
- Dismissal of Complaint
- Advisory Letter: non-disciplinary action, but is part of the public record
- Civil Penalty: between $250 and $10000 per violation
Any physical therapist under investigation must stay proactive. Contact an attorney as soon as possible, respond to the investigation respectfully and address the Board deferentially. Being under investigation can be an intimidating process, but it is important to stay calm. Beyond appealing a Board decision to the Superior Court, the Board ultimately determines your fate and showing respect, is in my opinion, one of the most important things a physical therapist can do during an investigation.
If you have a question about an Arizona Board of Physical Therapy complaint contact Attorney Robert Chelle.