Health Professionals

Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Complaint – Adjudication

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The Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants (“Board”) administers all investigations and complaints regarding licensed physician assistants (“PA”) in Arizona.  The Board imposes disciplinary action if they determine that a violation has occurred.  The Board has issued a document titled Adjudication Process that illustrates the complaint process.  An investigation by the Board is initiated when; 1) a complaint is filed, 2) the professional self-reports, and 3) when an organization is required by law to report a possible violation to the Board.  The Board’s investigation/adjudication process can be broken down into four stages:

1.       Findings
2.       Recommendation
3.       Processing
4.       Adjudication

This post will examine the last stage of the complaint process; Adjudication.  A general time-line for the adjudication stage is as follows:

1.       Prior to determining whether to institute discipline, the Board will interview the PA at one of its quarterly meetings.
2.        The Board will give a brief presentation of the case.
3.       The PA may choose to take questions from the Board prior to making a statement.
4.       If no questions are asked the PA is given a chance to address the Board (up to 5 minutes).
5.       The PA may have legal counsel present and the attorney is allowed to make a brief statement as well.
6.       After all statements are made the Board will move to dismiss the case or find that there has been unprofessional conduct.
7.       If the case is dismissed the complainant may not appeal and the process concludes.
8.       If unprofessional conduct is found the Board may issue:

  • Non-disciplinary advisory letter
  • Letter of reprimand
  • Decree of censure
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Restriction
  • Any revocation is forwarded to the Office of Administrative Hearings

9.       The PA has 35 days to appeal the Board’s final order.

Any PA 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 PA can do during an investigation.

If you have a question about an Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants complaint contact Attorney Robert Chelle.