Health Professionals

Arizona Board of Physician Assistants Complaint – Processing

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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 third stage of the complaint process; Processing. A general time-line for the processing stage is as follows:

1. Once the Staff Investigational Review Committee (“SIRC”) recommends disciplinary action the Executive Director (“ED”) determines where the case is forwarded.
2. If the SIRC recommends the suspension of revocation of a PA’s license the ED may decide to forward the case an Administrative Law Judge(“ALJ”) with the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”).
3. The OAH also handles cases that the ED feels is too complex for a formal interview in front of the Board.
4. Once forwarded to the OAH an ALJ conducts a formal hearing and submits a formal recommendation to the Board.
5. The Board can accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s recommendation.

The final stage in the Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants complaint process is the Adjudication stage. It is important to remember that a PA can retain legal counsel at any point during the complaint process. I would recommend obtaining counsel prior to responding to any complaint, but it is never too late for sound legal advice.

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