The Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine and Surgery (“Board”) oversee all investigations and complaints regarding Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (“DO”) licensed to practice in Arizona. The Board has issued guidelines into the investigative process. An investigation by the Board is initiated through; 1) a complaint is filed against a physician, 2) voluntary reporting, 3) or when other organizations are required by law to report a possible violation to the Board. The Board has published Investigative Procedure Guidelines that list seven distinct stages of the complaint process. The stages are as follows:
1. Notification of an Investigation
2. Processing of Information
3. Board Review
4. Case Review
5. Investigative Hearing
6. Formal Administrative Hearing
7. Disposition of Cases
This post will examine the second stage of the complaint process; processing of information. A general time-line for the processing of information stage is as follows:
1. After receipt of notification of an investigation, the physician must submit a written response to the Board within 20 days.
2. Within 30 days of filing a complaint the Board will contact and interview the complainant to confirm the allegations contained within the complaint.
3. The investigator will subpoena any and all information necessary to complete the investigation including records held by other physician’s or health care organizations.
4. The Board staff may compel the testimony of relevant witnesses if necessary.
The physician only has 20 days to respond to the notification of an investigation, thus, it is crucial to contact legal counsel as soon as the notification is received. An attorney can draft an appropriate response to the Board, but time is needed to gather relevant and necessary information. With a professional license on the line it is important that the physician is as proactive as possible to defend their interests.
If you have any questions about responding to an Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine and Surgery complaint contact Attorney Robert Chelle.