Arizona Laws > Title 32 > Chapter 13 > Article 3 > § 32-1451 - Grounds for disciplinary action; duty to report; immunity; proceedings; board action; notice requirements
Current as of: 2009
Grounds for disciplinary action; duty to report; immunity; proceedings; board action; notice requirements
A. The board on its own motion may investigate any evidence that appears to show that a doctor of medicine is or may be medically incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable safely to engage in the practice of medicine. On written request of a complainant, the board shall review a complaint that has been administratively closed by the executive director and take any action it deems appropriate. Any person may, and a doctor of medicine, the Arizona medical association, a component county society of that association and any health care institution shall, report to the board any information that appears to show that a doctor of medicine is or may be medically incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable safely to engage in the practice of medicine. The board or the executive director shall notify the doctor as to the content of the complaint as soon as reasonable. Any person or entity that reports or provides information to the board in good faith is not subject to an action for civil damages. If requested, the board shall not disclose the name of a person who supplies information regarding a licensee's drug or alcohol impairment. It is an act of unprofessional conduct for any doctor of medicine to fail to report as required by this section. The board shall report any health care institution that fails to report as required by this section to that institution's licensing agency.
B. The chief executive officer, the medical director or the medical chief of staff of a health care institution shall inform the board if the privileges of a doctor to practice in that health care institution are denied, revoked, suspended or limited because of actions by the doctor that appear to show that the doctor is or may be medically incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable to safely engage in the practice of medicine, along with a general statement of the reasons, including patient chart numbers, that led the health care institution to take the action. The chief executive officer, the medical director or the medical chief of staff of a health care institution shall inform the board if a doctor under investigation resigns or if a doctor resigns in lieu of disciplinary action by the health care institution. Notification shall include a general statement of the reasons for the resignation, including patient chart numbers. The board shall inform all appropriate health care institutions in this state as defined in section 36-401 and the Arizona health care cost containment system administration of a resignation, denial, revocation, suspension or limitation, and the general reason for that action, without divulging the name of the reporting health care institution. A person who reports information in good faith pursuant to this subsection is not subject to civil liability.
C. The board or, if delegated by the board, the executive director shall require, at the doctor's expense, any combination of mental, physical or oral or written medical competency examinations and conduct necessary investigations, including investigational interviews between representatives of the board and the doctor to fully inform itself with respect to any information filed with the board under subsection A of this section. These examinations may include biological fluid testing and other examinations known to detect the presence of alcohol or other drugs. The board or, if delegated by the board, the executive director may require the doctor, at the doctor's expense, to undergo assessment by a board approved rehabilitative, retraining or assessment program. Nothing in this subsection creates a cause of action against any person, facility or program that conducts an assessment, examination or investigation in good faith pursuant to this subsection.
D. If the board finds, based on the information it receives under subsections A and B of this section, that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, the board may restrict a license or order a summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. If the board takes action pursuant to this subsection it shall also serve the licensee with a written notice that states the charges and that the licensee is entitled to a formal hearing before the board or an administrative law judge within sixty days.
E. If, after completing its investigation, the board finds that the information provided pursuant to subsection A of this section is not of sufficient seriousness to merit disciplinary action against the license of the doctor, the board or a board committee may take any of the following actions:
1. Dismiss if, in the opinion of the board, the information is without merit.
2. Require the licensee to complete designated continuing medical education courses.
3. File an advisory letter. The licensee may file a written response with the board within thirty days after receiving the advisory letter.
F. If the board finds that it can take rehabilitative or disciplinary action without the presence of the doctor at a formal interview it may enter into a consent agreement with the doctor to limit or restrict the doctor's practice or to rehabilitate the doctor in order to protect the public and ensure the doctor's ability to safely engage in the practice of medicine. The board may also require the doctor to successfully complete a board approved rehabilitative, retraining or assessment program at the doctor's own expense.
G. The board shall not disclose the name of the person who provided information regarding a licensee's drug or alcohol impairment or the name of the person who files a complaint if that person requests anonymity.
H. If after completing its investigation the board believes that the information is or may be true, it may request a formal interview with the doctor. If the doctor refuses the invitation for a formal interview or accepts and the results indicate that grounds may exist for revocation or suspension of tPrev | Next