The complaint must be submitted in writing to the board office. Be as specific and objective as you can in narrating the events. Mention dates, other persons involved, include copies of bills and any other communications your may have had with the physician that would assist the board in understanding the facts of the matter.
With regard to complaints and investigations the Board is governed by A.R.S. § 32-2934 and 2935. Patient records are kept confidential and are not made available to the public (A.R.S. § 32-2935(D).
The Board may not open an investigation if identifying information regarding the complainant is not provided to the board. (A.R.S. § 32-2934(A). However, A.R.S. § 32-2934(B) allows the board to enter into a written agreement with a complainant stating that the complainant's identifying information will not be provided to the licensee against whom the allegation of unprofessional conduct is being made to the extent of the administrative appeals process. (The 'administrative appeals process' generally means that If your testimony is required at a formal hearing your identity would become known). Please advise the Board at the time your complaint is submitted if you wish to have your identifying information kept confidential from the licensee against whom your complaint is being made.
Upon receipt of your complaint a copy is sent to the physician with a request for a response within ten days of receipt of the complaint and copies of medical records and/or invoices if appropriate. The Arizona Medical Board (AMB) or the Osteopathic Board (OBEX) are notified if that physician is also licensed concurrently with either of those boards. Unless this Board hears otherwise from the AMB or OBEX, it assumes jurisdiction. After the physician's reply is received additional investigation is performed as necessary in order to provide sufficient information for the initial Board review. Approximately ten days before the next scheduled meeting the complaint and the physician's response are forwarded to each of the Board members for review and recommendation at the next board meeting, of whether or not an investigation should be opened.
If it is determined by the Board that a violation has not occurred, the complaint may be dismissed and the complainant and the physician are notified.
If it is believed that a violation may have occurred, or the Board members believe further information is necessary, the physician may be called in for an investigative interview. Based on the results of an investigative interview a physician may receive a Letter of Concern or the case may be dismissed or, if warranted the matter may be referred for an informal interview or formal hearing.
-Please note that the Board has the option of not conducting an investigative interview and may proceed immediately to the informal interview, or if circumstances warrant, prepare to conduct a formal hearing. After an informal interview the board may do any of the following: dismiss the complaint, file a letter of concern, issue a decree of censure (considered an official action against the physician’s license) impose a period of probation or impose restrictions (including temporary suspension not to exceed twelve months) on the license.
-They may also choose to conduct a formal hearing. The physician, who after a hearing, is found guilty of unprofessional conduct, or is found to be mentally or physically unable to engage safely in the practice of homeopathic medicine may be censured, placed on probation, or have the license suspended or revoked. In all cases involving dual-licensed physicians, the appropriate board is notified of the outcome.
Complaints are reviewed and discussed by the board at the next regularly scheduled meeting after the complaint and physician's response have been received. You will be notified of the date the matter will be placed on the agenda. The Board meets six times per year on the second Tuesday of the month.