Arizona Physician Criminal Policies

Arizona Physician Criminal PoliciesArizona has very strict rules concerning criminal reporting (including misdemeanors) for health care professionals.  Thus, Arizona Physician Criminal Policies hold that any licensed or certified health care professional who has been charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety must notify their licensing board (“Board”) in writing within 10 working days after the charge is filed. Being charged with a crime means that a police officer has issued an arrest or citation and has sent copies of their report to the prosecutor’s office for review.  Failing to report a criminal charge within 10 business days to the Arizona Medical Board can lead to serious consequences, penalties and possible disciplinary action. When faced with criminal charges, physicians should retain legal counsel to work on their behalf.

There are a large number of crimes that must be reported to the Board if a licensee has been charged. However, most licensed health professionals tend to conceal the charge rather than self-report. Unfortunately, if the Board does find out, not only will the professional face discipline if ultimately convicted of the charge, but they will also receive discipline for concealing the charge as well.

Arizona Physician DUI

An Arizona physician who is charged with an Arizona Medical DUI, not only has to worry about the criminal consequences, but the professional repercussions with the Arizona Medical Board (“Board”) as well.  A physician charged with a DUI must notify their licensing board in writing within 10 business days after the charge is filed.  Being charged with a crime means that a police officer has issued an arrest or citation and has sent copies of their report to the prosecutor’s office for review.  Many professionals are given bad advice from their criminal defense attorney and are told they only have to report a conviction.  This is not true.

Arizona Physician Felony

Arizona Physician Felony Bar, prohibits medical applicants from certification and licensure if they have prior felony convictions. However, the felony bar is lifted three years after their felony sentencing has been completed successfully.  Through this bill, the Arizona Medical Board (“Board”) may initiate disciplinary proceedings to revoke their application, renewal or reactivation against physicians who failed to disclose a felony conviction. SB1096 also gives the Arizona Department of Public Safety the right to finger print physicians in order to obtain any state or federal criminal history on the person. The reasoning behind a five year bar from medical is to allow the individual enough time to prove they are safe to practice, in addition to, handling restitution issues with their victim(s) resulting from their felony conviction.

Arizona Physician Misdemeanor

There are a large number of misdemeanors that must be reported to the Board if a licensee has been charged. However, many physicians tend to conceal the charge rather than self-report. Unfortunately, if the Board does find out, not only will the physician face discipline if ultimately convicted of the charge, but they will also receive discipline for concealing the charge as well. Remember, a charge is not a conviction and it is better to reveal the charge at the beginning rather than face a sanction from the Board for failure to disclose.

The current Arizona rules that apply to all health care professionals (and physicians) state:

ARS 32-3208. Criminal charges; mandatory reporting requirements; civil penalty

A. A health professional who has been charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony after receiving or renewing a license or certificate must notify the health professional’s regulatory board in writing within ten working days after the charge is filed.

B. An applicant for licensure or certification as a health professional who has been charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony after submitting the application must notify the regulatory board in writing within ten working days after the charge is filed.

C. On receipt of this information the regulatory board may conduct an investigation.

D. A health professional who does not comply with the notification requirements of this section commits an act of unprofessional conduct. The health professional’s regulatory board may impose a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars in addition to other disciplinary action it takes.

E. The regulatory board may deny the application of an applicant who does not comply with the notification requirements of this section.

F. On request a health profession regulatory board shall provide an applicant or health professional with a list of misdemeanors that the applicant or health professional must report.

If you have more questions about Arizona Physician Criminal Policies contact Chelle Law.